The Weather

Dead Father Dealer

Hey. I heard you’ve been having problems writing that admissions essay. I thought I would give you something that worked for me: Dead Father.

Here, I got some Dead Father right here. I always bring a little bit with me everywhere I go. I’ll let you have some. Stop looking around. Don’t be paranoid. Be cool. Just take it.

Write your essay using Dead Father, and see if it doesn’t do the trick. I started using Dead Father in high school, and I’m fine. Used it in college, used it when I was applying to MFA programs. I use it at parties sometimes, if I’m with the right crowd. Frankly, it’s helped me get laid. Definitely helped me get through some tense arguments. And I’m fine. Look at me.

Oh, stop being a wuss. You’re not going to get addicted. Everyone uses it sometimes. I overheard you the other night on the phone, blaming your “commitment issues” on your Crazy Mother.

Brother, Crazy Mother is nothing but a kissing cousin to Dead Father.

Just let it loose on the page. No one is going to read it except the admissions deans. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. This isn’t going to turn into a series of essays that snowballs into a full-blown Dead Father Memoir.

Unless that’s your plan when you get into grad school. I’m not judging. Everyone grieves differently.

Okay, that’s enough moralizing from you. He’s dead, ok? There’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing. Quite the opposite. Everyone does this. You’re keeping his memory alive. So long as men can breathe and admissions deans can read, if I may paraphrase.

Do you know how much time is required to craft a personal essay? Do you really think you have that time?

Dude, they’ve basically legalized this in some states. Ten years, it’s going to be completely accepted.

Everyone I know uses Dead Father—or something similar. I had a professor who basically made her career using a daily combination of Alcoholic Step-Father with a chaser of Impoverished Childhood. And she leads a totally normal, functional life! Why are you depriving yourself?

The only one I don’t recommend is Disabled Sibling—the day after I used it I felt a little sick.

Just lock yourself in your bedroom, take a deep breath, put your fingers on the keyboard, and type these words: I was in high school when my father passed away.

I’m so happy I could be the one to show this to you. I wish I could go back and experience my first time with Dead Father all over again.

Hey. You know who would really be proud of you right now?

Thomas Scott lives in Winchester, Virginia.