Dear Oskar McTrippin’ Veloz,

I have recently been made aware by my associates Mssrs. Crumb and Bumblewicz that you have turned — of all things! — nineteen years old. I am not too proud to admit my first reaction was to give Crumb & Bum a cup of my patented boiling hot scold: how dare they interrupt my ablutions with pernicious gossip; didn’t they know my wee McTrippin’ was born only a few years ago? He is but a cherubic and potato-obsessed lad and cannot possibly be a strapping full-grown man six feet in height and nineteen years of age; have they been neglecting their work for which I pay them and instead been spending their time riding in the back of the proverbial turnip truck huffing paint whilst sitting on each other’s stubby thumbs, and so on.

Well, I may have gone too far. Poor Bumblewicz curled his lip and tried to hide the tears welling up in his beady little eyes, but his anguish escaped in sobs. Crumb, as is typical for his kind, became angry and kicked the baseboard next to my Biedermeier table, leaving a dark scuff (and very nearly ending his life. If his size fourteen boot had missed its mark and struck my table instead, he would have sealed his fate). But I held my tongue, because while they were otherwise engaged, some new information came to light. I happened to look down at the calendar open on my Biedermeier and lo and Beatrice hold me tight, I saw the following entry: Ossakar Maldonado McTrippin’ Jorden Veloz, born nineteen years ago this very day, January 27. I apologized to Crumb/Bum and sent them into the kitchen to calm themselves with flapjacks, cheesy eggs, a rasher of bacon, and bitter coffee while I sat down and reflected on this date.

And though, dear Oskar, I have mis-gauged your exact age by a country mile, I have no doubt that your birthday all those years ago was one of the greatest days of my life. And in truth, you have been a pleasure and a gleam in the eye of your old pater familias every day since. I’m proud to call you my earth-child and my time-space-descendant. May you have no more 19th birthdays, but may you glide effortlessly through time and space toward 20, then to 21, and then on to 22, and so on.

Love, Papadillio J. Daddums, Esq.



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