I have two compliments of my writing that trace to the same phrase. I should note no body complimented this phrase specifically, but in both cases I trace the compliments to: "Can you help?" My use of this phrase is personally inspired and original. Dear kind readers: I am not claiming to be the only one to use the phrase in similar context, but I am saying if you adopt the phrase in your writing, then you have reason to believe your use is fresh. Sincerely, Tom Doody. The first use of: "Can you help?" traces to my email to Toni Creason circa 2003. At that time in recent years I transitioned from being married to the mother of my three kids and cohabitating with them to a single out-of-state dad with post-crash popularity. My son’s report card said something bad, and a teacher report did not reconcile. I wrote his teacher, Mrs. Creason: Ryan tells me he completed this work, and the report card says, "incomplete". I don’t know what to conclude, Can you help? Mrs. Creason replied you should believe your son. I got behind, and your son’s work is complete. This was a great moment in my writing, but it did not have a happy ending. A happy ending would look like this: I was diplomatic, and my son, Ryan, credited me for handing disparate reports between him and his teacher. Though my son had reason to be relieved I did not dispute his claim, and rather validated it, and therefore my popularity would begin to climb again it did not. My popularity with him remains low decades later.

About Tom Doody

middle-age American living in New Jersey near the Lincoln Tunnel
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