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The Daily Tar Heel

Benjamin Franklin's Life Stories

Dear George,

I hope this letter finds you well. It is I, your good friend, Benjamin.

Times have changed since I last spoke to you. Back in our glory days, Thomas and Alexander were powerful men invited to every important function. The gentlemen demanded and received respect. Nowadays, T. J. and his buddy Mr. Hamilton circulate throughout the world as mere commoners.

Remember that Hansen fella? He never sent one word in my direction. This arrogant man really thought he would lead this country!


John Hansen has been long forgotten. I hear he can be found trafficking goods on his shoulders between Annapolis and your city, using trail number 50.

George, I've got a new look now.

I'm very popular. Men long for my company as a sign of status. Women love my pretty green eyes and the trinkets that I provide.

Of course, some things never change. I still represent Philadelphia. I put the city on the map. A street bears my name downtown. The Parkway cuts across Center City from City Hall to my favorite museum.

I've parlayed with too many people in too many places to recall, so I must recount to you my most memorable experiences.

Father Time and I are the reasons behind all innovations of the modern world.

I constructed a bridge to traverse the Delaware. Perhaps if I had thought of it in '76, you and your men wouldn't have had to navigate that frigid river in such a raggedy boat. You also could have slept the night away at a quality bed and breakfast - reservations arranged by myself (surely a better alternative than being frostbitten at The Forge).

After you defeated the lads from the Isles who wear red coats, ol' T. J. wouldn't have had to painstakingly draft his proposal on such unsuitable parchment.

I could have provided Jefferson with a special contraption that allows the user to form words underneath a glass frame by jabbing letters on a keyboard. After Thomas edited his Declaration on the machine, a printing-press-like device would produce the document for our signature.

It all would have been provided for by electricity. Thanks to yours truly, flying a kite to harness power is a thing of the past.

Alas, I am not always a positive influence. As the world becomes increasingly materialistic, I have caused little but harm.

Although my efforts built the foundation of this country, my endeavors of yore often are forgotten.

The treachery began in my city of Philadelphia. Gino was my landlord at the time. The apartment located in South Philadelphia was prime real estate, and Gino always served excellent cheese steaks. I resided with a war hero named Andrew Jackson and an honest chap from Springfield, Ill., called Abraham.

One night, Andy, Abe and I were safe in our sleeping quarters discussing politics and were rudely interrupted .

A gentleman entered the lobby and slid Gino a note stating that he was looking for my roommates and me. Gino replied that visiting hours were over and declined the request.

The individual whipped out a miniature musket called a .22 and smacked Gino in the face.

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Inevitably, he found Jack-O, Abraham and me resting in our quarters. He grabbed us quickly and said he wanted to talk.

He had plans.

Sadly, Abraham was lost within minutes. The ruffian sent Abe away to a sinister figure on Lehigh Avenue. In exchange for Lincoln's services, my new landlord received a small bag stuffed with a green substance.

Next to go was Andrew. The character passed A.J. to a merchant for refreshments, rubber objects and cigars named after my city of brotherly love referred to as "blunts."

Outside of the marketplace, my carrier located a scantily clad female. He grabbed my arm and placed me in her company.

I say . It appears that any gentleman that is friendly towards myself is quite the ladies man!

Two days later, my ego was severely battered. The young lady put me in the care of an insidious relation, who reeked of alcohol and eventually traded me away to a street merchant for some lousy rocks!

Without a moment's notice, I found myself at your house.

I looked for you, but I understand that you had been long gone. The House was in shambles. The man of the house remained occupied in your office with an intern named Monica.

I couldn't stay at 1600 Pennsylvania for too long. I flowed in and out of our nation's capital like liquid. I was constantly being slid under the table to corrupt politicians.

In spite of my immense popularity, I am quite dejected. My limbs are bruised, my face is worn, and my garments are tattered.

I am diseased. I feel a perpetual burning sensation in my private parts.

I long for stability and protection. I implore all citizens to save and invest time in myself, allowing a safe haven for me to attract and mingle with the Grants, Jacksons, and Hamiltons of the world.

I wish to aid society, not lead to its demise.


Benjamin Franklin

Kofi Bofah is a junior business

administration major from Silver Spring,

Md., who reminds you that every second

that your savings are not invested, your

money is being burned by inflation. Reach

him at

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