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Paul V. Coates -- Confidential File, June 15, 1959

June 15, 2009 |  2:00 pm


June 15, 1959, Peanuts

Here's another panel you'll never see in the legacy version of "Peanuts."

Confidential File

'Practical' Advice to June Graduates

Paul CoatesEleven months out of the year I've got no feud with the eggheads of my generation. It's only in the month of June that they bug me.

Then (which is now), like so many penguins, they file in pompous parade onto the speakers' platform of the finest institutions of learning across our nation.

From their positions behind the rostrums they honk out to the thousands of starry eyed innocents in their captive grasp about the "challenges awaiting the graduate of today."

They mumble platitudes and theories and lofty ideas until half the auditorium is asleep and, inevitable, they come up with the bit about "You are the future leaders of tomorrow," which is not only a routine, it's redundant.

What they neglect to give is solid, sensible, practical advice. For this reason -- and because, through some oversight, nobody's ever invited me to address a graduating class -- I have prepared a realistic guide for those young men and women who are laying down their textbooks this month.

June 15, 1959, Mirror Cover Clip it out. Carry it with you as you embark on your greatest journey -- the journey into adulthood.

First, to those of you who are becoming doctors:

Your primary concerns should be (1) to learn how to write illegibly and (2) to begin searching for the right kind or girl to marry.

She should have a father who is wealthy enough to set you up in private practice, or, in lieu of that, she should be a good mixer, a joiner. Have be become active in women's club activities. She can perform an invaluable service as a spotter for hypochondriacs.

If you have one already who's supported you through medical school, keep her. Chances are she'll fit in fine as your receptionist.

Graduating advertising students; I'm sure you're well equipped with all the information you need on media research, layout, consumer surveys, subliminal brainwashing and the art of writing a five-line jingle for denture paste.

But, let me give you some essentials the textbooks neglected.

June 15, 1959, Children Set Parents on Fire Take Four Martinis

 First, the practicing junior account executive should practice until he is perfect at handling four martinis a day at lunch.

Remember to call every client "baby."

Learn all you can from one of the older vice-presidents in the firm, and then as soon as you can, knife him.

For future politicians: Marry young, and immediately, or as soon as is reasonable, have four children and a small dog.

Become an Elk, or failing that, at least a Saint & Sinner.

Don't kiss babies. It's passe politics. Besides, you're liable to kiss a little chickenpox carrier.

Talk at every given opportunity, but whatever you do don't say anything.

Fashion designers: Develop a kind of benevolent sneer for use whenever anyone mentions Christian Dior, Jacques Fath or Don Loper.

Be eccentric. Throw temper tantrums at the slightest provocation.

Have Hair Done Right

Remember, you're a walking advertisement. Always be chic. Never go out unless your hair is done properly. And if you don't have one already, affect a mincing gait that will make people turn around and stare.

Of course, I offer this advice assuming that you're a girl-graduate fashion designer. If you're a boy graduate, these suggestions are optional.

That's it, children. Opportunity is everywhere. The world is your oyster. So, dammit, go forth.

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