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Nobody knows for sure when the bard was born, but our best guess is April 23rd – today, in 1564.

My dad was a high school English teacher, taught Shakespeare for 30 years. He swung a wooden sword around the classroom to keep everyone on their toes. At the supper table, he feigned – of all characters – Lady MacBeth. I grew up wondering where “the damned spot” really was. And if dad was really a girl.

I studied English at university. I took a class called Shakespeare. It was all about Stephen King. I kid. It was a play a week, and poetry too. I used Coles Notes to fill in the gaps where I partied instead of studied. ‘Tis better to party than not.

I’m no Shakes Scholar. But what can I say, I have a damned soft spot for the stuff.

I can run the category in Double Jeopardy.

And here’s what I read to Max tonight.

He calls it “Nomeo and Julien.” Shakespeare for toddlers. Beautifully simple illustrations with less than three words per page. No Coles Notes required. “When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.”

Happy birthday, William Shakespeare. Thank you, dad. And everyone else who loves and shares the written word (and I don’t mean texting): “I can no other answer make, but thanks, and thanks.”

Who knows, in 448 years they could be talking about me. In the inspirational words of the beloved bard, fucken A.

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