The Eighth Page

Phillipian Satire: Eighth Page History: Origin of Valentine’s Ned Thornton Day

Little does corporate America know…Valentine’s Day is celebrated after our very own Andover alumnus, St. Valentine Sectsalot ’69 (as in 1869). He is probably our most influential alumnus, sorry Bush. He’s hailed as a saint for his fearless pursuit of love amidst the oppressive desolation of boarding school.

It was a dark and stormy Tuesday afternoon, and Valentine Sectsalot had just been dismissed from history class where he learned about the Bubonic Plague from a couple years ago. He sympathized with the poor students who had to endure an epidemic in high school. 

His equestrian practice got canceled due to some rabid horse in the stables, so he had some free time. What to do? Valentine already knew. With a northerner’s industrious determination, Valentine strode across the quad to the GW telegraph. His fingers trembling, he slowly punched out a risky telegram to this Abbot girl, Abigail, with whom he’d been chummy with for quite some time. Without hesitation, he sent it. Valentine hoped he hadn’t made any typos since he was still getting used to the technology. 

Almost instantly (relatively speaking), Valentine received a response a couple days later. “She must be eager,” he thought to himself as he opened the envelope. As he read Abigail’s message, his eyes grew wide. 

As specified in the telegram, she’d come by later that day. Valentine even spoke to his housemaster and ensured that he’d keep his door open. Things were moving quickly with Abigail. Within an hour, Valentine had already shown her his annotated Bible (second base). While breaking out his Latin expertise, about to perform Virgil’s “Bucolics” (third base), disaster struck.

You see, the dorms back then were quite drafty places. Since Valentine hadn’t latched his window shut, a cross breeze was inevitable. When it came, a strong gust slammed his door shut and knocked over Valentine’s inkwell, staining his bible.

Immediately, Valentine’s housemaster was at the door. As the knocking intensified, Abigail leapt from the first-floor window to escape being caught in the scandalous act. For the rest of the year, Valentine was punished for his premarital alone-time with a girl behind a closed door. The deans grilled him with questions such as: “what could’ve happened after performing ‘Bucolics’…kissing? How undignified! You lascivious child!”

So from that day in history, romantics all around the world rallied to the support of Valentine and praised him for his daringness to love. So don’t wait for someone to ask, just be a Valentine.