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Bruce Springsteen had a book tour stop in Philadelphia this week, where one of his fans happened to be a fifth grader. The kid was supposed to be in school at the time, so Bruce signed him an absent note.

The boy presented him with typed note read:

“Dear Principal Brown. Please excuse Michael Fenerty for being late or absent from school today. He came to the Free Library of Philadelphia to meet me and to get a copy of my book.”

Bruce agreed to sign it after making a joke about the importance of reading it.

“I have to read it first, that’s how I got in trouble with my first contract.”

The kid’s father also said that he hoped the student would not get in trouble. The family ended up keeping the original since of course it now included Bruce Springsteen’s autograph, and then gave the kid’s principal a photocopy.

Something like this has actually happened before, when a New York dad used Bruce as an excuse for his 12-year-old’s tardiness.

“This may not seem like a good excuse, but have you ever wondered how many kids would be late-or miss school outright if God were to suddenly appear? It’s something like that.”

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