Billings's book Old Probability collected a series of pseudo almanacs originally titled Farmer's Allminax. Filled with guesswork on weather patterns, vague advice on planting, and pithy aphorisms, the book began with this philosophical quote: "It is better to know less, than to know so mutch, that aint so." The calendar sections included completely nebulous and/or meaningless events — like the death of Job Potter mentioned above. Short poems pop up throughout the listings as well as semi-meaningful factoids, life advice, and brief news notices — all with humor intended. A few samples from the book:
Tew git wrong things out ov yure child's head,—comb it often.
I hope i shall never hav so mutch reputashun, that i shant feel obliged tew be civil.
Tew make a hen lay 2 eggs a day, reazon with her; if that dont dew, threaten to chastize her if she dont.
fakts are stubborn things & so be mules
I hav alwus notised one thing, when a man gits in a tite spot, he dont never call on hiz friend the Devil tew help him out.
Nov. 30 — now chop wood
In youth we run into difikultys, in old age, difikultys run into us.
To find out whether a man has got a good moral karakter or not, ask him pleasantly.
Opportunitys are like birds, they will slip out ov yure hands if yu giv them haff a chance.
Throughout the book, Billings included scattered illustrations with handwritten tales and pieces of advice like the above. He also included a page here and there of positive critical notices (some of which might not be legitimate), including: "It kured mi wife ov wanting to die."