May 3, 2002

Every year I’m alternate no. 105 on the list of potential graduation speakers at Catalpa University. Things looked promising for me this year because they actually got up to no.104, whose only claim to fame is that he went to an audition for a reality based television show. It was his only audition, of course, but in today’s media saturated world it’s enough. Fortunately for him, and unfortunately for me, he was free. So here’s the speech I prepared. Most of you have learned these lessons already, but there are some things that can never be repeated often enough.

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Others of the Class of 2002: Thank you for pulling up your pants. Some time between starting school and graduation, you realized that walking around with your underwear hanging out made you look like idiots. Congratulations on learning something. Before you stick your caps, gowns, and diplomas in a box in an attic, here are some parting thoughts which you will be unlikely to remember because you won’t be tested on them:

You are the Class of 2002. The Class of 2001 had unbelievably high expectations which they failed up live up to. Don’t worry. There are no expectations on you, and even if there were, remember that the unrealistic expectations of 2001 were created years before they were born.

Enjoy the next four years as best you can. You’ve been working for four years to reach this moment, and I can tell from the anxiety in your faces that you have no idea what’s going to happen now. Enjoy watching your ambitions become roadkill on the job market highway. You’re probably thinking, "Wait, I’ve got a job interview next Monday!" I hate to tell you this, but that job has already been promised to the cousin of the guy doing the interviews.

Now that you’ve graduated, get an education. I’m speaking to the three or four of you who came to college to get an education, and not to the other 4996 who came because your parents paid for it, to get married, or to simply get a diploma that would allow you to pursue a career in low-level customer service. Now is the first time in eight years that you won’t have some graybearded professor who’s carrying around more failed dreams and lost hopes than the state of Rhode Island standing over your shoulder telling you how important it is to know the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics. And by the way, for you female students, he really was just looking down your blouse, which is why he said, "It’s important to know the difference between macroeconomics and macroeconomics." Now’s your chance to read the books you were supposed to read, or to read the books that mumbling jackass told you weren’t worth the paper they were printed on. You’re free now. You can hold opinions without worrying how it will affect your grades. Be different. Think for yourself.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

An old man walks into a Catholic Church and enters a confessional. The following dialogue ensues:

Man: I am 92 years old, I have a wonderful wife of 70 years, many children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Yesterday, I picked up two college girls, hitchhiking. We went to a motel, where I had sex with each of them three times.

Priest: Are you sorry for your sins?

Man: What sins?

Priest: What kind of a Catholic are you?

Man: I’m Jewish.

Priest: Why are you telling me all this?

Man: I’m telling everybody.

A Prayer for the Stressed

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill today because they pissed me off.

And also help me to be careful to the toes I step on today, as they may be connected to the ass that I have to kiss tomorrow. Help me to always give 100% at work …12% on Monday, 23% on Tuesday, 40% on Wednesday, 20% on Thursday, and 5% on Friday.

And help me to remember that when I’m having a really bad day, and it seems that everyone is trying to piss me off, that it takes 42 muscles to frown, and only 4 to extend my middle finger.

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