Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If I Were to Give a Graduation Speech

City Council and School Board Members, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Faculty, Parents, and Honored Members of the Class of 2007:

I have no Earthly idea why I was invited to deliver the address this evening: perhaps it is hard to find graduation speakers who will do it gratis, or maybe all others are making preparations for later, when you proposed to "paint the town red." Anyway, I'm constrained to send you off with sound advice, so here it goes.

Be easy on yourself, for nobody else is going to feel like doing that very much. Never pass up an opportunity to sleep, to use the rest room, and above all never, never pass up free food. Read the newspaper, but don't take the editorials very seriously. They're mostly written by J-school grads with bad haircuts. Speaking of haircuts: if your trip to the salon or barber comes out disappointingly, you can always wear a baseball hat backwards for a month.

E-mail your parents now and then. Periodically change your account, and leave spam behind. Don't drink gas station coffee. Pay your fair share of taxes, but not one penny more. Make sure your spare is properly inflated. Learn how to sing, how to dance, and how to skate. Learn a foreign language, and find opportunities to practice speaking it. Foreigners can help you out with some new ways of having a good time.

You're old enough, dammit. If you used up all the toilet paper, than replace the used roll with a new one. If the bulb burns out, replace it.

Go early to things; and have a backup plan. Murphy wasn't kidding: If things can go wrong, they will. Plan an escape route when attending civic meetings.

Be kind to animals.

Having a good heart is expected of you; having a perfect lawn is not. Love people, starting with yourself.

Tommorrow morning, if you feel like I think you're going to feel, take three aspirin, some juice, and two more hours in bed. Don't even try a big breakfast. Live long and prosper. Now, let's go out there and kick some butt for the next fifty years!

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