The Thoughts of a Commencement Speaker Whose Speech was Knocked Into the Wind By a Beach Ball

  1. You've got this, Sally. Don't be nervous.
  2. They don't just give honorary degrees to anyone.
  3. Go up there and kill it.
  4. Your speech is already on the little podium.
  5. The hungover children won't know what hit them.
  6. And it's a glorious day outside.
  7. Little windy though.
  8. "Wow, thank you President Finley for that kind introduction. Wish I could bring you to job interviews to hype me up!"
  9. Polite laughter. Warm 'em up, Sally.
  10. "Well, class of 2016, you did it. So I guess now you have to answer the scariest question known to man: now what?"
  11. Do not look at that beach ball, Sally.
  12. Focus on your speech.
  13. "I'm here to tell you today that 'now what?' can be liberating, that every great idea or important movement has begun with someone saying 'now what?"
  14. Goddamn beach ball is like a screen saver.
  15. I just can't stop looking at it.
  16. It's better that than trying to read bejeweled graduation caps.
  17. I think that girl's cap says "LOVE. PEACE. PIZZA."
  18. I guess that's an inside joke?
  19. "When our founding fathers finally defeated the British, they asked "what now?" The phrase is scary but it is also full of opportunity, and when I look out over all of you on this beautiful day, that's what I see: opportunity."
  20. I want to pop that beach ball so badly.
  21. It's coming close.
  22. "When I was asked to be your commencement speaker, I immediately thought of how I felt when at my own graduation. Happy, sad, and a little bit scared- OH, OH NO!"
  23. BEACH BALL SPIKE OUT OF NOWHERE.
  24. LET THE BALL GO. SAVE THE SPEECH.
  25. TRY TO TRAP THE PAPERS WITH YOUR FEET BEFORE ANOTHER GUST-
  26. It's gone into the crowd.
  27. I lost my speech. I have not memorized it.
  28. Well.
  29. Now what?
  30. Oh that's good. Use that.
  31. "Well, I guess this goes back to what I was saying. A beach ball just knocked my speech into the wind, so... now what?"
  32. Thunderous applause.
  33. Everyone wants me to recover from this.
  34. What the hell was I talking about...
  35. Something about dreams or something? About following your dreams but also working hard?
  36. "Follow your dreams. Work hard. Dreams are good, but so is work."
  37. That's nonsense, Sally. That didn't mean anything.
  38. Tell an anecdote maybe?
  39. Didn't I have an anecdote in the speech?
  40. "The other day I saw a gentleman on the street. He came up to me and said "do you have any change, ma'am?" And that day I did not."
  41. Sally, do not tell a story of the time you didn't give a homeless man money.
  42. Pivot. Get out of this.
  43. "BUT ONE DAY BRIGHT YOUNG PEOPLE LIKE YOU WILL END HOMELESSNESS."
  44. Oh God, this is a nightmare.
  45. The beach ball ruined everything.
  46. What was in my speech?
  47. OH, THANK THE PARENTS.
  48. "Of course, I want to make sure to thank your parents. Without them, this wouldn't be possible, so... thank you."
  49. Really thought that would eat up more time.
  50. "Webster's dictionary defines "graduation" as... the receiving of a diploma."
  51. Oh, Sally, come on.
  52. You're the goddamn Secretary of the Interior for the United States of America.
  53. Be better.
  54. "Look around. Some of you will be successful. Some of you will die. But you will never forget these four years together."
  55. Oh man. Oh man. I am spiraling.
  56. I spent two weeks writing that speech.
  57. Maybe I can pull it up on my phone. Will everyone think that's rude?
  58. Just throw some inspirational quotes out there instead.
  59. "A good friend will bail you out of jail. A best friend will be in the cell next to you yelling, 'that was awesome!' Let's sit and think about that in silence for twenty seconds."
  60. This will probably be on the Internet.
  61. They are going to take away your honorary diploma.
  62. "I think any good graduate needs three things: love, peace... and pizza."
  63. Stop plagiarizing graduation caps.
  64. Oh, the bastards have started back up the beach ball.
  65. "What are you all going to do tonight? Anyone here from out of town?"
  66. Stop doing crowd work, Sally. It's a Commencement address.
  67. I can't believe I'm wearing robes in public for this disaster.
  68. "Teamwork, they say, makes the dream work, so- GIVE ME THAT BEACH BALL."
  69. You caught it, Sally.
  70. So calm down.
  71. No.
  72. "WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY IN MY CAREFULLY WORDED SPEECH IS THAT YOU ALL NOW HAVE THE TOOLS TO ANSWER 'NOW WHAT.' BUT AS ME AND THIS BEACH BALL HAVE MADE CLEAR TODAY, SOMETIMES SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN, AND YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH IT, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR DIPLOMA SAYS OR HOW PREPARED YOU ARE."
  73. Stop yelling, Sally. You have a microphone.
  74. "AND YOU'LL LOOK LIKE A REAL MORON TO A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WHO ARE PISSED BECAUSE THIER SCHOOL COULDN'T AFFORD KEVIN HART. AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS, YOU WILL FLOUNDER. YOU WILL FLOUNDER HARD."
  75. Sally, the deans are getting uncomfortable.
  76. "SO JUST KNOW THAT. YOU ARE NOT PREPARED. YOU ARE JUST EDUCATED. BEACH BALLS ARE COMING FOR EVERYONE."
  77. Pop it, Sally. Pop the beach ball.
  78. What a satisfying hiss.
  79. "Good luck, and congratulations."
  80. Throw the beach ball carcass back into the crowd and get out of here.