Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I was sure no-one remembered that.

I think I have it. I saw that someone was coming to my old hometown and he was billed as a humorist. Apparently a humorist is someone who is not quite as funny as a stand up comedian and kind of rambles on with stories that are not really funny, but mildly amusing. I have only ever heard of them in the midwest, because they can't quite get the funny guys to come out there. I think I could do that.

From some of my earliest speeches, I have had the ability to make people laugh. Someone reminded me of a particular one the other day, in downtown McCook, Nebraska.

I was in a Speech and Drama class giving my speech, which we were supposed to take up to some other small Nebraska town for a school speech competition. Giving it in class was to be the dry run to show the teacher what we had prepared and to let her give us some critiques so we could shine over all the other Nebraska high school speech luminaries.

My speech was entitled "Poverty in America". Now, I know this is a serious subject and I really didn't mean to make light of it, but it somehow, light-making happened.

My opening included a story about when I was with my parents going to The Pantry, one of my dad's favorite restaurants in the L.A. area. As we were leaving, we saw a homeless guy rooting around for food in the dumpster. I think we turned over a piece of leftover garlic bread that I planned on eating later to the homeless guy. This was my introduction to both poverty in America and my speech of the same name.

For some reason, the guys in the class thought this was among the funniest things they had ever heard. After trying everything to get them to stop laughing, including having them turn their desks around backwards when I said that I was laughing because they were (Did this really seem like a good idea?), the teacher finally made me come back after school to finish my speech.

Our poor teacher wouldn't even come watch my speech at the competition. But, I did get a superior rating. Apparently they didn't find it as funny up there.

I'll tell you about some more of my notorious speeches later. But for now, I have to get on with my vacation.

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