As you inhale the aggregate odor of your senior class for the last time, I’m sure there are many burning questions racing through your minds: “Will I find my place in the world?” If you’re lucky. “Am I really going to graduate a virgin?” Yeah, probably. “Who is that incredibly handsome young man addressing us, and how long do we have the privilege of listening to him?” Howdy, Andrew Gonzales here, and hopefully not long; I realize that your robes are making you sweat, your thongs are making you uncomfortable, and my use of the words “virgin” and “thongs” is making your parents sweaty and uncomfortable.
I’m not up here to talk about sweaty undergarments, though. I’m not even up here because of my charm and good looks. I have been granted this lovely opportunity to speak to compensate for the misery that went into the earning of the title “valedictorian”, and all the misery that will envelope the rest of my life as a result of it. Whenever I can’t figure out how the pump works at the gas station, I’ll hear, “And you were valedictorian?” If I try to pull on a door that says push, it will be, “You were valedictorian?” Get caught picking my nose on the jumbo-tron at a baseball game, and the jeers will assault me: “Hey, jackass, were you really valedictorian?”
The purpose of a graduation speech, as it has been laid out before me, is not to complain, though, but rather to bore the hell out of you. That’s why my speech will last about four hours and seventeen minutes, filled with uninspiring poetry readings, bland quotes, meaningless anecdotes and the traditional candied assortment of shameless clichés and platitudes. Of course, I do realize that my speech is a compulsory formality, and that, in all likelihood, nothing I say will haunt your memories for more than a few minutes after we leave. I could just as well say a random string of words: toaster-oven, eructate, dysentery, Communism, shoehorn, Punky Brewster, Fig Newton.
It seems wrong though to dismiss you with desultory phrases about diseases, old TV shows, Marxist documents and disgusting fruit and cake snacks, though. So, for the rest of this speech I am going to pretend that I am in a position to give the advice you will need when we enter the quote unquote “real world” soon. In a few years, you’ll all have your very first taste of alcohol, and, who knows, maybe even a couple years later you’ll experience your first kiss. A whole magical world of delights will be opening up to you,...