To the leaders of tomorrow

If I ever get invited to give a commencement address to a group of graduating college seniors, I’ll be ready.

“As I look upon this fine throng of young firm folk, my first thoughts are mainly about how many of you are thronging about while wearing thongs. But that’s my problem, and I think I already regret bringing it up. You know, back when I was your age, thongs were cheap little rubbery sandals, not incredibly sexy, bun-splitting undergarments that define, separate, and create these haunting half-moons of superb, id-entrancing smoothness. Hmmm, you know, it’s already apparent that I, like so many of your teachers and professors, am greatly hung up. Please, allow me to start again.

“So yes, as I continue to gaze and fantasize upon this fine thong of graduates, all excitedly preparing to toss their tassels in just a matter of minutes, I’m moved to remind you that you should really enjoy and savor this special day of tassel-tossing. Because soon enough, those tassels will give way to tussles, the difficult tussles of life that may soon have you thinking about jumping off a trestle.

“Now I really don’t want to spend too much time today talking about suicide and the probability of a life gone horribly and unbelievably bad. But then again, I also know the last thing you want from your commencement speaker today is a florid speech filled with vapid puffery and corny rah-rah’s. You don’t want to be force-fed a pep talk or some kind of sugar-encrusted gagburger. I know what you want. What you really want. You want a job. Not some dullard’s delight that’s a fast track to trestle-jumping, like sign twirler or adult book store booth hoser. You want a good job, like people in Sweden get. Well, I can’t help you there. But I can bring you a mirthful tidbit that you might appreciate if you’ll just stop daydreaming about beer and sex for a moment.

“So here ya go, graduates. I bring to you a greeting of friendly brevity from The World, but don’t let its simplicity fool you. It’s also a greeting of timeless, undeniable, unavoidable reality. ‘Hello, Whores.’

“Yes, indeed, you might as well face it, kids, The World basically just wants to know one thing—what’re you sellin’? Because yes, you now gotta go out there and sell something, whether it’s your mind, your smile, your skills, your muscle, your ass, cars, earth-movers, solar yard lights, or paper towel holders, you gotta sell something. Best strategy here—sell something that sells itself. Which is why it’s always a good idea to keep your ass in reasonably good shape.

“So twirl those tassels with pleasure today, grads, because the party train just pulled out of town and left you at the station staring at the vending machine, a quarter shy of a Payday. Then again, it also left you a long ways away from that trestle.”