Friday, August 10, 2012


I was one of several speakers ---
some were shriekers, some were squeakers ---
representing their professional sports teams.
And because there were so many,
it was not the plan that any
should presume to go on talking to extremes.

On my speech I had been working,
for I don't believe in shirking
a significant responsibility.
I have been of the persuasion
each particular occasion
should determine what one's theme and style should be.

I believed my talk was fitting
for the people who were sitting
for the program in the banquet hall that night,
since it led without confusion
to a powerful conclusion,
which I hoped they all would realize was right.

The main point that I was making
in that verbal undertaking
was not difficult for them to understand.
Yet when I had finished speaking
and the crowd's response was seeking,
I received an unenthusiastic hand.

Now, that same association
in a different location
had another banquet like the one before.
It was only two years later,
and the crowd was even greater ---
I would say there were two thousand, maybe more.

By the time that it was my turn
I'd decided not to try earn
their respect by pleading for some noble cause.
So I told three jokes and sat down ---
jokes they had not heard in that town ---
and I've never had such spirited applause!

The emcee that night, who knew me
from the time before, said to me,
as I sat and gave myself a fat zero,
"It's been two years since I've seen you;
I'm amazed!  Really, I mean you
have improved so much since just two years ago!"

What's the moral of this story?
Lessons don't go down in glory,
when an audience would rather be amused.
Just say anything that's funny ---
they will eat it up like honey ---
And the undiscerning crowd will be enthused.

(From If I Do Day So Myself)

No comments:

Post a Comment