Sergeant-at-arms Kelly read our mission and introduced Present MeL Konrad. She introduced our three returning guests: Deborah, Alisa, and Yana. And then there was a bunch of paper work so I didn’t really pay attention. Who knows what happened!
MeL announced that we decided to drop the second November meeting because it was so close to Thanksgiving — just two days apart so it was clearly a no-go. (Notice how that can be taken as an obvious statement of fact or a snarky comment by a secretary who is totally out of control. What would life be without ambiguity? Unambiguous!)
MeL took over as Toastmaster and reminded us that 06 Nov 1860 was the day that Abraham Lincoln was first elected president. This made sense because it was election day for us. I should know because, being a liberal, I voted 37 times before the meeting.
Word of the Day
The word of the day was “history.”
Before we get into this, I should point out that I gave people the wrong idea. I said, “My family has a mental illness.” Despite what the beaten and battered man you know may indicate, I have a long history of performance. So I rarely say anything that is true. While my family is crazy, they are no more so than the rest of you. I just liked the sound of “history of mental illness.” .+.+.+.+ Really. &&^** Perfectly normal.
Yana: my history does not define my future.
Mark: when you travel you learn that others have a different perception of history than you do. When we were in the south we learned about the “war of northern aggression.”
Brian: When I look at my personal history, I try not to say “coulda, shoulda, woulda.”
Brian spoke about his problems with procrastination. He had a lot of good ideas. But he never got around to writing the speech.
I’m kidding of course. Brian gets better each time he gives a speech. That’s both true of his presentation and his content. For example, he presented a memorable object lesson, “When you have to eat two frogs, eat the uglier one first. That’s excellent advice.
But this is very important Brian! If you ever provide an example that makes me that ill again, I will kidnap you and force you to watch all three The Human Centipede films.
Speaking of The Human Centipede I am fascinated by the evolution of the anus. We don’t tend to think much of the worm, but that was the organism that introduced the anus into life on Earth. Until then, animals took nutrients in and flushed wastes out of the same hole. Having separate places for this meant that we could extract far more nutrients from our food. I still find the whole process disgusting. But it really is amazing. And as much as my anus disgusts me, its better than the option. Don’t think about it. (In case you were wondering, this is the Easter Egg!)
Next up was me. I had to give an improved version of my previous speech on Don Quixote. So I bought a plastic sword and brought a pot to wear on my head. It is only when you start putting pots on your head when you realize just how big your head is.
Listening to my speech I was struck by the relative lack of ums and ahs. Instead, there was a whole lot of stammering. But I think I do a good job of mixing up my speaking disfluencies.
Mark ran the Table Topics with two choices: a saying or a word. Some highlights:
Dan — Gambit: I think all through my life I’ve been involved in a lot of gambits — a lot of failures and a lot of successes.
Bert — Déjà vu: Did I really see the future?
Kelly — Raining cats and dogs: I love to run in the rain.
Deborah — Dressed to the nine: That is when you go for it. It is when you make sure your outfit speaks to who you really think you are.
Bert evaluated Brian’s speech. He talked about how Brian had a natural and authentic approach to his speaking. What’s more, he highlighted the structure of his speech. Then he started talking about frogs and I started to have more fantasies of men tied to chairs forced to watch violent scatological films.
There was a round-robin discussion of my speech. Everyone was really nice. In other words, they lied. Mark liked my humor, but he’s twisted in that way. Bert discussed my passion. Kelly thought I should have worn the pot longer. I agree — no one can make a pot work like me.
Kelly was the grammarian. She focused on our 16th president. She was also taken with the words maverick and gamut. As a once very serious chess player, I will tell you: there are no interesting lines that follow from gamuts accepted or declined. But I did once write a short story called “Rook Gamut.” It’s not about chess.
Bert was the ah counter. He prefaced his comments by noting that ahs aren’t all bad. This probably comes from the fact that I whine about them so much. Now that Brian has fixed his ah problems, I’m all alone. But being as I am, I may try to introduce even more ahs into my speeches. Not true! My plan is to start doing sections of my one-man play “Deconstructed” where I will have memorize these things. Otherwise, the writer gets really angry. Regardless, the quality of the speeches just get better and better.
MeL said she was pleased that the speeches were humorous and that the guests played such an important part in the meetings.
The guests all discussed their thoughts about the meeting.
And the meeting was over!
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