The Graduation Speech
A message for the class of 2012.
I am honored to be your keynote speaker today at Mount Potomac High School. You are all about to embark on a fantastic journey filled with incredible opportunities and…
(The speaker hesitates, then rips up his speech in frustration).
I’m sorry, kids. I can’t feed you this line of crap. The bottom line is that you are all screwed.
I am going to assume that most of you will be going to some kind of college. Now, a few of you might get a scholarship because you are some all-star bocci ball player or your ancestors are from Guam. But for most of you, when you graduate four or five years from now you will probably owe some company in Indiana about $50,000 that you borrowed for tuition, payable in convenient monthly installments that will last…well, they’ll last until you die. At the same time, you’re gonna have to start paying for your own health insurance which will cost you an arm and a leg, although the kind of insurance that you’ll be able to afford will probably not cover those parts of the body. Then, of course, once you get that diploma you’ll be able to hang it in the room that you grew up in because you’ll be living once again with your aging parents! Oh, and a word of advice — get out of there the minute they start calling you by the name of your dog. That means they’re starting to lose it.
Now, when you get to college, if you thought you were a real smarty pants by majoring in some defense related discipline, think again. That because the Congress couldn’t reach an agreement on the budget and across the board cuts will have gone into effect that included the once sacred Defense budget. So, while you are packing for college, your future employers — those Beltway Bandits — are already scaling back. And if you are majoring in things like Philosophy, English Literature or Religious Studies, well, I hope you enjoy working at Five Guys.
Here in Mount Vernon, by the time you graduate from college we’ll have seven more Walgreens and sixteen more car title loan shops. By my calculation, Supervisor Gerry Hyland will have just been re-elected for his 26th term, we will still have no cell phone service and the proponents of an off-leash dog park at Westgrove Park will have abandoned their quest because all of their dogs will have been put down by then. Mulligan Road will be closed again because two cub scouts will have discovered a den of rare turtles that were on the Endangered Species list and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association will have bought Grist Mill Park and converted it to a “George and Martha’s Theme Park.”
Oh, and before I forget, four years from now the average temperature in December will be 101 degrees and your planet will basically be on life support.
Okay, grads! Go get ‘em!