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Need-to-Know Wednesday Congratulates the Graduates!

Friends,

My apologies for last week’s brief posting. You see, I’ve been tremendously busy these past few weeks. For starters, I recently watched a particularly interesting episode of How It’s Made on the Science Channel, and since then a lot of my time has been devoted to constructing and operating a machine in my basement that manufactures drinking straws. Also, I’ve been touring all over the northwest with the recently graduated seniors from this year’s University of Montana men’s basketball team, taking exhibition games to various towns, and it’s been very well received so far (only one starvation!). I hope you’ll consider checking it out if you find yourself at a middle school in Big Sky Country in the next few weeks.

So needless to say, with all my recent success I’m cockier than Mason “The Line” Dixon. But it’s always important for me to give back. And this time of year I’m quite busy with requests from colleges around the country to deliver commencement addresses. And I do try to fit in as many as I can. Because I think it’s important. Also, graduation caps are funny. I mean, what’s with those?

And, seeing as how the University of Kentucky’s Graduation Proceedings are taking place this Sunday, I thought I’d share one of my speeches here on this site today. The following address is one I recently delivered to Hal Linden Technical University in Tempe, Arizona — one which recently was touted on the cover of the illustrious Commencement Today! magazine. I hope you grads find it as inspiring as the young and burgeoning data entry professionals of HLU did. The transcript is below.

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Esteemed Graduates,

It is with great honor I speak to you today.

As I look out among this crowd of faces, I see so many paths prepared to be traveled. These paths will all yield vastly different and individual results, assured by the great and exhilerating chaos of life itself. And as your life patterns will fulfill each of your destinies in its own way, it’s important to be prepared for the things which may come to pass as you leave the hallowed halls of academia and head out into the real world.

Some of you will find yourselves on the corporate ladder, climbing devotedly higher toward your own personal successes. You’ll begin modestly, and with hard work you’ll find your place to grow and learn. Some of you will use those skills to someday run your own businesses, where your wisdom will reap rewards. And people will love and adore the wacky hats you sell, especially wacky hat enthusiasts.

Some of you will have children, which will bring infinite joy to your life, until the day they return to defeat you. This will be an ironic twist, and it’s important to remember not to let your child know his or her lineage until right before you expire.

Some of you, if you are very tall, will find success easy as you find yourself drafted in a late round of the NBA. It won’t matter that you didn’t play basketball in high school, or that this university had no recognized basketball team. The simple fact that you’re tall, and perhaps from another country, will be enough to land you a lucrative contract, at least for your first year. For you, it’s important to invest and save — for this career may not last, and life in the carnival isn’t pretty, Zarpov. Or whatever your name is.

Some of you will come precariously close to success as you reach the final round during an episode of Wheel of Fortune’s “Parents of Twins Week,” only to realize that “household item” can mean many things, and that you shouldn’t have chosen U as your vowel, and that there’s no such thing as a “todster oven.” You’ll still go home with some Wheel of Fortune merchandise, however, and have a great story to tell.

A few of you will join the cast of an ensemble medical drama, where you may find yourself quietly fighting your own personal demons as you question your devotion to the field of medicine; or the overly zealous rookie who continues to make mistakes that threaten the department. You’ll go out nobly in the fourth season, taking a bullet as a gunman infiltrates the hospital and threatens to kill another doctor, whom you secretly love.

At least one of you will perish in a freak hot air balloon accident, the bittersweet end to a wonderful summer day. In your final moments you’ll come to the realization that few people in life even get to take a ride in a hot air balloon, and this thought will be of some ethereal comfort as you spiral downward into Lake Erie.

Some of you will be promised money from a long-lost relative, but only if you complete some crazy task. During this process you’ll learn a lot about yourself and become a new and better person because of it, and you’ll also fall in love with a female reporter. Then you’ll take all the money and give it to charity, even though it was really hard to get.

These will be your experiences. These will be your lives. And you should be prepared. Because life can take you anywhere. Good luck. Godspeed. And go get ’em, graduates.

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There you have it, friends. Perhaps you can glean your own inspiration from this message, no matter what age. Gives you some perspective on things. I don’t know about you, but I feel there’s no time like the present to buy that orangutan I’ve always wanted. In the meantime, enjoy the video below — it’s one of my faves. And I’ll see you next week.

Article written by C.M. Tomlin