So, I’ve attended 3 meetings of my local Toastmaster’s organization now and have yet to actually give a speech. Yes, I’ve been quite busy, but I have also been a bit of a slacker. I’ve spent many an evening curled up on the futon with a piece of trash fantasy novel instead of doing what I should be doing, writing a speech.
The first speech in the book is the ‘Get to know You’ speech. Its a 5-7 slice of my life, where I boil down who I am in 500 words or less. Yeah, like that’s possible for me. If you read this blog often, you know that’s more of a paragraph than an entire thought. :) What can I say? I am nothing if not verbose.
So, here it goes. The first draft of what I plan to say in that first speech. This is unrehearsed, although knowing me, I will do a bit of inline editing. But this will mostly be a no holds barred version of what I plan to say. Hold on, here we go…
I, am the FUNNIEST man alive.
Well, either that or people are always laughing at me. I seem to get the two of those confused.
Its not that I don’t know how to tell a joke, although many of my friends have never heard me tell one which has prompted them to laugh. Its not that my pacing is bad, my phrasings are poor or my timing is off. What is true is that I intentionally tell jokes that will not make you laugh.
So, if you are the Toastmaster for the evening, please make note of the following sentences before picking me as the Jester for the evening. I tell jokes which make me laugh, not ones that make you laugh. To me, watching your reaction at something that is not funny is considerably more entertaining than the funniest joke ever told. If you groan or scrunch up your face in horror at how unfunny the joke is, that makes it all the more enjoyable to me.
Similar to my sense of humor is my general outlook on life, the universe and everything… namely that it is all slightly off balance and in need of someone to laugh at it. What I would consider to be the greatest of compliments is for someone to look at me, in a slightly disdainful manner, and say two words: “You’re weird.”
Yes, THANK YOU. It is most definitely a true statement. When you tell me I am weird, that says you have noticed that I am not like you; that I am in some way different or abnormal. To you, I am something out of the ordinary that you don’t really know how to deal with or relate to. I am someone who is just far enough beyond ordinary that you had to stop and take the time to comment on this fact.
I don’t see the world like you, or anyone else does. At first glance, I may appear to be the most normal of people, an up and coming business professional who wants badly to succeed in life. I look like that most reviled of characters, the white, suburban male who is willing to sacrifice anything to reach a goal which is completely empty and unfulfilling, only to find a new goal once the first is reached.
But looks are always misleading. If you get to know me, and that is no easy feat, you will realize that the stereotype to which you assign me is completely false. I will continually push the bounds of who I am, stretching myself to become someone above and beyond who I am. I am change incarnate, always moving, always morphing, always becoming.
A group of my friends once voted me the one person who was least likely to tell the entire truth. But my best friend in the room was the only one to vote me the most likely to tell the truth. You see, its not that I lie, far from it, but that the truth I tell is mostly so foreign that people fail to recognize it for the honesty it is.
One of my favorite pastimes is to drop seemingly unrelated statements into conversation, just to see what kind of response it provokes in those around me. If I can get you to think outside of your normal modes for even an instant, then I have accomplished a good thing for the day.
Its not that I feel everyone else thinks incorrectly or that I have all the answers. It is that we could all use a bit of unexpected thought in our lives.