Stenky’s Swine Song

Here’s a piece that actually needs some introduction. I invented the character of Stenky Gamuche in the eighties for the sketch comedy troupe ‘The Other White Meat’. The character was originally a very small role, the sidekick of another Character, Bill Grist. Bill was a middle aged loudmouth lout, played by the brilliant comic actress Deb Doetzer. Deb played men with real flair and bite, and said things that if I’d had a male actor say would have sounded flat out awful, as opposed to satiric and, you know, insightful. She made it okay for me to say some really horrible stuff. In his first outing, Stenky had few lines and was mostly a foil for Bill Grist’s yearning, wistful brutality. Stenky was supposed to be played by me. I was directing the show and I’m lousy at staging anything I’m in. I can’t see the whole picture or focus fully on the scene if I’m in it. So in early run throughs, I always used a stand in. Margaret Anne Brady stepped in to read my lines, and it was immediately clear she was much better at being Stenky then I was ever going to be, so we left it that way. Margaret inhabited the delusional French Canadian alcoholic to a degree that I think surprised us both. I have always loved writing for specific artists, it’s my favorite thing, but Margaret as Stenky somehow went beyond anything else I’ve ever written. I went on to write several monologues for Stenky over about a ten year period, both for ‘Other White Meat’ outings and for Margaret’s show with the equally amazing Dorothy Dwyer, “Mrs. Potato Head”. A couple of years ago, they started doing the occasional reunion show. Margaret asked me to write a new Stenky piece, but the first time around, though I tried, I couldn’t make it work. This last show I managed. I wanted something that would close out Stenky’s long debauched story. So, ‘Stenky’s Swine song.’

 

If you saw Stenky in performance over the years, good for you. I think it’s my best stuff, and Margaret called Stenky her King Lear. It was special, okay? Leave me alone. If you never saw Stenky on stage , this is going to be a little odd, because you’re starting at the end. Also I have no idea how this is going to work as just a piece of writing. It makes sense to me, I can hear it and I knew what Margaret would do with it even before I sent it to her. Alone on the page, it might just be an incoherent word mass. If so forgive me. But it’s not like I get paid for this ‘blog’, so I can pretty much do whatever the hell I like with it. Screw you, anyways. Here it is.

 

(Lights up on Stenky, deep in thought, seated at a bar stool, sipping a golden carbonated beverage with ice. After a moment he looks up. He’s heard something, or maybe only thought he heard something. He dismisses it and returns to thinking about whatever he’s thinking about. He hears it again. Looks around, eyes fix on someone.)

 

You talking to me?… Uhm… Yeah. Yeah, I’m Stenky Gamuche.

(long pause. Has anyone ever addressed him first in his life?)

Uh… not to be rude or nothin’, but… do I know you?… I do? Seems unlikely. I mean, a lot of people know me, or of me, I am a very well known fella, but I don’t… I can’t place your face. Wait a minute, wait a second, I know who you are! You’re that guy, you know, that guy that does that thing where he… where they… no, that’s not you, that’s that TV show where they get talking to some guy and see if they can get him, to, like, inculminate himself…. Jesus, I hope you’re not that guy. I done a lotta bad crap, but I ain’t never… NO! NO! I got it! McGuilicutty! Son of a bitch! How many years has it… how many… crap, I owe you money, don’t I? And not a small amount. Shit. Hanh? McGuilicutty’s son? Well that makes sense I guess. I was wondering how it was I ain’t seen you in a dogs age but you got younger. Thought you got yourself one of them lifestyle lifts or something, but I wasn’t gonna say nothing.

 

You remember me? Seriously? Well, that is flattering… not unusual or nothing, I’m known for being memorable on account of my being a raconteur of no small renown’ an shit… I do? Seriously? Well, thank you, young man. I s’pose I do look good… You know… comparatively. Considering I shoulda been dead like ten years ago I am DAMN GOOD LOOKING, AM I RIGHT? I look subtantially better than a decade old corpse. That is a solid truth right there. I should. I been on the wagon for some time now. No, no, no, no, I shit you not. I am ON… that wagon… which does not have booze service.

 

This? It’s Gingerale… Why? I’ll tell you why. ‘Cause 7 Up… is FOR PUSSIES!

(laughs outrageously, coughs)

Shit, I spilt 7 Up down my front… Oh…. WELL! CAUSE FOR A REFILL! AM I RIGHT? AM I RIGHT?! I am right. Oughta be on the house. Kid drops his ice cream cone, they give him another cone free. Just a friggin’ 7 Up, comes outta a god damn spray nozzle, I don’t see no reason they gotta be so damn cheap in this joint. I could take my custom elsewheres.

 

Oh it’s different all right, but not so much as different as I thought it’d be. Which when you think of it is not a huge surprise. See, it’s like they say; “You can’t change a cucumber… No, no, wait, not a cucumber, a pickle, you can’t take a pickle, right, and… and… like… make it go back in time until it’s a cucumber again. ‘Cause time travel and such… is NOT possible… without an object of such IMMENSE mass… that it would… lit’rally crush the SHIT out of your pickle… Do not be fooled, my friend, stackers are not time traveled pickles. They’re just… you know, sliced real thin… so your sandwich won’t be… like, all… lumpy. OK, look, it’s simple, the point is, once something is pickled, that’s it, there’s no going back, and I surely… WAS… PICKLED! I may not be soaking in brine no more, but there is NO doubt I was soaking more than long enough to get pickled. MORE than long enough. I’ll tell you this for free, though, you go to the grocery, buy yourself a bottle of pickles, shove it way back in the fridge and forget it’s even there for like three years, re-discover it, and that pickle is still pretty much okay. One time I forgot I had some cucumbers in the crisper? For, like, a month? That was a bag of grayish green liquid I could not even PRETEND was Jagermiester, and I am not ashamed to say I pretended pretty damn hard… well, okay, I’m a little ashamed… no, no, not ashamed, REGRETFUL, because that was NOT Jagermeister in ANY way whatsomever. Boy, if wishes was horses, than wishes would… would… require a lot of space. And hay… oats and shit.

 

How’d I do it? What, you mean, get off the sauce?… I don’t really know and that is the God’s own truth. I din’t have no choice, and like my old man used to say, “Stenky, there is… NO trick to doing something you don’t got no choice about”… Cause, cause the things you don’t got no choice about, right? They ain’t gettin’ done BY you as much as they’re gettin’ done TO you. But I done this… to Myself. So it was both. Know what I mean? Pro’lly not. I don’t.

 

Anyways, my Doctor says to me, you’re gonna love this, I love my Doctor, he’s all old school and shit, like this crusty old country Doctor type with a very dry, AMAZING sense of humor, and he says to me, check this shit out, you will laugh your ass completely off, he says… “Stenky, ol’ pal, Stenky, your LIVER… is… like some… horrible, old, gigantic, dead catfish… that some GUY… has tried to, like, jam down their crapper, who knows why, to hie it? From who? I don’t know. And of course it won’t flush on account of it’s WAY too big, it is a simple impossibility of PHYSICS to get a dead fish the size of a friggin’ German Shepherd puppy down a pipe sized for a normal human bowel movement, so he’s, like… POUNDING away on that catfish with a plunger, just HAMMERING until the damn fish carcass is TOTALLY jammed up to the point where nothing is getting past it ever again, that toilet is FINISHED as a toilet for GOOD, it’s just a, a housing now for a GIGANTIC dead CATFISH that is actually YOUR LIVER, Stenky Gamuche, you son of a BITCH, and I swear to the sweet Baby Jesus… that… that… wait a sec… wait a sec, now, here… I don’t even have a Doctor… I was at the ‘mergency room… the waiting room of the ‘mergency room… and it was Dr. OZ on the TEE-VEE!… And he was talking about this… like… cleanse. A, a juice cleanse or somesuch… where you don’t eat nothing and just drink juice for, like, a month, which quite frankly seems pretty unhealthy to me. It made me hungry as hell and I went to go get some chow without even seeing a doctor, so I don’t think that was what got me to quit drinkin’. I mean, why the hell would it have, right?

 

I did do AA for a while. Someone suggested it to me. Like some friend of mine who’d wised up… maybe it was a policeman… no, no, not a policeman, that other thing, whaddaycallit, in a bathrobe, a JUDGE! A very angry judge an’ he’s all “If I ever see you in this courtroom again” which was weird, ‘cause I do not recall this gent at all and I got one of them eidetic memories for faces… anyways now I think of it, it was not so much a suggestion as a, a, like… precondition of release. Whatever, I gave it the old college try, the coffee was flat out terrible, but it turned out to be a great place to bum cigarettes. A lot of good stories, though, I will say that, and I am a man acclaimed for a finley crafted anctedote, I mean I got STORIES that would FRY the tiny hairs on your FOREARMS, I was tellin’ this one story, right, this is HILLARIOUS, ‘bout how I was SO drunk this one time I could have sworn up down and SIDEWAYS I was explaining the finer aspics of parliamentary procedure to a group of very refined college ladies, and I’m going “Point of order, college ladies, point of order” and they’re like, putting their fans in front of their faces and giggling up a storm about how charming I am when what’s actually happening is I’m upside down in an ice cold shower in a YMCA locker room, fully clothed, screaming like a chollicy infant and this completely ancient JANITOR is, like getting’ SOAKED trying to drag my ass out of there, and I’m slappin’ him and he’s yellin’ “YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF THERE, WE ARE CLOSED, HOW DID YOU EVEN GET IN HERE, IT IS TWO IN THE MORNING!”

 

(laughing fit quickly turns into coughing jag)

 

Oh, screw you, that story is a pisser. It killed at “The Moth”. Pro’lly it was The Moth… It may have been a bus stop, now I think on it. Truth be told, them folks at AA didn’t totally appreciate it. They was all, like, “Stenky, sit down, it is not your turn, that story was awful and also more importantly you can not drink during an AA meeting.” And I’m, like, “Excuse me, have you seen these metal folding chairs? ‘Cause my ass cannot tolerate two hours in one unless it is thoroughly hammered. And that, my good friends, takes maintenance. They’re all ‘Oh, Stenky, you’re not ready, you haven’t hit bottom.”… And I’m like “Au Contraire, chumps, I am on the bottom, I live on the bottom, I am a, a, human CATFISH in a TOILET and I STILL put a smile on my face because that is what you DO with life, if you don’t do that, it gets done to you for SURE and that is the GOD’S own… God’s own… It’s a true… ism… Is what it is.

 

So I guess what I’m saying is it wasn’t my AA experience that got me off the sauce.

 

Why the hell did I stop?… ‘Cause it ain’t easy… it is the opposite of easy, is what it is.

(looks around)

I should pro’lly stop hangin’ out in bars. Turns out that was a harder habit to break then the drinkin’. HAH! What about them apples? No, no, I come here… because it’s more difficult… and I am doing this. It’s important.

 

Okay, okay, this is gonna sound weird an shit, what with all the stuff I done in my life… The CIA, being a undercover cop and a stunt double for… for… I wanna say Pierce Brosnan? That don’t seem right. No, no, that other guy, that MASH guy, but after Trapper John goes home, that fat ,bald Charles guy DAVID OGDEN STIERS!… David Ogden Stiers… Why the hell would David Ogdan Stiers need a stunt double? I am never gonna understand Hollywood… What? OH! Right, well, see, the point is, despite all that, I feel like I ain’t done anything of… significance in my life… I know, crazy, right? I’m a whadayacallit… a striver. Anyway, I feel like I’m old and I ain’t done shit. I thought about an insane amount of shit, but I ain’t…. I ain’t never done… none of the shit I thought about… got… done.

 

And this guy, right, I was livin’ with this guy, like he was a roommate, Sikorski, and I just wanna say we was not friends, that man was no friend of mine, mostly because he was a complete rat bastard with nothin’ nice to say to nobody, not one time ever. He was an awful, awful son of a bitch, and vindictive, and skulky and back stabbin’ and that was on a good day. So we was living together. We known each other… a considerable long time. Ran in the same circles. And at some point, we was the only ones still running in ‘em. On accounta every one else from our circle being dead. Which is, you know, what will happen when the circle you runs entirely around joints like this. This place is actually pretty ritzy compared to most of the places we ran around. Most of us din’t even like each other, irregardless of the fact we had a lot of laughs. And we did have a lot of laughs. That is undeniable. Just, it wasn’t always funny.

 

Shit… Your Dad was in that group, wasn’t he? Crap. I am so sorry. I totally forgot he croaked… away. Passed away… Listen, my condolences, your dad was a good Joe, not like them other sacks of crap. He was… How could I have forgot that? I am seriously sorry. That was a faux pas. I do them.

 

So that fuck Sikorski takes me in. I had nowhere to go and he’s like ‘You stupid jackassed son of a bitch, you’re too friggin’ old and moronic to live on the street and survive it’ so he gives me his couch. An long story short, one day I come home and he’s on the couch and I’m like ‘get the fuck off the couch, Sikorski, where the hell am I gonna sleep?’ and he can’t ‘cause he’s dead. Don’t look at me like that, it’s not a twist ending, it’s the same ending every story has, am I right? I am right. But wait. That ain’t the end… of the story. Turns out he owned the place he lived in and now it’s mine. Like, legally… Total unreformed drunk on his last legs who spent his whole adult life busting my balls with a friggin’ sledge hammer every chance he got, at some point takes the time to do the papers so I get his joint when he dies. What the hell is that? What the hell is that? Bastard.

 

An’ I get to thinking… that was… undeniably… a thing to do. Know what I mean? An’ I’m the last one left… And I ain’t never done… nothing. So I’m doing this. I am doing… this. And not for him. Sikorski… my current living circumstances notwithstanding… was a butt.

 

I been back to meetings once or twice… thought it might help, you know, shore up my resolve an’ shit. And they’re all, like, “Stenky, you’re still a drunk, you’re a whaddayacall ‘dry drunk’, you’re white knucklin’ it.” Well, you know what I figured out by still being alive for so friggin’ long? We are all white knucklin’ it. Every day. Human beings have some god damn white knuckles. Maybe not about booze. But something. Everybody got white knuckles about something. And they got ‘em every day, and the trick is, do you go ‘Shit, look how god damn white my knuckles are, holy crap!’ or do you just give your knuckles a cursory glance and keep friggin’ moving.

 

Which is what I oughta be doing. I am a considerable distance from home for a gentleman of my advanced years… Hanh?… Well, yes. Thank you. Yes, I would like a ride home, Son of McGuillicutty. I would certainly like that very much.

 

(The slowly begins to exit. Lights begin to fade)

 

Oh, hey, listen, also for old times sake, do you think you might loan me a ten? 7 Up tastes like bee piss, but it ain’t free.

 

(Blackout)

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Full Text, Kanye West VMA Vanguard Acceptance Speech

Bro. Bro. Listen to the kids.

(Two minutes thunderous applause. Kanye nodding seriously)

First of all, thank you Taylor for being so gracious and awarding me this award from you. Thank you.

(One minute pause, Kanye looking down.)

And I often think back to the first day I met you, also, Taylor Swift. You know, I think about when I’m in the grocery story with my daughter and I have a really great conversation about fresh juice… not… I don’t say that to my daughter, I, like, say it to… some other person that’s there… you know…and at the end they say, “Oh, you know a lot about juice, you are… well versed… on juice, so I guess… you’re not as bad as I thought you were ever since that time you interrupted Taylor Swift !”

(One minute thunderous applause. Kanye nods, looks down, pooches out lower lip defiantly)

And like, I think about it sometimes. It crosses my mind when I go to a baseball game and 60,000 people boo me. Or a Basketball game. And people boo me. Or I’m stopped at a red light and the person in the next car is all booing me and shit. It crosses my mind a little bit that the booing is on account of that one time I got up on stage and stood in front of Taylor Swift while she was doing something or getting something. ‘Cause I cannot think of a single other thing I have ever done that would make people boo me. I mean, they don’t actually say “Kanye, I am booing you at this red light ‘cause of how mean you were that one time to Taylor Swift”, but what else, right? Why the hell else would anybody ever boo Kanye?

(One minute pause. Miley Cyrus sticks tongue out.)

And I think. If I had to do it all again, what would I had done? Would I had worn a leather shirt? Would I have drank a half of bottle of Hennessy and gave the rest of it to the audience? Y’all know you drank that bottle too. A small portion of you all in the audience taking a sip off my bottle is ethically identical to me being so drunk at an award show I didn’t know or care if I was supposed to be on stage or not. The fact that I’m the only one in the whole audience who did it is… what now? What’s that thing where one thing happens and another does after it, but the two got nothing in common? Consequence? A Conference? I don’t know. If I had a daughter at that time would I had went onstage and grabbed the mic from someone else’s? I mean, you know, I have a daughter now, right, but if like there was this time machine? And I got in it to the past, but my daughter went into the future and came back grown up? And she was getting’ an award and somebody… somebody got on stage an… an said, like, “Okay, but somebody besides you shoulda got it, ain’t your TIME MACHINE ENOUGH FOR YOU, KANYE’S DAUGHTER?”… I’da killed that son of a bitch. Talk to my daughter that way.

(One and a half minute pause. Kanye looks confused.)

LISTEN TO THE KIDS, BRO!

(Four minute thunderous applause, Kanye looking down. Kanye looks briefly to the side. Five minute pause)

Forgot what I was saying.

(Two minute pause)

You know this arena, tomorrow, it’s going to be a completely different setup. some concert, something like that. Or a hockey game. They can do that, turn a concert hall into a hockey rink, like… magic and shit. Anything… can change into… anything. But the stage will be gone! Unless it’s like… another concert. Then the stage would still be here. Maybe the seating might change… a little.

(One minute pause. Confused smatterings of applause.)

After that night, though, the night where I said some things when it was maybe Taylor Swifts turn to be… saying some… things…the stage was gone, but the effect that it had on people remained. The interrupting I did. Not the stage itself. Stage wouldn’t have had a lasting effect on… on people… that’d be weird.

(Twelve minutes silence. Kanye downcast, broody face)

The problem was the contradiction. The contradiction is, I do fight for artists. But in that fight I somehow was disrespectful to artists. I didn’t know how to say the right thing, the perfect thing. But one thing I am sure of is, it was time for me to say SOME thing. I have no doubt at all that it was totally appropriate for me to get up on stage at that moment and say stuff. Maybe not that stuff, but going up on stage right then, you know, I felt like I wanted to, I had the desire to, so I was supposed to, right? Maybe I got it wrong. On account of the half bottle of Hennesy, which you all split the rest of so don’t get all high and mighty on me and shit. I just… I sat at the Grammys and saw Justin Timberlake and Cee-Lo lose. Gnarls Barkley and the FutureLoveSex/Sexy Back album. And bro, Justin, not to put you on blast but I saw that man in tears, bro. You know? He lost and he cried. Right in public. And I was thinking like, he deserved to win Album of The Year! No one wants to see Justin Timberlake cry like a cub scout with a skinned knee! That’s some embarrassing shit, Justin! Give Justin the damn award so he won’t cry! I can’t look at a ex-Mouskteer cry! He was in the mouseketeers at one time… right? Did I get that wrong? Was that someone else?

(Seventeen minute pause. Miley Cyrus sticks out tongue, cups breasts, squeezes first right, then left several times.)

And this small box that we are, as the entertainers of the evening. How could you explain that? What does that even mean, ‘small box’? Why did I say those words just now? I don’t know. I don’t… know. I can say whatever, any words in any order at all and you all go nuts! I can go “Cow… dookey… band saw… military concussion… or something.” And it’s genius, ‘cause it’s coming out of my Mouth! KANYE’S MOUTH! …I’m like… the Hip Hop Sarah Palin or some shit.

(Thunderous applause. Nine minute pause.)

Sometimes I feel like all this shit they run about beef and all that? Sometimes I feel like I died for the artist’s opinion. You know, like Jesus? Like how he died for… something or other. He really died, but I feel like I metamorphically died, for being all mean to Taylor Swift that one time. So I’m pretty much the same as Jesus, except he didn’t sing and I DO! I died for the artist to be able to have an opinion after they were successful. An people boo me and shit ‘cause I had the temerity to not be all quiet and all “Oh, thank you thank you for making me famous, I’ll be good now, I won’t speak my mind!” Well I did, right in front of oh so pretty miss Taylor Swift and Ya’ll CRUCIFIED ME with your booing and shit! At Basketball games… and when I’m… talking… about juice… to people.

(Thunderous applause. Three minute pause. Kanye crouches and broods.)

I’m not no politician, bro! Listen to the kids! Hear that? Hear that yelling and hollering and clapping? It mean the KIDS are right, and anyone who isn’t hollering and clapping about me is WRONG! About ME! Wrong about that one time I did that thing while Taylor Swift was there. This is an APOLLOGY!… I think this is… I’m doing something… I’m doing something here. I know that.

(Nineteen minute Pause. Off and on applause.)

And look at that. You know how many times MTV ran that footage again? Of me standing in front of Taylor Swift that one time? Did anybody ever think maybe she was standing behind me? Everybody rerun Kanye’s ‘bad behavior’. Because it got them more ratings? You know how many times they announced Taylor Swift was going to give me the award because it got them more ratings? Why you think MTV got Taylor Swift to give me this award? For the IRONY?! I did one tiny little thing and MTV EXPLOITED IT! That’s UNBELIVEABLE! That’s some UNBELIEVABLE SHIT! That’s one thing I would NEVER do! Exploit something… for like, money… or attention… that’s some bad MTV shit! Kanye just wants to talk to people at the supermarket about Juice! Why you wanna get in the way of Kanye discussin’ juice with folks, MTV?

(Thirty second pause. Miley Cyrus stick tongue out, makes Popeye face. )

LISTEN TO THE KIDS, BRO!

(Seven minutes, seventeen seconds thunderous applause. Kanye looks down, turns his back, squats, stands up, cocks head, eventually turns around again.)

I still don’t understand awards shows. What is that? Like… on a TV… with people getting… nominated… and shit? For an… an award… for some thing. I think that’s what an award show is. I know it ain’t no sitcom. ‘Cause a sitcom got a laugh track. It’s kind of like… Entertainment Tonight? Right? But it’s… you know… happening. At the time…I guess that’s what an award show is. I don’t know, I still don’t get it.

(Two minute pause. Kanye touches parts of his head.)

I don’t understand how they get five people who worked their entire life, sold records, sold tickets, to come, stand on… the carpet and… and for the first time in their lives be judged on a chopping block and have the opportunity to be considered a loser. That don’t happen in art! People don’t judge art! If you do a concert, or, or… some other kind of… art… people don’t… You make a painting, nobody judge that painting!

(Thirty-five second pause)

I don’t understand it bro!

(Fifteen second pause, which seems like much longer, but is only fifteen seconds.)

LISTEN TO THE… Listen to the…

(Ten second super uncomfortable pause)

Listen…

(One minute thunderous applause. Kanye tilts head all the way back, opens mouth, works jaw around. Miley Cyrus sticks out tongue, makes several complicated hand motions indicating her genitals.)

I don’t understand when the biggest album or the biggest video… I still don’t…I feel conflicted bro! I just wanted people to like me more. Stop booing me sometimes. You have to like me, it’s not okay for you to not like me even if I do stuff you don’t like, that’s not what it’s about! You… people… are… REQUIRED to like me… all the time! Irregaardless!

(Thunderous applause have only just begun when Kanye interrupts.)

But fuck that, bro! 2015! That’s what the date is! I know that! It says so right on my WATCH! I will die for the art and for what I believe in. Like Jesus, in case you forgot! I know I told you you had to like me and I don’t want no booing and shit, but that don’t mean I ain’t TOTALLY ready to die for my art! Just… you know… not literally. And the art… ain’t always going to be… polite. See, I’m the art… you get that, right? So I don’t have to be… polite… and shit. So whatever the hell I did to Taylor Swift that one time was JUST FINE, OKAY?! Let it go. Kanye let that beef go. Long time ago. Kanye never even thinks about it. Don’t even know why we’re talking about that beef. YOU all gotta let it go. That’s who gotta let it go.

(One minute pause)

Y’all might be thinking right now, I wonder, did he smoke something before he came out here?” The answer is yes, I rolled up a lil somethin’! I knocked the edge off! Did I snort something? Why not? It’s a free country, right? Did Kanye put some of that airplane glue in a brown paper bag and stick his head in it before coming up here? What, is that against the law, now?… to do… that… Before… before… getting’ up in front of… cameras… and shit?

(Three minute pause, followed by sudden violent, thunderous standing ovation. Miley Cyrus pull stick-ems off breast, unrolls tongue and stamps on it repeatedly.)

I don’t know what’s going to happen tonight. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, bro. I don’t know… I don’t know anything… like… at all. Like if you ask me, “Kanye, how do you… like, mow a lawn, or shit… I would not know! And neither would you! Nobody knows anything! An’ I can tell you that ‘cause I’m the geniusest!

(One minute pause. Miley Cyrus is going to stick her tongue out, but Kanye points at her angrily and she freezes like a small animal a bigger animal is going to eat.)

But all I can say to my artists, my fellow artists. Just worry how you feel at the time, man. Just worry about how you feel. And don’t never—you know what I’m saying?—I’m confident.

(Thunderous applause, audience jumping up and down, many wetting themselves)

I believe in myself. We the millennials, bro. This is a new. This is a new mentality. We are not going to control our kids with brands. Kanye is not about brands! We’re not going to teach low self-esteem and hate to our kids. We’re going to teach our kids that they can be somethin’. We going to teach our kids that they can stand up for themselves. We going to teach our kids to believe in themselves. If my grandfather was here right now, I would be terrified, because that man has been dead for years!

(Seventeen minutes of applause so thunderous, several heads explode like in the movie ‘Scanners’. Miley Cyrus’ head explodes and her headless body stumbles comically around stage with a shop vac, milking laughs while she sucks up her head remains and then opens the shop vac, takes out the bag, places it on her head and a seven foot tall Trans activist on stilts wearing day glow tartan rushes from the wings and sticks googly eyes on the bag and Miley presents her with an oversized novelty check with the words ‘YA’LL BEEN APPROPRIATED, SUCKA!’ In the memo.)

I don’t know what I gonna lose after this. It no matter though, because it ain’t about me… Wait, I said that wrong, it’s totally about me, I’M ACCEPTING AN AWARD HERE, JUST BECAUSE KANYE BAGGED ON THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF ARTISTS WINNING THINGS, WHAT DID YOU THINK? Thought I was gonna… what… turn it down? Shit! Kanye is not… Marlon fuckin’ Brando! Marlin Brando… right… was Superman’s DAD! Kanye is YEEZUS! THAT beats the FUCK out of fuckin’ JOR-EL any God damn fuckin’ DAY!

(Three minute pause. Audience loosens ties, whipes sweat off collective brow, smokes, falls asleep, wakes up and shamefully walks home in the clothes it wore the night before because it doesn’t even have cab far and it sure as hell isn’t waking up whoever the hell it went home with to ask.)

It’s about ideas, bro. New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truth.
And yes. As you probably could’ve guessed by this moment. I have decided in 2020 to run for president.

(Thirty second Pause.)

‘Cause you people will believe in any old shit. Seriously.

[mic drop. Seventeen straight hours of thunderous applause as people beat their hands to hamburger like pulp until one by one they die from blood loss. Miley Cyrus sticks out tongue.)

The Best Summer of Your Life

Hey, hi, I am so glad you’re all finally here. In just three days the kids will be here, so I suggest you enjoy the beautiful peace and quiet while you can. If you came up in your own car up that’s great, good for your days off and really useful for mail runs into town, the occasional emergency room run or whatever, so make sure I have your registrations and licenses and keys so I can lock ’em up in the office safe where none of the kids or other staff can ‘borrow’ them. If you came up on the bus, I just wanna say I’m sorry about the bathroom, but you know, if you have them unlocked, the company charges me extra and I didn’t wanna add that on to, you know, the bus fee I deducted from your end of summer pay out. And Stewart, I saw you had your Mom drop you off here, and that’s… you know… whatever.

So to start, in all friendship, I wanna say welcome to Camp Silver Lake for the Arts, and the best summer of your entire life. I know John, Dylan, Stovepipe, Mister Waterfront himself over there, Old Lax Dave and some of the other lifers will tell you, none of you are ever gonna have a more rewarding job than summer camp counselor. I know I didn’t when I was a counselor and my Dad ran this place, and now that he’s kind of stepped back to enjoy his golden years and sort of passed the reins to me, it’s even more rewarding. So I guess when I said you would never have a more rewarding job, I was talking about you guys, not me. But that’s my job, not yours, and if you run into my Dad at any point and he says otherwise, just let me know, ’cause the Doctor says he’s not supposed to get out of bed or be around kids at all at this point, just for legal reasons.
So anyways, for the majority of you for whom this is your first summer here I need to go over some stuff, and for the rest of you, if you could just shut up so I can hear myself think. If you can’t, go now, because in all friendship I’ve heard every wise ass joke you’re gonna make during this talk and it’s not like they were funny the last six years. If guys your age still have to take seasonal work like this you should be glad as hell I give it to you, no offense.

First of all I gotta address the fact that a little birdy told me that Stovepipe may have said something to all of you who took the bus up to the effect that all of the kids here are Jews. Nothing could be further from the truth, not that if it was, that should be a problem for anybody, but in case you’re wondering if this is one of those religion camps that prepares you for life on a Kibbutz, it is not. There are plenty of other camps that do that and there is nothing wrong with them, but that is not the market we are in. I don’t even know the Jew count, and I shouldn’t because it’s none of my business. My guess, though, is that easily a fifth of these kids are gentiles. God knows the Abezi kids are not Jews, which goes to show that a camp might feature a pork free menu for any number of reasons. Look, the point is, you open an arts camp in upstate New York, what the hell do you think it’s gonna fill up with? No offense to Stovepipe who is an excellent chef and can make six pounds of ground meat serve a hundred and forty eight kids and staff, but, and I think Dylan and Dave will back me up on this, his sense of humor is a little different on account of the plate in his skull, so you don’t have to listen to every word he says about the kids. We all love you, Stovepipe. You’re a camp legend. Sit down.

As it happens, I myself am a Jew. Just don’t nose that around on your days off ’cause it’s never really come up in town and we’re way the hell out in the middle of nowhere. Winter lasts a very long time up here, they get like three hours of daylight and do nothing but drink, go to church, snowmobile on the lake and share unpleasant theories around the wood stove. Which leads to another point, contrary to what you may hear in town this is not a summer program for mentally disturbed kids. It’s a summer camp for the arts for the non-sporty kid. And that means, yes, there are a fair number of kids here who could be described as mentally disturbed if you want to be cruel. There’s a lotta fat kids here, too and this isn’t a fat camp. Jesus, more than half these kids have inhalers, does that make this an Asthma camp? It does not. Also, this is not a make out camp. These kids are sophisticated, many from broken homes, what I’m saying is you put ’em out in the country for eight weeks, no TV, no internet, no cell phone, you take your eyes of them for six seconds they’re doing stuff a rabbit would be ashamed to be caught doing. You see any of that, you turn a hose on ’em. One little pregnancy can put a camp out of business. You think I’m kidding? There were more pregnancies in the summer camp industry last year than water skiing accidents, and there were a lot of water skiing accidents. I’m looking at you, Dave, on both counts.

Okay, so what have I covered? Not a Jew camp, not a disturbed kids camp, not a fat camp, not a make out camp… Oh! Right! I want to stress, and this is not just my rules, it is state and federal law, you absolutely cannot under any circumstances smack any of these kids around. You cannot lay so much as a finger on them. And if you don’t think there are going to be times you want to more than you have ever wanted anything in your life, than you have never had to share room with more than a dozen seven to fifteen year old mentally disturbed fat kids. Ironically, while it is against the rules, it is not against the law for them to hit you. You think asthmatic Jewish kids don’t hit? I’m here to tell you they do, very hard, often from behind, frequently in the dark. Also sometimes biting. The Abezi kids I happen to know for a fact in their own country have more than once killed servants, and here they have diplomatic immunity. If I have learned one thing in this business it is that you can be friendly with the kids, but you cannot be their friends. The same goes for me and you all, no offense, that’s just the way it is, something I have learned from bitter experience. Ask Dave. I practically grew up with the guy. We went here as kids. Did that stop him from driving my ski boat up on the lawn during parents weekend last summer? It did not. Why is he here again this summer? Because it’s good for my bottom line to have guys who’ll work for room and board, which some people have to take and like on account of regular work being so hard to come by for ex convicts and other camp owners not being eager to hire on middle aged alcoholics as waterfront directors. You wanna make friends this summer? I’ll letcha do dump runs, the place is full of garbage eating bears who are at least up front about the fact that they are animals and would much rather paw through old tires, broken bottles and diapers looking for rotting leftovers than do an honest god damn days work. Did I say anything about gay kids yet? Officially we don’t have any, as officially that’s not something kids know about themselves one way or another at this age, which is officially bullshit. What I am saying is, this is a summer camp that advertises its theater program. Stage Door Manner maybe has more gay kids than us. I bring this up not out of any prejudice, but because one of the first major events of the summer is the Fourth of July parade through town, which can be a lot of fun, but as counselors I need you to be on top of what some of your more sophisticated New York kids who choose a camp that advertises it’s theater program think is normal in terms of parade behavior and remind you again about the very long winter the local population go through, several of whom have less than a fourth grade education and I have seen with my own eyes buying their lunch at the bait and tackle shop. All I mean is, a word to the wise, in all friendship, it is just in your best interest to make sure these kids keep it under their hats.

So, what else? You get one period off a day, one day off a week, no days off the first and last week and the week of parents weekend. Head Counselor Ira Goldblatt will come up with a schedule and one week from now each and every one of you will come to him asking for your period and day off to be changed so you can have the same ones as whoever you have shacked up with by then. I’ll tell you now, forget it, because A, it takes everything Ira has in the brains department to do this even once, and B, by the time your first day off comes around you’ll be well into an inevitable round robin of sleep deprived sexual partnering that a few years from now you’ll look back on with either nostalgia or deep shame depending on the kind of person you turn out to be, which is as good a time as any to tell you that Stovepipe has genital herpes. Sorry, Stovepipe, but my lawyer made me absolutely promise to say that the first opportunity I got. Sit down.

Okay, with that I wanna say check yourself religiously for ticks, and if you are sleeping in Boys bunks two or three or any of the girls bunks do not under any circumstances use the plumbing until I get someone in there, which I sincerely hope is sometime tomorrow, but again, we are just about in the middle of nowhere. Meeting adjourned