Tales of Ordinary Greatness

By:

Greetings, everyone! Graduates, family members, friends, staff…Welcome to the commencement exercises for the third midwinter session of Briquedor University. As founder, dean, bursar and faculty of this cybertech-based institution of higher osmotic education, I am very happy to see so many of our graduates turn out today to receive their hard-earned degrees for life experience and inadvertent independent study. But before I present you with your luxury laminate-bound diplomas we have a special, and I dare say moving, ceremony to perform. This sub-semester Briquedor is proud to be awarding honorary degrees to two people who exemplify the very spirit of life achievement.

First, would Debbie Wilson please step forward?

Debbie, you are here today to receive your PhD, a Doctorate for being Pretty and Hot.

For those of you who don’t know Debbie I’d just like to say a few words about the many, many endeavors she has undertaken to qualify for this degree.

As a newborn, Debbie was cute. Almost all babies are cute, but she was really, really cute. People fawned over her for this reason and she learned, before she could talk and at a deeply-entrenched subconscious level, that she was somehow different from the rest of humanity and therefore deserved special treatment. As she grew up, the people around her reinforced this impression, and she never lacked for attention, play dates, invitations to parties, etc.

In early adolescence she developed medium-large breasts, which of course only consolidated her already widespread popularity among her classmates. Although she never excelled in standard academic subjects, Debbie proved to be a near-genius, according to Edison’s definition, in the exacting science of personal appearance enhancement, trying on literally thousands of outfits, pairs of shoes and accessories, conducting experiments in makeup and hair coloring, and devoting the bulk of her spare time to fine-tuning the results of her research with the help of an array of various sized mirrors.

After graduating from high school without distinction, Debbie carefully considered her options and logically decided not to pursue any further mainstream academic or professional goals, deeming that her accomplishments in pulchritude were fulfillment enough and a sufficient contribution to society. While working as a hand model, and later as a hand and wrist model, she steadfastly dedicated herself to investigating a complex and challenging branch of parasociology, namely dating older, wealthier men and convincing them to pay her bills and buy her expensive gifts, a discipline that she has continued to pursue to this day, with three brief sabbaticals to engage in special immersion studies in the intricacies of married life.

Through diligent theoretical work and hands-on (lips-on, legs-on, etc.) “lab” experience, Debbie has developed an original, elaborate system of date management, constantly monitoring and updating a massive rotating database of potential suitors. It’s an impressive methodology that she began refining in her early teen years, and it has proven so effective that since the age of thirteen and a half she has never once been without a boyfriend for more than a matter of hours. Or at least it seemed like hours.

A tireless campaigner for the rights and privileges of people like herself, especially herself, Debbie has incessantly strived to push the envelope of entitlement for the congenitally attractive. Her work in this sphere is vast indeed, but I will cite just a few examples. During her school years she rarely contributed to classroom discussions — other than whining the question that became her nickname in the teachers’ lounge: “Why do I have to learn this?” — but when she did participate it was invariably in an attempt to evade mental exertion or somehow make things easier for herself. For instance, in a discussion of lightning in eighth grade science class, when informed that the speed of light was much greater than the speed of sound, Debbie commented, not seeing any reason why she should be expected to memorize two complicated numbers, “They should be the same.”

Later, after earning her driver’s license, she became known throughout the quad-county area for her pioneering fieldwork in traffic ticket circumvention. Debbie has been stopped for speeding, reckless driving and other traffic violations a total of 314 times and has only ever received three tickets, having charmed and flirted her way out of all 311 others. And she’s pretty sure one of those cops was gay. Her unique ability to rapidly and surreptitiously undo blouse buttons, initially developed as what sexologists call a “phallic vexation” technique, has also proven very useful in this domain.

But of course her greatest achievement, and the reason she stands before you here, is being born beautiful. Day after day, month after month, Debbie continues doggedly to look good, and sometimes even great, according to many observers. Especially that guy at the supermarket meat counter who’s been hitting on her every chance he gets for the past seventeen years even though she cuts him dead every time. But keep trying, Buddy! She loves the attention!

So it is with great pride that I present to you, Debbie Wilson, your honorary PhD. Let’s give her a hand…

Now we come to a man who is widely known for his attainments in the field of physical dominance. Would Joe Miller please come up to the podium? Joe, it is my pleasure to bestow upon you an honorary MBA for being Muscular, Big and Aggressive.

As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, Joe is a large, although not particularly fat, man. He has big arms, big hands, big legs, a thick neck and a big voice. He weighed more than ten pounds at birth and was always the biggest pupil in his class at school. At a very early age, Joe learned to use his natural gift to promote his own interests and win others over to his way of thinking. His early efforts involved forcibly seizing cookies, red crayons (he likes red) and other coveted items from classmates. And some non-coveted items just to hone his craft. Then in junior high and high school he devised a number of imaginative ways to use the threat, if not the fact, of violence to secure his preferred seats in the cafeteria and on school buses, to bolster his personal finances and even to improve his test scores.

Upon reaching adulthood, Joe found himself with no particular skills or interests and so launched himself in business sectors in which his undeniable asset could be put to profitable use. He has explored a variety of parallel career paths, juggling professional responsibilities in roadwork, construction, house painting and seasonal farm labor.

Joe works hard, and when he’s not working he quite naturally likes to unwind. Evenings and weekends he can usually be found at a local watering hole, WTFI Thursday’s, where a stool at the corner of the bar is unofficially reserved for him, by him, every night. There he enjoys regaling his friend and acquaintances with reminders of how incredibly powerful he is, or was, including tales of his many past encounters, spats, disputes, arguments, shouting matches, shoving matches, fights, fracases and brawls. Being large, he logically sees no reason to avoid confrontation, negotiate any issue or even listen to any other viewpoint, and he proudly wears the scars resulting from the rare occasions when he has chanced upon someone as brawny and intransigent as himself. He also entertains and from time to time amazes his fellow bar patrons with feats of strength and courage like opening bottles with his teeth, picking up smaller waitresses or holding an entire tray of freshly-filled beer pitchers at arm’s length, with a success rate nearing twenty-eight percent.

As Joe will gladly remind you, he can still “beat crap” out of anyone in town and never “takes crap” from anyone. But his most outstanding accomplishment, and the reason we are honoring him today, is being born big. So Joe, here’s your richly-merited MBA. Congratulations!

Unfortunately our other special guests could not be here this afternoon. Briquedor University is also awarding honorary doctorates to Paris Hilton for being born wealthy and Peter Fonda for being born famous. But since they were unable to attend, we will now proceed with the presentation of our other life experience diplomas. When I call your name, please come up to… No, wait — just stand up and I’ll toss it to you. And hey, let’s try to move this right along — I have an important, ah, private conference afterwards with one of our doctoral grads.

Al L. Soran, for a bachelor’s in digital gaming…

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