Monday 26 Sep 2016

The Campaign Speech
David Simmonds

The internet is a wonderful thing. You can find practically anything you want, unless it's safe, simple and legal. And lo and behold, just in time for the final furlongs of the American presidential primary horserace, this author has come across the 'American political speech master template'.

Here are some excerpts from the Winner's Acceptance Speech. The author's commentary appears in brackets. Also, in italics at various places are thoughts that likely occur to the speechmaker. The speechmaker is advised not to articulate them.

"WELL, HELLO NEBRASKA"
(Or Wyoming, or Connecticut. Hint: take as slip of notepaper or room service menu from your hotel room to remind you where you are).

"I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT THE PEOPLE OF NEBRASKA WERE AS SMART AS LOBSTERS"
(This is an example of a slip up: use a regionally appropriate reference: "as smart as cornstalks" would work better).
I could have paid off the mortgage on every family farm in this goddam state with all the money you people made me spend to get through your thick heads.

"AND TONIGHT THEY'VE SHOWN JUST WHAT THEY'RE MADE OF"
Love the ambiguity in that line.

'BUT FIRST OF ALL I'D LIKE TO THANK ALL THE VOLUNTEERS WHO WORKED SO HARD ON MY CAMPAIGN, GOING DOOR TO DOOR AND SENDING OUR MESSAGE TO THE FOLKS WHO COUNTED"
And they'll all be sitting round the coffee shops again spitting hayseeds when the campaign's over. This is probably the biggest thing that ever happened to them.

"AND OF COURSE I OWE IT ALL TO MINDY"
Cold sweat: it is Mindy, isn't it?
(Best not to say 'my wife Mindy', just in case you are in relationship transition).
(At this point, audience breaks out into cheers of "MINDY, MINDY, MINDY": you embrace Mindy, then look for a nearby child to hoist. Not recommended for children under 2 or over 14).

"I'D LIKE TO THANK MY OPPONENTS FOR RUNNING A CLEAN, HARD CAMPAIGN"
(Shows magnanimity and nobility of purpose)
Suckers: thank goodness they didn't run a campaign like mine.

"
WHEN I CALLED PRESIDENT MOMBARITOBYBNUTS THIS MORNING TO DISCUSS THE ONGOING CRISIS..."
(Pick any obscure African nation. Nobody says you actually talked to him. Shows you are a statesman like president in waiting with a firm grasp of world issues)

"...AND AS I WILL TELL WOLF BLITZER WHEN I APPEAR ON CNN TONIGHT..."
(Shows the audience you are a hot commodity)
I can't wait to smile condescendingly at that self important little twerp

"...I WANT TO GIVE AMERICA A KNOCKOUT PUNCH"
(Repeat the campaign theme, which should be on posters festooning the room, together
with website reference)
I'm so sick of that line. How many of these stupid primaries are left?

"
SO IT'S ON TO IDAHO, WHILE WE BUILD MOMENTUM THAT IS GOING TO TAKE US OVER THE TOP"
( Elevate both arms in classic Nixon/Churchill gesture. Cue confetti and inspirational rock music. Move slowly out of room. Before leaving stage, pick a person at random and stop to point at them with a look of delighted recognition. Imagine yourself in a state of controlled ecstasy).


I'll even drive the chuck wagon, just get me out of Nebraska tonight.

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Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Mike Barnacle, Jimmy Breslin, the late Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.

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