Thank you, thank you for the applause ladies and gentlemen.  I’ve been asked to deliver a few words on behalf of somebody who graduated four years ago.  Your gracious high school thought that I might have some important lessons to share with you on your special day.

I had to think about it for awhile.  What important pieces of information did I want to tell you folks?  How important am I?  What have I learned in the few years since leaving high school? 

Firstly, you’re all fucked.  That’s right, class of 2008, all is lost.  Now that may sound harsh and, as I can see by your gasping parents and snickering brothers and sisters, it may be a bit vulgar.  But god damn if it isn’t true.  You are all horribly, terribly screwed.

Is this your fault?  In short, yes.  Hey hey, let me finish.  You see, you’re all wasting your lives away.  You’re all lazy, annoying, have bad tastes in fashion, in music, in movies.  I mean, honestly, you bought an album by a man named Flo Rida.  Flo Rida?  His name is a pun, you guys!  You made a pun a multi-platinum artist.  And Meet The SpartansStep Up 2 The StreetsThat is where you take your dates on Friday nights?

But it’s not just your taste in culture.  It’s your desire to be so old.  You all got cell phones at the age of what, thirteen?  Why the urgent need for cell phones?  What, your stock trader couldn’t call you at home? All you do with those things is load them with blaring ringtones, stick them in your back pockets and use them in movie theatres.  They’re pointless.  And, in essence, so are you.

Oh, and you’re all loud.  Loud and obnoxious.  I see you at the mall, walking in your packs.  And I’ve heard your conversations, if you can call them that.  They mostly consist of:

“Amanda!  Hey, Amaaaaaaaaanda!  Amanda, over here!  Down by the escaltors!  Hey…hey!  Why didn’t ya pick up your cell phone?  Where’s Joey at?  Tell Joey and Bryce that we’re going to Johnny Rockets!  Just call me on my cell when you’re there.”

I’m paraphrasing but the idea gets across.  Basically, you have nothing to say and you say it loudly.  So shut up. 

You’re the fattest class, the laziest class, the whiniest class.  And you smoke!  So many of your smoke!  I see you sitting outside Taco Bell, puffing away as your buddies share iPod earbuds.  When asked why you smoke at such a young age, you always say “It calms me down, de-stresses me.”

De-stresses you?  What are you stressed out about?  I mean, you don’t have that long to wait until the next Fall Out Boy album!

Stop smoking.  You look like idiots.

Of course, I say all of this out of love.  I know that my class was full of a bunch of ne’er-do-wells.  We were obnoxious, loud and mostly useless as well.  But, luckily for us, we had a president that put us to work and now we are toiling away in the deserts of Iraq.  That puts hair on your chest!  Thanks, Mr. President!  Unfortunately for you, a new president will be sworn in soon and it looks like employment will be hard to come by.  And the economy sucks, too.  My class got hired by Burger King right after we graduated.  We were thinking ahead, see.  Most of us will be managers by summer.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this class of boring, generic children will have a tough go for the next couple of years.  But, in their favor, there is some talent.  Some of them will go on to be actors, to be reality stars, to be sports figures.   One of you may be Tila Tequila’s next boyfriend — or girlfriend!  One of you may win the lottery, or make the front page of the newspaper for some unprecedented law suit.  They’re a lot of companies just waiting to accidentally poison you.  So get out there, make us proud.

As for me, I’ll stick to what I know.  I’ve got quite the life set up for me.  My girlfriend is pregnant with our third child.  Our other two, Tiffany Ann and Skylar Lee, are starting second grade soon.  I remember how proud I felt when I was sitting where you are now, wearing my graduation robe, looking at my two children as my girl sat in the stands.  It was truly a great day. 

My boss is thinking of promoting me.  He says I have potential to, after only three years, work the register soon.  Let me set something straight: unlike popular thought, Arby’s is just as fine a business as any.  My boss sees my potential.  He believes in me. 

And people say father-in-law’s are assholes. 

I’d like to thank my family, my friends, my teachers, my peers, my girlfriend, my baby mama, my children, my leaders, my government, my tax stimulus check, my welfare office, my unemployment officials, my case workers, my…community.  I couldn’t be here without you.  And, through it all, I aim to make you proud. 

I’d also like to thank my brother, who let me use the same speech he gave my class four years ago.

Dream the big dreams, 2008!  Dream them as big as you can!