Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Key Note Speech Delivered At The Opening Ceremony Of The Unreliable Narrator's Convention

Las Vegas - November 2004

Good evening friends. Well, what can I tell you? The
film star decided she would test the doctor's
hypothesis. She would move to Holland and over the
course of one year undergo a plastic surgery procedure
which would render her unrecognizable to even her
closest family and friends. Then, after perfecting
the manipulation of her voice and mannerisms, she
would move back to Hollywood and try to become
successful again. Was it just her looks which
propelled her to fame? She had to know.

She intended to keep her plans secret but a few
people in the 'biz' had found out. There were rumors
at cocktail parties. True rumors. During casting
calls producers would give each other the crooked
eyebrow while some female nobody blew through her
lines, wondering, "Is this her? Is this the new her?"
Soon the secret spread like an amusingly altered
picture of a celebrity on the internet and unknown
actresses were claiming to be the made-over starlet
left and right. Many a teary-eyed audition would end
with a pathetic cry of, "You have to give me the part!
I'm ____ ____!" At least three off-Broadway plays in
New York, all running at the same time, purported to
have the metamorphosed starlet playing the lead that
fall. There were lawsuits, contests, and special
edition magazines all unveiled in honor of the
mystery. And yet no one could prove they were her;
either she didn't want to reveal herself or had lost
the means to.

Who was this famous star of the silver screen? Who
was she then and who was she now? Well, maybe I can
explain it if you would all stop yelling at me. Look
here gentlemen, her father was a man who thumped his
bible all the way up the corporate ladder and stared
out at a large city each morning with a splash of Clorox
in a coffee mug mumbling to himself, "Do it Jones. Go on
and break even." Her mother broke in new dogs down at the
tri-county race track with her unique blend of barking
and humming at frequencies only the dogs could hear.
She wore oven mitts instead of winter gloves out in
the cold and it made the neighbors talk. Talk in
tongues that is. Their other children, two younger
sons, spelled most words wrong and had overbites that
made orthodonists flinch.

Did I tell you that the press tracked down the plastic
surgeon from Holland but he and his office had been
wiped off the map after a mysterious bomb went off in
September? You would think I'd want to mention that
as soon as possible, but no. The question
still remains, "who was she and who is she now?" A
close friend calls into a late night conspiracy radio
show in October and talks in whispers about a woman
she spotted at Zales with ____'s eyes. "She wouldn't even
be cast as the ugly lady in a movie," the close friend
confided, "she was uglier than Hollywood ugly. I was
so grossed out I went right to bed afterwards." A
nation shudders and leans in closer.

A randomly chosen line from the last blockbuster film
from the pre-surgery starlet: "I dreamt I kissed you and my
tongue grew long like a snake and travelled through
your inards until it came out your ass." The
starlet's favorite childhood book: "The Wish, The
Dream, & The Carpenter's Team." I wouldn't be lying
if I told you she waits tables at a diner now. I
could tell you that a regular customer of hers just
yesterday exclaimed, "Hey Ruth if what happened last
night between us was a date then, baby, everybody down
at the dump owes me ten dollars!" I could tell you
that but I'm not sure I should. You have to go there
to see it. You have to hear it to believe it. She
never made it back and she never bothered to sew up
the mystery. She left all her family and friends just
about to sneeze, you could say, but never quite being
able to. Perpetually about to sneeze symbolizing never
learning the fate of a loved one. Pretty awesome
metaphor, am I right fellas? Please stop yelling.
There's a movie about it due out in the fall. About
the starlet, and the surgery, and the mystery. All the
best movies come out in the fall.
Everyone knows that.

And if you're looking for confirmation on all these facts
look no further. I've taken rides with her, I've helped
her out of jams. There's no doubt about it. I know the
starlet and the mystery and the reasons we gather and
listen to stories like we do. We're cursed up and down
the continent and there's nothing we can do about it.

Thank you for coming.


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