My Commencement Speech to the Inwood, Indiana, Home-Schooled Class of 2016


Dear Inwood, Indiana, Home-Schooled Class of 2016:

Today you come out into the world as graduates, leaving behind the musty corridors full of old newspapers and windows covered in aluminum foil, the malformed lot of you squinting into the sun like the dreaded molemen of old. Fear not, for soon you will be moving right back into your parents’ basements.  The woogie has met the boogie, my friends. Although the hellscape of Chicago beckons many of you, most of you will settle into a sedentary life of obesity and ass sores. I’m afraid you will remain under-employed unto death, where the healthcare industry will harvest your organs and the oil industry will boil the rest of you down for use in the internal combustion engines of our clogged interstates.

Still, there may be some hope. “Inwood, We Trust!” goes the cheer, and many take comfort in the town’s slogan “Why go to Plymouth When You Could Die Here?” Perhaps, fellas, a nearby junior college will allow you to gain valuable knowledge of woodworking. This will come in useful as you sit on the porch, drunkenly yelling at the giant feral cats silently stalking you from out in the weeds, desperately whittling a spear to fend off their impending pounces. Being outside in the fresh air will do you good, although that is where most of the drownings take place. It is accurate to say that free and perpetual pornography may be the best gift and closest thing to female companionship you ever get.

Ladies, stay away from I-80 and the smiling men driving cargo vans at all costs. Smell the daisies, but keep a .38 tucked in your boot. There are industrious men in Inwood, but most of them are either dentists or in the meth business, a symbiotic relationship to be sure. To paraphrase Margaret Mead, never doubt that a small group of crazy-ass white guys can change the world, indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

In short, your future lies before you, one that could be idyllic and peaceful here in dear old Inwood. Some say go to college, where you would hunker slack-jawed with your ear buds blasting gibberish, your crusted fingers maniacally texting about the perverse mating habits of your peers. Some say get a job, but all the best ATMs have already been robbed, and your poor grammar and spelling skills from Hom Skool have left your ransom notes a jumbled, illegible mess.

Ah, but what about hope? Well, perhaps you will marry rich. Perhaps I have been too hard on you and your chances out here on the open ground. Now is the time to dress in formal clothes and dance awkwardly, to make promises you will not keep, to play air guitars. Look around, this could work. Here in Inwood there are some trees without blight, some roads without potholes, and some sidewalks without cracks. Our housing stock is pretty good, and our lawns are mostly kept up. It is quiet most nights, and the sporadic gunfire is nearly all innocent plinking. You may have a future here. You could possibly raise a family.

I’ll probably see you at the bar, home-schooled class of 2016. All seven of you. Your future stretches out from the minute I buy the first round, and maybe the second and the third. You have choices to make. I have something I’ll want to show you out back. Be a good ancestor now.