Sunday, April 11, 2010

Guest Speakers

In grade school, there were often guest speakers.

I can't remember the purpose of most of these guest speakers, but I do remember one thing. They were all hard of hearing.

They would come to the front of the gym, multi-purpose room, classroom, or random gathering place and they would enthusiastically yell, "good morning!"

Yes, it was usually morning when these chipper personalities came to visit.

The assemblage of students would respond with their own scattered mumbling of "good morning."

The perky personality at the front would then come back with a statement that usually went like this, "I can't heeeeaaar you, I SAID goood morning!"

I felt it was reasonable for the personality to conclude that most of the gathered children had responded with a counter-greeting and had not said something random like "these chairs are super-hard" or "why are we heeerre?"

Perhaps the person at the front was not quite bright enough to figure out that most people respond to a greeting with an equivalent greeting. The only conclusion for me was that the speaker was a bit dull and had not been able to make out what we had said.

Now, to me, it was understandable that they might have not heard us the first time. After all, most of the students had not responded and those who had responded had not responded with anything resembling synchronization. So I, like the others, would always give them the benefit of the doubt and respond with a resounding "good morning!" This one was always delivered in a form that was clear and audible to everyone in the entire building.


Now you can hear us, alright?

Nope. The speaker would stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that the verve and volume of our greeting was good enough.

"I caaaan't heeeear you!" the speaker would bellow cheerfully, "I said goood moooorning!"

Said, it should be noted, was always pronounced with two syllables.

At this point, I would stop responding. Not only had we delivered the speaker a resounding good morning, but it had been far superior in both volume and clarity to the greeting the personality had now rendered unto us three times.

My fellow students never seemed to feel the same way and would scream another greeting at the top of their lungs. This deafening greeting was far less polished and clear than the previous one, but it made up for that with a volume that shook the foundations of nearby buildings.

"That's better," the personality would say, with a self-satisfied smile that said wow, I really got these kids' attention in an amusing and entertaining way.

Probably not, if this is the only part of your speech that I can remember.

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