Everyone should have an Oscar speech prepared and ready, just in case. You never know when you might need it. It doesn’t matter if you’re not in the film industry — there are other awards out there you can win. It’s your job to win them. You can bring your own red carpet.
I’ve had my Oscar speech ready for years. Never mind that I can’t act and, in fact, hate it when people so much as look at me. Who cares that I’m two years behind everyone else when it comes to watching the latest movies because someone keeps inserting Leprechaun in the Hood in front of my picks in the Netflix queue. Yeah, I wrote a screenplay. Big deal. Who hasn’t?
But, little did I know that my opportunity to break out my Oscar speech passed me by fairly recently. It happened at culinary school. At the graduation ceremony, they gave out a very special “Blossom Award” (no joke, that’s what it was called) to someone who showed exceptional progress over the course of the year. In my case, it was the realization that cooking is not, in fact, magic as I had previously thought.
The Blossom Award, though cute when you’re in second grade, isn’t so much when you’re 30. Anyway, I won, and by running up, grabbing my award without so much as a handshake, and then running back to my chair to hide, I squandered what may have been my only opportunity to bask in the glory of a major award.
Here’s what I should have done:
I should have worn my Oscar dress. I bought it on eBay. It has lots of sequins.
When I inevitably tripped on the heels of my Payless flats, I would say something about how I do my own stunts. After a few seconds of awkward silence, during which I survey the 40 or so pairs of eyes looking in my direction, I would mutter something incomprehensible, and then put a shout out to my public school teachers. All of them, by name, because they never get their due. People like:
Ms. Cottrell, kindergarten, Mattaponi Elementary School
Ms. Trafiro, 1st grade, Mattaponi Elementary School
Ms. Johnson, 2nd grade, Mattaponi Elementary School
Mrs. Miller, 3rd grade, Mattaponi Elementary School
Mr. Cameron, music, Mattaponi Elementary School
Mrs. Morrissey, 4th grade, Fulton School
Mr. Fay, 5th grade, Fulton School
Mrs. McElligott, 6th grade, Fulton School
Mrs. Day, Spanish, South Braintree Middle School
Mrs. Sollugub, art, South Braintree Middle School
Ms. Skill, algebra and trigonometry, Braintree High School
Ms. Driscoll, Spanish, Braintree High School
Ms. Cosgrove, English, Braintree High School
Mrs. Cunningham, English, Braintree High School
Ms. Devaney, English, Braintree High School
I would talk about how I hated Ms. Devaney because she gave me the C that I deserved. And I was so mad about it that I totally applied myself and worked hard ever since. What a bitch. I sure showed her.
Then I’d thank pancakes for improving my life. And tequila. Ditto for bourbon. Of course, I’d thank my family because they’re sitting two feet in front of me in the audience. I mean, to forget them, how rude would that be?
I’ll tell you who I wouldn’t thank. I wouldn’t thank the producers, directors, and fellow cast members at my culinary school. Because I can tell them in person over Champagne and caviar at the after-party. Or with a hand-written note that they can cherish forever. They like it much better than way. And if they don’t, then they have their millions to help ease the sting. Okay, hundreds?
Then I’d somehow finish with one second left on the clock just to get the conductor guy off his high horse (even though, let’s face it, thank goodness for the conductor guy). Of course, I’d trip again on the way back to my seat. From there, I’d just sit back and let the vicious assault on my outfit unfold.