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Jay - You Need To Get A Life

A speech by Jay Nodine
October 1, 2008

Winner, Toastmasters District 37 (North Carolina) Humorous Contest, 2008. This speech was special because Jay's uses exaggerated absurdity to talk of simple things surrounding him which he deftly threads together with the title phrase, "Jay - You need to get a life." Enjoy his humorship...

For several years I wore a neck brace -
I didn't have an injury or anything -
I just got tired of holding my head up.

Madam Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters and guests.
People would look at me and say
Jay - you need to get a life.

Why? -
The way I look at it
Mediocrity is over-achievement.

As a child
I watched other kids waste a lot of energy
As they ran and jumped with their pet dog.
That's when I decided my pet would be a snail.
They were plentiful -
And as far as I could tell -
You didn't have to feed them.
All the kids laughed
And made fun of me
Often saying
Jay - you need to get a life.

I was completely happy with my pet snail.
I named him Speedy.
When he would hide from me
I didn't have to look very hard
He would always leave me a trail.

Sometimes -
When we went for walks -
He would get too far ahead of me,
So I put him on a leash.
One day I lost Speedy in a tragic accident.
He crossed over some salt
That mom had spilled on the floor.
What a mess to clean up.
That's when I decided
The ultimate pet would be a rock.
A rock was less effort than the snail.
Again, I heard people say.
Jay - you need to get a life.

I was perfectly content having a rock as a pet.
I had easily trained him to sit and stay.
I wanted to teach him to roll over so he would gather no moss.
While I was working on the training manual
My cousin Gary - in California -
Began to market my pet rock.
The success of the pet rock was short lived.
Because without a proper training manual
The pet rock was very limited to what it could do.

I lost interest with my pet rock after I got married.
My wife Willie said
If it was to stay in the house,
It would require dusting every day or so.
That became more work than I wanted to do.
Telling my neighbors it died
I gave it a proper burial -
Ironically with a head stone.
I know, I know -
I probably needed to get a life.

Believe me -
I tried to get a life once -
The life of Riley.
Then this nation invented self-service.
At the grocery store, self-service cash registers
At the gas station, self-service pumps.
Even here tonight, self-service food bars.
It occurred to me
I'm paying big bucks to wait on myself.

Yesterday, I stopped at a coffee shop -
The "in fashion" of today's landscape.
I walked up to the counter and told the lady -
Who was reading a magazine -
I would like a cup of coffee.
She pointed toward the side wall
Where several thermos jugs sat
With those little pumps on top
And told me to help myself.
I got my coffee
Walked back up to the counter.
Barely looking up from her magazine
She rang up the cost.
I pulled my debit card through the slot
Entered my pin number
Ripped off my receipt.
Just as I was about to leave
I saw this jar that read Tips -
So I took two dollars.

I feel that getting a life can be over rated -
There is no guarantee of success.
Can we be absolutely certain
That we are using 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Is there some guarantee
That a couple of those olives didn't go astray????

Say we reach that certain plateau of success
Is there any guarantee we will be happy?
I figure - why set myself up for disappointment?

I have come to realize
That there are too many people in this world
That want to be first.
Not me -
I want to be next.
The greatest feeling in the world is when you are next.
For instance, lines at banks or airports
Where you weave in and out
And finally - you're next.
Everyone knows who you are
Because when the clerk asks, Who's next? -
Everyone points to you.
Sometimes I even let the person behind me go ahead -
So I can be next.

Yeah - I know -
Jay - you need to get a life.

701 words

Copyright (c) Willie Nodine. Reprinted with permission. All Rights Reserved.

Comment: Jay Nodine, DTM, was a member of the Goldmine Club in NC (District 37) for decades and served as a Board member of Toastmasters International before passing in 2011. Jay, always warm and funny, won D37's Humorous Speech Contest in four consecutive years - a record. This was one of those speeches.

Copyright © 2008 - 2022 Jay Nodine
Copyright © 2022 Brian Woolf