Alternative Commencement Address

It is a good day to graduate.

And there you see: the lights, the tents, the scaffolding, all set up for what I’m sure will be a wonderful commencement ceremony.

But on the other side of the tracks, here’s me. I’ve prepared an alternative commencement address, that if you don’t mind, I’d like to share with you. Use your imagination, and pretend I’m on the stage delivering the commencement address.

Thank you. Graduates, congratulations. Today you have achieved something great. God has blessed you with amazing talents. Talents that you have demonstrated just by being accepted to this prestigious college. And it’s through your hard work and dedication that today, you are presented with a piece of paper.

The Bible says to get wisdom, though it cost you all that you have. Some of you are saying, “Jimmy, that’s what we did. We spent all that we had.” No, you guys got student loans. You spent money you didn’t have to get your college education.

The Bible says that Wisdom cries aloud in the streets, Wisdom cries aloud at the crossroads, and at the gates to the city. The Bible doesn’t say that Wisdom is in the ivy-lined, red-brick buildings of your college.

That piece of paper you got, your diploma, it sets you apart. It shows just how smart you are. But are you graduates wise enough to understand that that piece of paper does not automatically grant you success or happiness? No, there are four points of wisdom that DO guarantee success and happiness. And I’m going to share them with you.

Get a job.

[Now at this point, I would wait from all the laughter from the parents to die down.]

I know what some of you are saying. You’re saying, “Jimmy, I’m looking for a job, but I just can’t find one in my field.” Well you need to get any job, in any field. Because the Bible says that, if you don’t work, you don’t eat. So you need to fast until you find a job. (But don’t start that fast just yet, because after this commencement, your parents are going to take you out to eat. That will be your last meal before your fast. So you might want to suggest going to an all-you-can-eat buffet.)

That meal is also the last time you are going to get anything for free from your parents. After that meal you are going to go home. To your home. Not to their home. You need to grow up and move out of the house.

[Now the parents would give me a standing ovation.]

I would like to address now those of you graduates who have breasts: the women. Aren’t breasts wonderful? I know it’s your hope to one day use them to feed a baby. I hope with you that that day comes sooner than later. But before you do, you need to unlatch from your own mother’s breasts. I’m referring, of course, to your parents’ bank account. You need to stop suckling at that bank account.

[Okay, now the mothers are giving me a standing ovation, but the fathers are sitting there nervously.]

Men, I’d like to address you as you graduate. I’m sure you agree with my sentiment that breasts are wonderful. And did you know that it’s your God-given right to propose marriage to the owner of your favorite set? But first you need to buy a diamond ring. The rule of thumb states that that diamond ring should cost one month’s salary. Okay? So, I suggest getting that diamond ring now while you have an entry-level job. Hey, I’m just trying to save you some money.

You know, a lot of men don’t like this point of wisdom, to grow up. A lot of men would prefer to play the Call of Duty video game, while actually not answering the call of duty in the own lives. Brrring, brrring, duty calling! You need to marry that girl!

[Now at this point, everyone — mothers, fathers, girlfriends — are all giving me a standing ovation, but the men who just graduated are sitting there with red faces.]

I know these points of wisdom are shocking because they stand in stark contrast to what the President of the United States is telling graduates. He’s telling them to move back home, get on your parents’ health insurance until you’re 26 years old, get condoms for free, and oh, don’t get a job. Volunteer. I’m here to tell you today, that if you follow the President’s advice, America will be doomed. Somebody needs to have a real job so that there’s money to give to the charities that he wants you to volunteer for. And if you keep on wearing condoms, there’s not going to be another generation of Americans.

All of you graduates here today are in the top 1% of the skill distribution. You are amazingly talented. And I don’t want you to bury those talents. I want you to invest in America, and invest in the next generation of Americans. And if you die without having children, those talents will be buried with you in the grave.

Graduates, I know that you’re smart, and if you’re wise, you will listen to these four points of wisdom that do guarantee you success and happiness.
Point number 1: Get a job.
Point number 2: Grow up.
Point number 3: Get married.
Point number 4: Get pregnant.

Thank you, you may now move your tassel from one side of your hat to the other.

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