Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Great Delridge Days Toastmaster Disaster

My Award-Winning Speech from the October 20, 2018 Toastmasters Contest in Burien

Who wants to recruit more members for your Toastmasters Club?
You do? You do?
Fellow Toastmasters, Honored Guests, Madame Contestmaster:
We all want to recruit
So our club set three goals...
1. To fly the Toastmaster flag where no Toastmasters flag had ever flown before,
2. Get free publicity
3. Distribute dozens or hundreds of promotional flyers getting a booth at the Delridge Days community festival in West Seattle.
That fateful morning I loaded my bicycle with Toastmaster paraphanelia:
Flyers, table topics cards, our battery-powered timer light,
and peddled to the park.
The booths were 10x10 ripstop nylon canopies held up by a folding aluminum frame.
to which I hung our flag on bungee cords and then greeted our neighbor
"How are you?"
"Not good!
The weather report says a windstorm at noon,
These canopies will go flying!"
"Oh. No problem, I brought duct tape!"
I taped the left leg of our canopy to the right leg of his
and the left leg of his to the right leg of the next
and so on down the line and all around
And in no time we had a 6x2 array of canopies no wind could blow over
Just in time, as a tsunami of humanity poured in.
Parents and teachers, toddlers and teenagers, babies and grand parents,
with strollers and walkers, with scooters and canes and skate boards
They wore sun bonnets and rain hats, do-rags and berets, cowboy hats and baseball caps pointed front, back and to the side,
They were eating hot dogs and corn dogs, popcorn, corn on the cob, candy corn, and sugary syrup on shaved ice,
There were community organizations of every kind
social clubs, political committees, charitable organizations, houses of worship
The fire department over here and the police department over there
A two piece band in the front
A three piece band in the back
It was a veritable cornucopia of good times and Americana
Smack in the middle was
"Welcome to Toastmasters
Try a little game we call Table Topics?"
Passers-by would pull a card and speak for 1-2 minutes on their randomly chosen topic
In between we would give a 5-7 minute speech of a humorous nature
It was all going well and could not have been improved
until lunchtime,
when I was giving my award winning speech "The Esthetic Bicycle Helmet"
(from the Unnecessary Communication Manual, Project #4 Pursuade With Pursuasion)
showing how properly secured protective headgear complements the ideal male figure [POSE]!
when, like a cloud covering the sun, there came a cloud covering the sun.
The air got chill
Birds flew in a panic
A wolf howled
The wind broke
Rushing through the park
Sending every bit of headgear flying
Except mine, secured for safety ah-ha!
The wind heaved one side of the canopy
It would not tip over
The wind heaved the other side
It would not tip over
But then
A mighty updraft got underneath and lifted the whole thing
Guy ropes and bungee cords whipt around wildly,
One snagged my helmet, hoisting me
Did you know an 6x2 array of 10x10 rip stop nylon canopies can generate enough lift
to elevate a 200 pound man off my feet
by my chinstrap?
I gagged like a cat with a hairball -AWK
My sight grew dim
I saw a flickering light
It flashed red
My 5-7 minutes are up
The clip parted
I fell in the bushes
watching it all rise higher
Toastmaster handouts flying like pieces of paper in the wind,
Our flag flapping bravely as it rose,
The timer light blinking helpfully to warn air traffic,
The news choppers that followed at a respectful distance
As it all sailed over Elliot Bay and into memory...
Friends And Fellow Toastmasters
I know what you're thinking:
How can you get some of this?
How can your club have its own Delridge Days Toastmasters Success?
It's easy if you try.
You can achieve your goals as we did:
1. We flew the Toastmasters banner
where no Toastmaster banner has ever flown before:
high above our city!
2. We got so much free publicity
News choppers,
Cellphone videos,
Police reports.
Best of all:
3. We distributed all our literature,
All over!
You can too.
Thank you

Vote For Imp!

Vote for my cat Imp to be on the Washington Community Action Network calendar!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Monday, October 15, 2018

Seed Pods or Salmon Eggs

Pretty flowers and pretty seeds to share. But I am tempted to say, "And this, kids, is where salmon eggs come from." :-))