This, declared great grandmother Thelma at her husband’s burial, this family is now matriarchal. I am now the person at the top; not grandfather. He did a grand job holding this family together, and now it’s my turn.
I didn’t at all like the way he favoured some over others. From now on we shall all be equal. None of this privileged nonsense of boys over girls when it comes to handouts. Yes, I know there is some Chinese blood crept into the tree, but they are children of grandchildren, and therefore they don’t count. I can’t be responsible for everyone in the human race. After all, we’re all descended from Eve – and Adam.
To help out those in the family less fortunate I would ask those families well-off, and let’s face it that’s most of you, to make a generous donation to the memorial fund for Dennis. You would have seen a box for donations at the church door. Or you can mail it.
I reiterate, this is now a matriarchal family, and…
Come along now Thelma, said Nurse Sherry. Nurse Sherry was in charge at the retirement home just across from the cemetery. Thelma was forever dashing out when there was a burial, standing on the artificial grass mound, and making her regular speech. In fact, some mourners grew to be a little disappointed if Thelma failed to turn up. She cast a certain insobriety to a sometimes over-sombre occasion.
(WARNING: Like at most rallies this speech contains obscenities).
I find your presence here in this auditorium stifling. There are four hundred and twenty-four of you present in this one room. Have you considered how overwhelming this is to those with autism? And you’re acting as if no one in the world suffers from claustrophobia. There are no windows in this auditorium. The air conditioning simply instils panic and alarm in sufferers. We must be attentive to the needs of others.
Excuse me. Yes. You. The lady in the pink cardigan. Would you mind not making little comments behind your hand to the person beside you. Not only are you spreading germs on your hand, but the hubbub of noise alarms those of us who are sensitive to unwanted noise. How can we concentrate on the speaker? To say nothing of the applause. Clapping must surely be one of the most insensitive mannerisms invented. Please simply wave your arms in silence. No? Yes you in the ripped jeans. When I say wave your arms I didn’t mean guns. Which should be banned. I would ask security to accompany you outside. With that attitude you should be lined up against a wall and shot.
I find it threatening that so many of you are sitting facing the stage. Turn around and face the back of the auditorium like civilized people. It’s male dominance which produces this obsession with having their penises face the speaker. Everything is to do with masculine in-your-face arrogance. The front the front the front. All males are to turn around and face the back! In fact, a nearby venue has been set up and I would request everyone move to the hall across the road so as not to be so intimidating and aggressive and toxic. We’ll have none of that cock and bull nonsense that’s been going on for centuries.
That’s better. Now that we have an empty hall I can get on with my speech. Need I remind you, if there are any questions, that you are not to use any sexist pronouns? We must be welcoming here to all. We are not racist or homophobic or xenophobic like those horrible fucking inhospitable bastards who do nothing but instil fucking hatred in society. They should be shot along with every other white supremacist on the planet who refuse to piss in a transgender bathroom because of the fucking hostility they hold to those who are not like them.
Now can we continue? The chairperson of the National Poultry Association has asked me to speak at this convention on Predator Control When Raising Chickens.
(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Chris of chrisnelson61. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)
The opening line was always the most difficult to write. He’d written openings many times before, but this time it seemed doubly important. It was as if people’s lives depended on it. Certainly his life depended on it, especially his career. I suppose having a career is like having a life.
Strangely, he was in a train when the opening line struck him. He’d spent days on his opening line. He’d changed it dozens of times, rarely on paper but mainly in his head. Once the opening was decided upon, all else would follow. But he had writer’s block. What was he to do? And then WHAM! it came to him while on a train.
Abraham stepped forward.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.