Oskar Moosehead tightened his bow-tie. “How do I look?”, he asked Boris.
“You look like a man in early middle age, with well chiseled features adorning a beardless face. Your dark hair frames a pale face which makes your dark eyes seem even more dangerous. This danger is emphasized by your six foot one inch, one hundred and ninety pound athletic frame—“
“The bow-tie”, Moosehead snapped.
Boris advanced towards his employer, “Crooked”, he answered, straightening the bow tie. “Will you be giving the standard speech tonight, sir?”
Oskar Moosehead straightened his hair with his fingers as he looked into the mirror one last time. Boris was wrong: Oskar’s pale face did not make his dark eyes seem even more dangerous. Moosehead thought that they had at one time, but he tried an experiment where he walked around in blackface for two weeks and people actually seemed to be avoiding him more than usual.
“Same speech”, he stated flatly, “different words”. He strode out onto the stage in front of a college audience of around two thousand students and faculty. The applause was blinding. Oskar waited for it to die down before talking; however, it continued for quite some time, long after the people in the audience had finished clapping. Moosehead shielded his eyes and peered into the crowd. Someone had snuck a lion into the speech and now was finding it impossible to get him to stop making noise. After everyone had glared at the student for a while, he got the point and led the animal out.
“My bad!”, he called over his shoulder.
Moosehead cleared his throat; but, before he could speak, another noise came from the crowd. He scanned the audience again. “How many of you brought chimpanzees?”, he asked. At first a few hands came up; then, a few dozen. “They can stay”, stated Moosehead, “But, you’ll have to wait out in the lobby until I am finished”. Two score students walked dejectedly up the aisle to the lobby. Oskar made a mental note: Make no more speeches at veterinary colleges…
“Students, faculty, dawgs, homies and staff. It is my pleasure, today, to be speaking before you. As I look out over your eager sea of faces, I fear for the future of this country. This is not due primarily to your faces, but to the state of the world and your place in it…”
Moosehead scanned the front row until he saw a young lovely with an intent look on her face. “This world”, he said, directly to her, “Is a different place than it was just one year ago. Certainly the calendars are different; the cost of elbow macaroni has increased in all nations except for Iceland, where it has gotten much cheaper, inexplicably. The number of signatures on the average leg cast has dropped by thirty percent in just ten years. The number of riots over soft ice cream has nearly tripled since 1945. So much of our rain forests have been cut down that anacondas have been forced to live in Venezuelan dumpsters; whereas, sloths from the same region have been forced to live inside the anacondas. Thirty-six percent of people polled refuse to admit to having a religion unless the pollster rubs their bellies. The icecaps are melting and the last family of polar bears has been spotted living under an overpass in Houston, Texas. Hurricanes are becoming more powerful every year; in fact, instead of people’s names, they are given interjections now, such as “Damn!”, “Shit!” and “I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m getting the hell out of here!”. We all remember when hurricane “Good Christ!” hit Miami, killing one hundred thousand people, most of whom were cocaine dealers…”
It was time to change tempo. First, he had to depress the audience, then give them hope. He glanced again at the hot young thing in the front row; but, she’d already paired up with a chimpanzee. Oskar shrugged inwardly, pulling his sternum up over his chin.
“So, who will save us? Quite obviously, the billionaires. Not the evil billionaires who are monomaniacally set upon world domination, which I am not. But, the GOOD billionaires who give freely to the world to make it a better place. Last year, I gave four billion dollars to Suriname…enough to give every single citizen in that nation a Zagnut bar. And, they were glad to get them. I built the world’s tallest building in Costa Rica. After it had fallen over due to structural problems, it became the world’s longest building. I childproofed most of Afghanistan by padding the mountains. I was instrumental in returning the green mamba population to its previous levels and I built a factory that converted Giant Pandas into protein-rich crackers.”
“Where people were hungry, I built hospitals. Where people were torn by civil war, I built race tracks and windmills. When the poor of this world have called out to me, I have answered in a very real and incongruous manner. I am the wealthiest man in the world. If I gave away a million dollars a minute, I would never run out of money; primarily because I would put a stop to that pretty quickly. That would, in fact, be pure idiocy”
“But, what can you, the veterinarians of tomorrow, do to help? Quite simply, you can do nothing. Frankly, compared to my philanthropy, any attempts at charity that you might make would be pathetic and sad. Give it up. Live your small lives until the grim reaper pops by your trailer or bungalow and takes you to the promised land. I’ll handle things on the charity side. So relax. You are of absolutely no value to the world”