THE RIDICULOUS MAN
Written by Kevin L. Howard   
Bill rose slowly from his chair.  His heart-rate sped, and his brow perspired.  He gasped for air and his hands shook.  Bill hated speaking in public.  But if he was to graduate, he had to pass his college Public-Speaking course.  Fortunately, his speech only had to be one minute long.
    
Despite his fear, he somehow mustered the strength to step in front of the class with his manuscript in hand.  Slender and wearing a suit, he looked more like a stiff mannequin than a human.  Bill's palms were sweaty.  The room was filled with the rustling of people in their seats and the shuffle of paper.  But suddenly, as he looked over the classroom, all grew quiet.  The smell of chicken hovered in from the dining hall downstairs.

Bill felt sweat run down his left sideburn and he hoped no one noticed.  He began, his voice cracking, "Valuable lessons usually take a lifetime to learn, yet they're taught all along life's way.  Our culture has many teachers, and I would now like to acknowledge a few of them and declare what they've taught me."  He patted his foot.  

"The Hedonist has tutored me quite nicely."  Bill spoke in a monotone.  "When I want something, I get it.  Fletcher was right, 'If it feels good, do it.'  That's my motto.  So I left my wife and kids for a 15-year-old girl.  I deserve the best.  But don't worry, I had safe-sex, and that's all that matters, right?  

"I also learned a few things from the Homosexual Movement—Be who you are.  And when I'm around them, I try to be my real self."  He took a deep breath, and continued, "Their lifestyle enrages me, and I hate to repress my feelings of anger because I don't want to damage my inner self, you know."  He exhaled loudly, his nervousness making itself known more than any eloquence he wished to achieve.  He proceeded, "So I physically assault homosexuals every chance I get. Don't be mad at me, that's just who I am. I was born that way."      

He looked up long enough to notice a student sleeping in the back.  Bill looked down again at his manuscript and pressed on, "The Evolutionist was also an excellent teacher.  If I evolved from an animal, it only makes sense that I act like one.   Who cares that I spat in the face of a homeless man last night.  Don't be alarmed—it's just my animal-like instinct.  What else do you expect from a man who came from a monkey?  Only the strong survive."  

Bill chewed his gum, and then remembered he'd forgotten to take it out before beginning his speech.  He continued, "The New Age Movement has nurtured me to success.  I am now my own god, so I purposely ran over a dog this morning on my way to class.  Don't get upset, gods can do these sort of things.      

"The Relativist has also served as a superb guide.  Only three days ago, I burned my little brother's face with a clothes iron.  Don't be appalled, there's no right and wrong.  

"I'm so glad I've had these cultural instructors to help me realize my full potential.  Otherwise, I might be a disaster, like a Christian or something."  

Bill sat down as quickly as possible.  He sighed with relief.  He nervously rubbed his sleeve across his lips.  The short speech seemed longer than a Canadian winter.  But it was finally over.  He felt calm, though adrenaline flowed steadily through his veins.

The class erupted in a rage.  Hands popped up all around the room.  Some students even stood, opposing his derogatory remarks.  "You can't be serious," blared one student.  

A mischievous grin ran across Bill's face.