Monday, January 13, 2014

The Nominees are….and the Winner Is….

Oh my, I never expected this. I’m totally unprepared. Can I borrow your speech, Meryl or yours, Bradley…the one crumpled up in your pocket?

Thank you Hollywood Foreign Press, whoever you are. And I want to thank Horace, Morris and Doris and also Sherman and Herman. And thank you, too, for the gaffer and grip (whatever it is that you do) and to the caterer and my agent who never gave up on me even if I gave up on him and to my 5th grade teacher who let me play Miles Standish in the school Thanksgiving play rather than the turkey. I also want to thank my speech therapist who got me over my lisp and stuttering and overcame my Brooklyn accent, as well, even though I was raised in Queens.

I should also apologize to my brother for being born and thereby have him lose the privileges of an only child. Apologies also to my mother for not having me eating the liver you burnt but you always said I was a good-for-nothing kid. And I want to take this opportunity to ask forgiveness from the library for my overdue books and to the post office 00for once re-using an un-cancelled stamp and to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles for the full stops I didn’t come to.

I’d also like to give a special thanks to the woman on line who let me check out in front of her with my one item. And to the man who waters the lettuce and the guy who collects shopping carts in the parking lot even when the temperature dips below 60 degrees. I might also use this occasion to publicly rebuke my dentist for all those inane remarks he made when my mouth was full of cotton and clamps and I could only grunt and spit.

I’m so nervous in front of all you, my peers, who know deep down, let’s be honest, I really don’t belong up here and I almost didn’t bother coming tonight but I was in the neighborhood anyway.

Just think, I almost didn’t answer that ad for extras in some C.B. DeMille epic where I got my start and then went on to play dead bodies under a sheet but I knew someday I would rise and be vertical.

Yes, yes, the music is playing and they want to yank me off the stage but there must be someone I forgot to mention. Special kisses to Boris and Delores, my twin grandchildren who are probably watching even though I told them not to stay up late for Grand Daddy but they are twenty-three after all. And most of all kisses to my wife without whom I would still be living in a cold water flat boarding house in some 1930’s film starring Bette Davis or up the river in Sing-Sing taking the rap for George Raft while Ida Lupino promises to wait till I’m up for parole in eleven years.

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