Thank you, everyone, thank you. Thank you for that kind ovation, not to mention the spontaneous singing of the national anthem. That it was the national anthem of Uruguay was a bit of a surprise, but stirring nonetheless.
This evening, I stand before you deeply proud and humbled – prumbled, as it were. After four days of speeches, policy-making, daiquiris and the occasional threat of physical harm, you have strongly and in some cases unwittingly thrown your support behind me to serve as your designated Ross for the next four years.
When I began this journey, as I tied my metaphorical running shoes of ambition and donned my T-shirt of possibility and pulled on my Spandex of success – only to realize I had to take off my running shoes of ambition first, then put on my Spandex of success and then my running shoes of ambition – I understood that there was a risk that I would fall short of my destination. That perhaps I no longer had the stamina to complete the journey. That people would laugh at my legs of whiteness.
And indeed it has not been an easy journey. There have been those who have said I no longer have what it takes. That I’m no longer relevant. That I have several overdue library books.
Yes, I have had my critics. But my critics have also had me. What does that mean exactly? And is it important? It might be. Do I deny it? Wouldn’t you not also not deny it? That’s the question I put to you. That and does anyone know where to get a good dhal soup around here?
But if these last four days have taught me anything, it’s to always have breath mints. They have also taught me that dreams are like a grocery cart: just because it has one wobbly wheel doesn’t mean you can’t sneak it out of the store and use it as a decorative plant holder.
Today, tonight, maybe Tuesday, you and I and the people and even some notaries and pharmacists, all of us are one step closer to achieving that dream. For it is a dream that reminds us that greatness is in our grasp and that no one should have to pay that much for ordinary cheddar.
As your designated Ross, I promise that I will fulfill my promise to be promising. At least that’s the premise. I will do so with words and with decisions that will be both spoken and made, with results that will have ramifications, both long-ranging and short-term, in due haste, forthwith and so on.
There will be some difficult times ahead. We have already seen here on the convention floor the acrimony that has infiltrated our ranks. On Day 2, we weathered a barrage of protests from those demanding a significant reduction in the use of the letter Y. But did we shut them out? No. We listened to them. We heard what the had to sa.
On Day 3, violence erupted on the floor between two chimpanzees wearing cowboy outfits. We still don’t know how that happened. How on earth did those monkeys find cowboy outfits that fit? But, boy, that was funny to watch wasn’t it? Chimps…
Aren’t these daiquiris delicious?
No, it has not always been smooth sailing. There have even been times when we have asked ourselves, “Do we really need a Ross at all? Surely, we could make due with a non-Ross or a half-Ross, a knock-off Ross, a Steve.”
But then I ask you: who would make the garlic chilli oil?
As we wind down these final minutes of our convention, and before they sweep up the confetti and glitter and stolen hotel bath towels, let me leave you with these parting words:
From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and that you never put electric eels in your pocket. They showed me values and morals in their daily life and inappropriate burlesque comic books in their nightly life.
We need to pass those lessons on to future generations, because we want our children to know that the only limit to their achievements is the strength of their dreams, their willingness to work for them and a stringent control of body odour.
Thank you, good night, and remember: you go Uruguay and I’ll go mine.