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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2191071-Toastmasters
by Paul
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2191071
He thought he wanted to join.
“I don’t think I’m going to go.”

“Why not? You’ve been talking about it for months and they finally asked you. What happened?”

“Nothing. I’m just not sure I’m ready for it. I think I’ll wait a couple months.”

“Why? Damn it, George, talk to me! Something happened!”

“No, nothing happened, Louise. I just found out I have to give a 4 minute speech to the group on my first day. I wanted to join Toastmasters to learn how to speed publicly. How the hell am I supposed to do that from the get-go? Huh? Answer that one.”

“You just stand there and do it. I‘d bet you’re not the first beginner they’ve ever seen.”

“It’s the first ME they’ve seen. I’ll wait a while and join this fall.”

“No, you won’t. You’ll go in there Friday and talk. If you screw it up they’ll teach you how to not screw it up.”

“Easy for you to say, you don’t have to do it.”

“You forget who you’re talking to. I’m the ex little theater queen, remember?”

“That's right, crap, how could I forget. We met because Cynthia talked me into going.”

“I’d rather not talk about Cynthia. She wound up screwing the producer and got my part.”

“Did he ask you? You’ve never told me.”

“Yeah, he did. He grabbed my butt too and I smacked him.”

“Good for you.”

“I lost the part.”

“But retained your dignity and self worth.”

“I needed the money. Not dignity.”

“But we’d been going together for the last 2 months of the play you were in and I’d asked you to move in with me. Wait a minute . . . was that why you agreed so fast?”

“Well . . . kind of, but I loved you too. It just helped me make my mind up quicker.”

“So I have some guy grabbing your ass to thank for you? I won’t do it.”

“You can’t. He died 2 years ago.”

“And you know this why?”

“I still read Variety and the New York Times theater section.”

“Ohh. Okay. I’m still not going.”

“Yes you are. Now, let’s write a speech for you.”

“No.”

“Yes! Get over here. You’ll start with introducing yourself then—.”

“I can’t do it.”

“You did it at the restaurant the other night.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“The blonde bimbo, What was her name again? It took you 5 seconds to introduce yourself after she stumbled for you.”

“Gloria. She tripped.”

“You are truly clueless, aren’t you. That’s one of the things I love about you. You really think it was an accident.”

“It was. She apologized and told me she tripped.”

“Did you notice how fast she left when I put my arm through yours and asked you to introduce me?”

“Well, Yeah, but—.”

“She knew you were a lost cause. I love you anyway, you’re my lost cause.”

“Thank you, I think.”

“Now get serious, after you introduce yourself you’ll tell them you’re married and all about our kids. You never have problems talking about the kids. You could even pass a picture or 2 around while you talk about them.”

“This doesn’t seem so daunting when you describe it like that.”

“Good, now we’ll get into your job.”

“Yes dear. I love you, Louise.”

“That’s a good thing since we sleep together and have kids. No, no more fluff, let’s get this done and you can practice it. I’m the professional actor, remember?”

“Yeah, I do. After Cynthia introduced—.”

“So now we’re back to Cynthia again. You still think about her?”

“God, no. I never loved her, it was only the sex, I told you—.”

“So now your thinking about sex with Cynthia? When—.”

“STOP! No, I am not thinking about sex with Cynthia . . . well, shit, now I am. I just keep digging holes don’t I? Maybe silence and acquiesce are my best policy?”

“Yep.”

“Okay. Let’s get it done.”

“Good. Then you can practice.”

“Where?”

“Right here. I’ll be your audience.”

“No!”

“Oh god, not again. Please? I’m going to smack you, George.”
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2191071-Toastmasters