Spoofs & Satire

Painting by Oscar Figuracion Jr.

I Cannot Accept This Award

Acceptance speeches are often great for moments of hubris and disaster. For anyone soon to win a prize, here’s a template best avoided.

It’s a real surprise to be on stage here tonight, and I’d love to be able to tell all of you how much of an honor this is, but the truth is that I cannot accept this award. I cannot accept this award with so many equally deserving others out there doing good deeds more significant than my own. Most importantly perhaps, I cannot accept this award because I am not Danny Boyle and I did not direct Slumdog Millionaire.

I cannot accept this award because you are chasing me and I need both hands free to climb the scaffolding. I’d like to note that it’s workmanship like this scaffolding, built by the hundreds of set designers and electricians behind the scenes, that keeps the magic of movies alive, and me from falling. None of this would be possible without you guys or without Mr. Crenshaw, my fifth-grade PE teacher. Mr. Crenshaw, you’re the one who taught me how to believe in myself, and how to shimmy up a rope, and how to lead my shots when playing dodge ball, or in this case throwing stage lights into a crowd. Thank you, thank all of you.

I cannot accept this award because the shock from your Tasers has rendered my body incapable of doing anything more than flopping wildly and vomiting. It’s hard for me to admit it, but voltage like this will always be stronger than me or the hallucinogens I ingested before taking the stage. Praise for these violent spasms is almost certainly owed to you and not the PCP I so crudely synthesized in my bathtub. I cannot thank you enough, or at all, the electrical current being so powerful.

I cannot thank you enough, or at all, the electrical current being so powerful.If there was one thing I could have done differently it would be lifting more weights or learning karate, but if there were two they would be learning karate and letting you know how important you’ve been to me along the way. It seems like it’s been years since I first used the press pass I stole from you, Ms. Times photographer, or cut a lock of hair from your head, Ted Danson, but that is probably part of my chemically induced fugue state. Even if it hasn’t been so long, you have still been extraordinarily helpful and I never could have made it this far without you, despite your best efforts and those of the L.A.P.D.

I cannot accept this award because these restraints are heavy and hinder movement, which I assume is how they were designed to fit. It makes my heart swell with joy to know that chains like these can still be devised, manufactured, and employed right here in America. Some people like to bad-mouth industry in this country, but I look to the law enforcement and correctional sectors and see not only good old American ingenuity, but also the majority of my next 10-20 years. To be in the company of such consummate professionals is an honor, even when you are beating me as savagely as you are now. You have my endless admiration and, now that I am being transferred into holding, my shoes and belt.

I cannot accept this award because you are a pigeon, there are bars separating us, and there is no award. None of these details, I must stress, are any fault of yours, but are circumstances we must nevertheless confront. Perhaps when I was younger and less incarcerated I could have taken such a prize with the graciousness and dignity demanded, but I do not have the time now, because I have some very specific instructions to give you and they must be followed precisely.

Hudson Hongo loiters around Tacoma, Wash., under the pretext of being a student. His work has appeared on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and The Bygone Bureau. Many other fascinating details can be found here. More by Hudson Hongo