The greatest nation off this earth
No typo. Not “on” this earth but “off” of it.
If you have a passport to this nation, you are one of the elite.
But you need to be allowed in. Border security can be pretty
This is a draft of a speech for an upcoming event (maybe March 29). Here are my notes, outtakes, rehearsals, and videos.
Words ending in -nation:
At border security entering the nation of imagine: Imagination
“Welcome to the greatest country off of this earth!” the man said as I got out my passport.
I thought I heard him correctly, but I thought I’d make sure.
“You mean ‘on this earth,’ I’m sure you meant to say,” I said not in an accusing manner, but just one to let him know I was paying attention.
“No sir,” he immediately replied. Maybe he had heard this comment before. “I said
He looked at me like a tourist who didn’t know quite where he was headed. I immediately doubted myself. He filled me in.
“In case you weren’t absolutely sure, you are applying to enter the sacred and holy land of Imagination.”
I didn’t quite know what to do about that as I thought I was just going from one place to another. Before I could come back with a comparable witty comment, he again spoke.
“If I may ask, kind sir, which nations you have visited before you plan to enter here?”
“Uh?” I stumbled over the single word, not quite knowing where he was going. He seemed less like a customs official and more like a bit tent circus entertainer.
He even had a hat that seemed sort of, well, tall.
“Because there are certain nations that we don’t really have a, well,” he paused, seemingly trying to make this easier for me. “We don’t have such a mutual relationship with.”
“I see,” I said, even though I didn’t see at all.
“Nations that have trouble with the visa administration usually come from places where you tend to give up quickly, such as Resignation.” He said the word ‘nation’ as if it were a different word. Before I could answer, he kept going.
“If you have stamps from nations such as Condemnation you’ll have to fill out this form,” and he pointed to a stack of papers near his podium.
“We don’t have terribly friendly diplomatic relations with those who come from domination, and if you have recently visited Discrimination we’ll usually have to send you directly through to a new destination of Damnation.
“Well,” I started up again, a little overwhelmed with all of the places I may or may not have spent time. “I am pretty sure I want to get into Imagination.”
He looked immediately concerned.
“What did I say?” I asked.
“It seems, my fine friend, that you might be stuck in the one place we have the most trouble from.”
“Where would that be?” I asked, more concerned than I understood why. “Where am I now?”
“You might well be a card-carrying citizen of Procrastination.”
“No!” I shouted. “I’m done with that place!” I tried to keep my voice down, but I had been stuck in Procrastination for such a long time I was sure my visa had expired.
He looked me over. He was judging me. Who was he to decide if I was allowed in anyway?
“Oh, I sense your consternation, but if your inclination is to truly to leave behind the destination of procrastination and towards the elimination of the ruination of your inclination towards illumination, then I could fill out this form towards the nomination of your rejuvenation which would then let you enter the holiest nation of them all, the highest and most sacred land we know to exist off of this earth and to the place of most fascination to the point where you might think you got off in the wrong place and entered hallucination.”
I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know what to say.
I suppose I hadn’t realized it was such a formal process to enter the world of my own imagination, but apparently there were some roadblocks that I needed to overcome.
He stamped my passport and, with a big smile as if he were congratulating me on where I was going, he said, “Treat Imagination with respect and it will return the effort multiple times over.”
He looked like he needed to say something else. I stopped walking.
“Although you may think this is the culmination of your examination,
“It is, without question, the greatest and most spectacular nation off of this earth and we are honored to have you back.”
Although I was ready to head in, I had to ask him one question.
“You keep mentioning returning or going back,” I asked. “Have I been here before?”
“Why, of course,” he said, surprised that I didn’t remember.
“When was I here?”
He smiled and said nothing. It wasn’t that he was trying to make it more suspenseful or have me guess, it was clear he really wasn’t going to tell me.
“You’re not going to tell me, are you?”
“No,” he said calmly.
“Because,” I muttered.
“Because you know when you were last here.”
“Aha,” I said, not knowing when I was last here.
He again smiled. It was getting annoying.
But he wasn’t budging. Now I wanted to know. When did I last enter the world of Imagination?
It then hit me. I knew when I was last here. I was at the same time sad that it had been so long yet excited that I was back.
My face must have changed because his friendly smile returned and he extended his arm as if to welcome me back into the place where I had indeed been before.
He didn’t seem to need to say anything else, but he whispered two more words.
Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash