TIM CHITWOOD: Graduation is a good time to run downriver

May 25, 2013 

Here is this year's parody high school graduation speech:

First I must say what an honor it is to be speaking to you here, at the Phenix City Amphitheater, with the setting sun's slanted rays burning the Columbus riverfront redder than its brick, and yellow rafts and kayaks drifting by.

Our whitewater project's restoring the fall line reminds us not only of our place on Earth, but our place in time, forever on the edge. What you see here is not just a remarkable achievement, but a one-time opportunity:

You can strip off your cap and gown, climb over this rail, swim out, commandeer a raft or kayak and paddle for the coast.

I would, were I your age, because the people here have gone nuts. Your school board's calling in the GBI to investigate something other than the school district, and the mayor had to hire a private eye to probe some men's room rumor involving the marshal and police chief.

I would add that vandals are burning cars on the streets downtown, but soon you won't be able to park there anyway, because the city's raising the parking fines to $35.

So this year's graduation message is: Flee while you can. Does anyone need a ride to the Greyhound station? I can fit five in my car. Will your school still exist next year or has the school board shut it down? If younger students want to go, I can fit three in the trunk…. Hold on, your principal needs me.

Whoa! Sorry! I did not know you were a Phenix City school; I just figured we were here because the Civic Center graduation schedule got too hectic.

OK, so let me tell you about your superintendent, Larry DiChiara: If Larry DiChiara wants to be superintendent in Columbus, then he's lost his.... Hold on, I'm needed again…..

Oh! You're a PRIVATE school! Then this year's graduation message is: You kids seriously should consider opening a whitewater rafting business that helps people flee Muscogee County.

The first thing you want to do is push all the useless people out in a rapid and make it look like an accident: "Look out! Someone's shooting at us like in 'Deliverance'!" you could shout as you shoved them out and then beat them with your paddle if they tried to climb back in.

Dropping that weight leaves room for luggage.

If a lot of younger students also are fleeing town because the school board shut their schools down, then at the dock behind the Iron Works they can all man a dragon boat and row for the coast.

So give that some thought, and let me conclude by saying…. Wait, where did everybody go?

Where's my car?

Tim Chitwood, tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com, 706-571-8508.

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service