Funny stories in under 500 words.

Acceptance Speech

I would like to thank the Academy, whatever family members and professional associates are obligatory to rattle off, a higher power to be named later, and, most of all, most importantly, myself.

Let’s face it, my loving spouse, my unctuous agent, God and the director who thinks he’s God did not win this award. They are not standing here on stage before the bright lights, an adoring public and the television audience at home. I am.

I won this award and a metric crapton--scientific term--of free swag I don’t need and could easily afford because of all my hard work, my general awesomeness and my deep-seated humility. No one is more humble and deserving than I am.

When I courageously agreed to do an awards-bait role that could bring me the prestige and respect I so deeply and pathologically crave, I wasn’t sure if I would win a major award, something like an Independent Spirit Award or a weird, marginal award, though hopefully one that at least sounded kind of like something people have heard of. But I bravely decided to pander as shamelessly as possible to the well-established sensibilities of the judges and check off every predictable requirement. Believe me, I suffered for this role. I gained or lost 20 pounds, and made myself look slightly frumpy. I’m just that devoted to my art. I yelled a lot, and alternately looked sad. I used my face to express feelings and stuff. To be honest, there were times when I doubted my craft. There were times when I doubted whether the craft services table would have those little meatballs I like so much.

But I persevered. So now I get to run through an endless list of gratitudes, mostly to myself if I’m being honest, until the band starts playing over me in the subtlest of cues. I am the strongest, most amazing person I have ever met. I am the king of all kings and of the world, and, ah shit, I'm going to be late for work if don't get out of this bathroom.

This story was written by Joseph S. Pete, who once Googled the Iowa Writers' Workshop. True story, believe it or not. This Indiana University graduate is an award-winning journalist, Iraq War veteran and regular guest on his local NPR affiliate. His literary work and humor pieces have appeared in Dogzplot, the Higgs Weldon, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Defenestration Magazine, Neutrons/Protons, shufPoetry, Pulp Modern, Line of Advance, The Five-Two, and elsewhere. He was named Baconfest Chicago 2016 poet laureate, a feat that Milton chump never accomplished.


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