8.2 Truthful Oratory
THE SPEECH THAT OUGHT TO BE MADE BY A STATE GOVERNOR AFTER VISITING THE FALL EXPOSITION OF AN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY
Well, gentlemen, this Annual Fall Fair of the Skedink County Agricultural Association has come round again. I don’t mind telling you straight out that of all the disagreeable jobs that fall to me as Governor of this State, my visit to your Fall Fair is about the toughest.
I want to tell you, gentlemen, right here and now, that I don’t know anything about agriculture and I don’t want to. My parents were rich enough to bring me up in the city in a rational way. I didn’t have to do chores in order to go to the high school as some of those present have boasted that they did. My only wonder is that they ever got there at all. They show no traces of it.
This afternoon, gentlemen, you took me all round your live-stock exhibit. I walked past, and through, nearly a quarter of a mile of hogs. What was it that they were called—Tamworths—Berkshires? I don’t remember. But all I can say, gentlemen, is,—phew! Just that. Some of you will understand readily enough. That word sums up my whole idea of your agricultural show and I’m done with it.
No, let me correct myself. There was just one feature of your agricultural exposition that met my warm approval. You were good enough to take me through the section of your exposition called your Midway Pleasance. Let me tell you, sirs, that there was more real merit in that than all the rest of the show put together. You apologized, if I remember rightly, for taking me into the large tent of the Syrian Dancing Girls. Oh, believe me, gentlemen, you needn’t have. Syria is a country which commands my profoundest admiration. Some day I mean to spend a vacation there. And, believe me, gentlemen, when I do go,—and I say this with all the emphasis of which I am capable,—I should not wish to be accompanied by such a set of flatheads as the officials of your Agricultural Society.
And now, gentlemen, as I have just received a fake telegram, by arrangement, calling me back to the capital of the State, I must leave this banquet at once. One word in conclusion: if I had known as fully as I do now how it feels to drink half a bucket of sweet cider, I should certainly never have come.