The Perfect 21st Speech
By Adam Hill
Having recently turned 23 I have had a chance to reflect on the past few years of my life. Let's call them, lamely, "the party years"; those first few years after finishing school, when every Saturday night rolls along bringing with it another 21st party.
It doesn’t take long. One day you are a pimply teen dreaming of the days that you’ll turn 18 and celebrate legally buying your first beer. But before you know it three years have passed and the endless stream of 18th parties, pubbing and clubbing switches seamlessly into an endless stream of 21st parties, pubbing and clubbing.
Somewhere between 19 and 21 the ability to wake up full of energy after a weekend of partying is lost. Getting up on a Monday morning becomes harder than climbing the world’s highest mountain twice and then running a marathon whilst bashing your head in with a saucepan. But think about it by this stage you have been partying for two and bit years straight, of course your body is suffering the consequences. However, the party must go on!
Come on... The party must go on!
How do you find the energy to get yourself excited for the next 21st party?
Okay, the party is for a friend, but that simply isn’t enough anymore. There is only one thing that differentiates one 21st from the next, and it isn’t the amount on the tab.
It’s the ‘21st Speech’. A speech only entrusted to the most confident family member and the friend believed closest to the new adult inductee. The delivery of this speech can make-or-break the entire evening.
But, have you ever actually listened to the majority of these speeches? They all go something like this?
The speaker awkwardly looks up, avoiding eye contact with anyone else in the room.
“Umm, me and Steve have known each other for sometime now.” At this point the speaker pauses for what I can only assume is dramatic effect.
“And... umm... well... umm... we’ve had a lot a’ good times along the way... umm, but my best memory of Steve was when we got drunk 3 weeks ago, and he was out of control. Funny times mate. Do you remember that, Steve? Remember 3 weeks ago?”
This speech usually drags on for 20 minutes before the speech maker turns to the crowd, stands tall, and delivers the closing statement…
“In all seriousness, I’ve known Steve since we were both 2 years old and he’s been a great mate for many years. I have a lot of good memories with Steve. Here’s to you, buddy.”
The two mates hug and the crowd erupts in polite applause, but think to themselves: 19 years and that was the best story!
A lifelong friendship summed up by drunken stories from the last month, delivered in the form of mind-numbing drivel, just isn’t good enough.
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