The following is a speech I wrote for Dana, who is my wife. She read it at a fancy dinner that a law firm held in her honor after she had won a big case for them. Dana does not work for this law firm, normally. The law firm had only “rented her out,” so to speak, so that maybe they could win a lot of money on this one case.
They won a lot of money on this one case!
Now, most days, Dana is way too smart a gal to ever dream of using my words. My words, after all, are unlikely to help a professional’s standing within the professional community. But Dana made an exception for this dinner because it seemed appropriate. She used my words.
She was the guest of honor and she used my words and these are the words she used:
Wow. I’d like to thank everybody at Godley & Creme, L.L.P. for this dinner, or for this dinner party, or for this… Hey, it’s a party, right? Are we having a party? [Applause]
It feels like a party. A celebration. A celebration of what we accomplished together these last few months. It is without a doubt the biggest party that anyone has ever thrown for me: It’s bigger than my wedding. It’s bigger than my quinceañera.
Still, I was talking to Sid a little while ago – and Sid, thank you for that beautiful introduction – and I said, I feel like we’re all sort of strangers here. A mutual desire for… a whole lot of money… [laughter and applause] brought us together, but I don’t know y’all. Y’all don’t know me.
And one thing most of y’all probably do not know about me – Sid knows this, but probably not most of you – is this: I almost came on board with Godley & Creme a few years back. I came this close. Didn’t I, Sid?
So I was thinking about this earlier tonight as I was talking with Sid, and I was running it through my head. And it reminded me of the story of Stalin and the Jews.
Do y’all know the story of Stalin and the Jews?
Well, grab another glass of wine. I’ll tell you. [Laughter.]
|Joe had sort of a hate-hate|
relationship with... people.
Y’all know about Josef Stalin, right? You went to elementary school before law school, some of you? Josef Stalin was this guy who was running things over in the Soviet Union during the thirties, during the forties, going into the nineteen fifties.
Now if Joe – I hope I can call him Joe – if Joe were alive today, here with us in the twenty-first century, we’d probably diagnose him with a few things. A few mental conditions. Like probably chronic narcissism. [Applause.] Maybe some sort of personality disorder. But definitely, we would diagnose him with paranoia.
Joe was one paranoid dude.
Joe hated just about everybody. He thought just about everybody was out to get him. And maybe they were. I forget how that goes: Are you still considered paranoid if they really are out to get you?
Either way, Joe hated an awful lot of people, and one of the groups of people that he hated most of all was the Jews. The problem for Joe was, well, this was right after World War II, and it was considered bad form for world leaders to, you know… say, start rounding Jews up in trains.
So Joe had to be a little more careful than usual about this. Not much – he was Joe Stalin, after all! – but he had to show a little tact. A teensy bit of finesse. By Joe standards.
He purged all of the Jews from the government, and then he started systematically going through and purging Jews from other spheres of Russian life: artists and scientists and influence-peddlers. You know… He did it all on the down-low and he did it well.
But here’s the thing: Joe wanted a bomb. Joe wanted a really big bomb. A bomb like we over here in the United States had. If we had a bomb, Joe wanted a bomb. And it did not take long for Joe to figure something out: If he wanted a really big bomb like the United States had, he was going to have to buckle under and get himself a Jewish scientist or two.
|Please consult Billy Joel|
for a quick refresher on the Cold War.
Turns out, Joe’s desire for a really big bomb was strong. Even stronger than his hatred of Jews! So he went out and he got himself some of them Jews, and before he knew it, voila! Korea and Vietnam and the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis and “we didn’t start the fire!”
Now, flash forward about fifty years and Yours Truly – by which I mean, me – was about to get hired on by Godley & Creme. Do you remember that meeting, Sid? And I knew it was coming, and I knew the offer was about to come out of Sid’s mouth.
And before he could make the offer, I said this: “I just want you to know how much I love Godley & Creme and how much I respect your mission. Your values. You’re a politically and culturally conservative firm, and I am a politically and culturally conservative woman. [Applause.] You’re a Christian firm, and I am a Christian.” [Applause.]
I said, “And I want this to be a long and a prosperous relationship and I do not want to play games or hide the ball with you. I do not want to be keeping secrets from you. So I’m going to lay it all out on the table and tell you up front, lest there be any misunderstanding.”
I said to Sid, “I am an out lesbian. I live with my gorgeous wife and our [at that time] two daughters, and I am so proud of them. My orientation does not affect my work. But I thought everybody should know what it is we’re getting into.”
And do you remember what you said to me, Sid? I remember! In fact, I have it written down right here.
You said, “Ms. Anders, I thank you for your honesty.”
And then you said, “And I thank God every day that I still live in a country where I am free to tell you that we here at Godley & Creme will never ignore the Lord’s word by knowingly associating with sodomites.” Sodomites! “There is no professional goal, no case, and no client, so valuable as to justify risking one’s eternal soul.
You said, “We will unfortunately not be able to extend an offer to you and it solely because of what you have just told us.”
You remember that now, Sid?
So tonight, on this fantastic occasion that brought us all together to party, I just want to express how thrilled I am that Godley & Creme, just like Joe Stalin with those Jews, finally found something y’all desired so much that you were willing to risk your eternal souls to get it.
You want the bomb? You bring in the Jews! You want to win that huge case? Then bring in the dykes!
Give yourselves a hand, Godley & Creme! [Scattered and tentative applause.]
You know, with so much bad stuff out there in the culture today, what you all do here is absolutely critical. I know your firm’s symbol is the wheel, but I like to think of y’all as… I don’t know, like a levy, maybe. A levy holding back the ocean of filth and sin and chaos.
Or a dam, maybe… or a levy, or…
I know! How about this? Godley & Creme, L.L.P. is a finger in the dike of the law! Do you like that image, Sid? I see my wife, Katy, likes that image. Take it, Sid. It’s yours… Put it there on the letterhead.
So thank you for tonight, everybody, and here’s to Stalin and the Jews building that really big bomb together! Good night!