Some would call Buttercup’s valedictorian speech Machiavellian, others compared it to Trump’s unpresidential “covfefe” tweet. No one knew what bedeviled her; what perfunctory motive she had to enter the high school graduation that way.
There was no traditional gown, no roses in her hands or pollen on her fingers. Instead, the usually bubbly, charismatic and ebullient Buttercup arrived on a motorcycle, looking like Delfina going to Jesse James’ wedding, her nipples showing through a stunning chiffon and nacre dress. She pulled off her graduation cap to reveal a bald head.
“I didn’t know Buttercup was chaetophobic.” A boy sitting next to her mother said to his friend.
“What’s that?” His friend asked.
“A fear of hair. Or maybe just dandruff,” the boy replied with a snicker.
Her mother glared at them with intimidation.
Buttercup delivered her speech to the small Louisiana school verbatim as she had practiced it. “I, Buttercup Erzulie, implore you to resist the ineluctable urge to give in to your fecundity, and instead platonize every sonder realization.”
The boy leaned over to his friend again. “She’s got chlorofluorocarbons and mucus in her brain. What is she talking about?”
His friend answered, “Maybe a zombie kidnapper was phishing her hard drive!”
“There is no zombie thief!” Her mom replied. “Quiet down before I club you with a crowbar.”
“Don’t be an irrelevant sycophant,” Buttercup continued to the crowd. “Follow the azimuth eclipse nonanthropomorphically, and embrace your solipsistic side.”
The crowd exchanged glances of confusion.
“Well, I’m famished.” Buttercup raised a spork in the air. “Who’s up for ‘za, tiramisu, tangy margaritas and grunge-gospel music at Polecat Pizza?
The once quiet audience then roared with applause.
A.m. Donovan, Andrea Randall, April Stoor, Avery Auer, Barbie Urteaga, Brenda Scott Manzur, Bridgett Brown, Carmen Vazquez, Dave Ramquist, Debbie, Debbie Jones, Deborah, Denise Sherman, Diane Dale, Dolly Nemec, Donna Wolz, Duwane Ledbetter, Fe T. De Guzman, Frances Cavallo, Gary Matthews, Gene Albertielli, Germaine Ramondetta, Harley Christensen, Jackieray, Janyne, Joanie Sanders, Joseph Rose, Joye, Julian White, Karen Treen, Karen Wambold York, Kathryn Thomas, Kristen Heyl, Lita Kobalkin Hofberg, Lori Bennett, Lynne Arias, Mare Gorrell, Melani Severo-Ibay, Michelle Schaubert, Mitsy, Nenette M., Peggy Honeysuckle, Pina Colon, Robin Albertelli, Robyn, Rowena Rayos-Wyatt, Samantha Day, Sandra Spilecki, Sandy, Sharon, Stephanie Russell, Suzan, Tabitha Harris, Teresa Garcia, Yvonne Villegas
NORMAL PEOPLE WORDS
bubbly, buttercup, charismatic, crowbar, dandruff, eclipse, famished, grunge-gospel music, high school graduation, intimidation, irrelevant, kidnapper, Louisiana, margaritas, mom, mother, motive, motorcycle, mucous, nipples, pizza, pollen, roses, snicker, stunning, tangy, thief, tiramisu, unpresidential, verbatim, wedding, zombie
azimuth—the direction of a celestial object from the observer, expressed as the angular distance from the north or south point of the horizon to the point at which a vertical circle passing through the object intersects the horizon.
bedeviled— (of something bad) cause great and continual trouble to.
chaetophobic— a fear of hair.
chlorofluorocarbons— any of a class of compounds of carbon, hydrogen, chlorine, and fluorine, typically gases used in refrigerants and aerosol propellants. They are harmful to the ozone layer in the earth’s atmosphere owing to the release of chlorine atoms upon exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Delfina—daughter of the Roman god Apollo and Daphne.
ebullient—cheerful and full of energy.
Erzulie—is a family of loa, or spirits in Vodou.
fecundity—the ability to produce an abundance of offspring or new growth; fertility.
ineluctable—unable to be resisted or avoided; inescapable.
Machiavellian—cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous, especially in politics or in advancing one’s career.
nonanthropomorphically—not ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human, especially to a deity.
perfunctory— (of an action or gesture) carried out with a minimum of effort or reflection.
phishing—the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
platonize—to adopt, imitate, or conform to Platonic opinions
polecat—a weasel-like Eurasian mammal (genus Mustela, family Mustelidae ) with mainly dark brown fur and a darker mask across the eyes, noted for ejecting a fetid fluid when threatened.
solipsistic—the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.
sonder—the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
spork— a spoon-shaped eating utensil with short tines at the tip.
sycophant— a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage.
URBAN DICTIONARY WORD
‘za— short for pizza.
covfefe—some weird nonsense word tweeted by Donald Trump shortly after midnight.