Opening

Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening, bonsoir, buenas noches. I trust you have all completed the assignment I gave you in my speech two years ago, and have learned French and Spanish. So we've added another language. Aos nossos amigos do Brasil: boa noite e bem-vindos Kronos. The rest of you: your assignment for next year: learn Portuguese!

Well, last time I got an all-expense paid trip to Chicago, and now St. Louis! My cup runeth over! After my talk to this meeting two years ago, my wife Margie was delighted to hear how well it went, until I mentioned that after the speech, certain women who shall remain nameless were asking me to autograph various parts of their bodies. So Margie came along with me this year.

You guys travel enough to get sick of it, but I dream of exotic destinations like Saint Louis. The closest I've come recently was when Laura Woodburn returned from two weeks on the road. She said "Here, Larry, have an airline snack", and she tossed me a bag of peanuts. She must have missed the sign that says "Please don't feed the Engineers".

But now, I'm an experienced world traveler myself, and after only one trip, because it took me thirteen hours to get to St. Louis yesterday on American, via thunderstorm-plagued Chicago, on two "Beverage-service only" flights. It was brutal; the passenger to my right got eaten. In that time, I could have flown to Paris. Twice.

Here, Laura, have an airline snack.
[Tosses a bag of pretzels into the audience]
Tosses bag of peanuts int the audience

But here I am, and I had no trouble picking a topic for this speech. There are now three things in life that you can't avoid: Death, taxes, and the Year 2000. With inheritance taxes, you can't even use Death to avoid Taxes, although you can use Death to avoid the year 2000, but only if you act quickly! Anyway, we finally know why the chicken crossed the road: to sign up for COBOL classes.

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