The Journey

A Diary of my Pursuit of Life\’s Best

Memories Are Made of This

So, I’m a Toastmaster in Kenya. Toastmasters is a club that teaches communication and leadership skills through a learn-by-doing approach. My latest speech project was The Roast and I roasted my dad. It was great fun – I enjoyed being at the lectern and I managed to get him and the rest of my audience in stitches.

The speech has bits and pieces of humour that I picked from various sources that I had to tweak to make the speech work …

I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed crafting and delivering it!!!

There are millions of definitions.

There are probably as many definitions of a father as there are people in the planet. My favourite one reads, “Father: A banker provided by nature.”

I present to you family bank!

My father is an extremely generous soul. A man of his word, he is a strong believer in impeccability, industry and integrity. Rather than lie, he will use a quick-witted response to get out of a sticky situation or drive his point home.

I recall the day I brought home the worst report form in my life. Squinting to make sure he was seeing the right thing, he said to me, “At least this report form shows that you haven’t been cheating.” What an optimist!

I also remember us leaving the house late one morning – on my account. Ever the gentleman, he did not utter a word about my tardiness. However, he was a bit too enthusiastic on the accelerator and was stopped by a policeman.

“I’ve been waiting for a driver like you!” boomed the officer.

“I know, officer – I got here as fast as I could.” We got off scot-free, but he was a bit shaken by what had been a very close brush with the death of his career as a bank.

A while back, he got involved in a debate on healthy living…what to eat…the value of exercise…how to live. Suddenly, he said, “Look at that elephant. It’s fat! Can you believe that all it does all day everyday is eat vegetables and walk?? And look at the cheetah. It eats herbivores (also known as processed vegetables) and it runs!”

That elicited a “You want to die young?” from his friend.

“No … not at all. I want to die happy!”

When I was growing up, my father always told me, “You must always leave the house looking your best – dress for the occasion”. He set a fine example. One Sunday morning, I woke up to find him dressed to the nines. A bit puzzled, I asked him what the occasion was. “It’s Sunday, sweetheart.” I’m going golfing and I’m looking my best. Just before he left, I noted that he had a ‘potato’ in one sock. I thought it dulled his outfit. “Don’t worry, my dear – a hole-in-one is a very prestigious affair in golf. I’m just dressed for that occasion”. That day, he hit a hole-in-one and doesn’t wear holes-in-one anymore.

It would be unfair if I concluded this speech without telling you about my latest experience with my favourite banker. Over the holidays, my phone gave me lots of trouble. I whined about it at every opportunity, if only to have my family share my misery. This year, my father bought me a beautiful phone and I am eternally grateful. Next year, I hope that my car will give me trouble.

My father celebrated his birthday last week. His face shows it a little, his head shows it a little more, but his heart shows his age most of all. I know that every wrinkle, every little white hair and every lost white hair will be evidence of the joy that comes from giving and the fulfilment of giving unreservedly. And so, I say unreservedly, I love you and am extremely proud to be associated with family bank!!

February 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments