Requirements for my speaking engagements

Sure, bendy straws. Whatever you want.

Recently there was much ado in the news about the rider to Sarah Palin’s speaking engagement contract. In it, she requested some specific things like bendy straws, specific air travel requirements and pre-screened questions.

I am not a Palin fan. The last time I wrote anything that was thought to be anything but overwhelmingly positive about her I got hate mail. Somehow that didn’t change my mind. I’m bringing her up now because, since she and I are both in the business of advancing silly opinions in public, her contract has me thinking of updating my requirements for future speaking engagements.

Please be advised that this is not my complete list of requirements. I reserve the right to add conditions as I develop needs or just feel like being capricious about things.

The stage

The stage should be set with a black back drop. I will require a laptop and projector as well as a large screen to project visual aids as I see fit.

A Central Asian rug, 19th century. The symmetr...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia, public domain)

An 8×10 oriental rug will be placed in front of my microphone stand. I’ve seen that Jimmy Buffett has one on stage and I think I’d like to work that way too.  In fact, I will be in shorts and barefooted.

A pedal shall be placed at the front of my mike stand. When I step on the pedal, it should change my voice so I sound like Barry White. I don’t know how someone would do that, or why I need it. If I decide during my talk that sounding like Barry White would help me make my point more effectively, heads will roll if I step on the pedal and it doesn’t work.


There should be a single spotlight that follows me on stage. Having it follow me off stage would just feel odd.

I will also require a light that shines upward from floor level so I can do that scary flashlight under the chin face. I’ll need to control the light from up on stage.


Music shall be played through the PA system before I’m ready to go on stage. I’ll provide that.

When I take the stage, The Theme from Speed Racer should be played. When I leave, Disorder in the House, by Warren Zevon.

Questions from the audience

Prescreened questions are for losers. I would hope the audience would make sure that at least half their questions are on topics I know nothing about.

I will pick an audience member to pitch wiffle balls to me to hit.

During the question and answer period, i will go into the audience and interact directly with the audience.  I’ll put my shoes on because most theater floors are pretty gross.

I will require all of this…and two bendy straws. And a wiffle ball bat, and fifty wiffle balls to hit into the audience.

And some pineapple.


18 Comments on “Requirements for my speaking engagements”

  1. izaakmak says:

    I like the voice effect thing. I’ve often wished I could do my posts in other voices. As for the going into the audience bit, I’m afraid I might catch the cooties!

    As for music, I’d have to go with Pink Floyd’s “In The Flesh” (the second version). My audience should tremble in fear of my raging insanity!

    Oh yeah, lots and LOTS of cash! 😆

    • omawarisan says:

      Oooh…good call on music.

      The Barry White thing just sort of came to me. I’m not sure when I’d use it, but when it hit me, I’d really want to do it.

      • izaakmak says:

        One of the characters of “Big Bang Theory” had a t-shirt with built-in sound effects and a remote to control them. I don’t know if such a thing is possible, but I want one! Particularly if I can load it with my own choices of sound effects! :mrgreen:

      • izaakmak says:

        I just posted the YouTube video of that sound effects t-shirt! 😆

  2. wordofabe says:

    These are all completely logical…except for the Barry White pedal. I don’t think you need that. The rug is a great idea. Make sure no one else is allowed to step on it. EVER! Throw a fit if they do and fine them. They won’t do it again.

  3. shutterboo says:

    Fantastic list of musts. I would also recommend sound effects at the push of button: crashing symbols, bleeps, ringing cellphones and the complete Batman effects like POW! BAM! and the ever-so-coveted “Holy haberdashery, Batman!”.

  4. tsanda says:

    wait you still need a check check check roadie? In. And whiffle balls are so much fun to home run derby…. my late gramps used to have a really boring house with a huge yard…but he always had 2x whiffle bats and some balls that me and my brothers hit into the neighbors scary yard…always had more though…great times…thanks for the memories!

    • omawarisan says:

      Oh, see you get the wiffle ball thing, so you are the Check Check Check.

      I was originally looking for someone from Prague so I could have a Check Check Check Czech.

  5. spencercourt says:

    And I thought these special requests were only for rock stars.

    Speaking of rock stars, I didn’t see any food requests, other than the pineapple. I would require a veritable feast!

    Let’s see, appetizer of some Spanish potato chips (kinda like kettle chips and minimal salt) and garlic stuffed olives, to go with the Sandeman Fino Sherry. About a dozen shrimp scampi and about 4 ounces of medium rare prime rib. Roast duck breast in a praeline sauce, based on the recipe from Alpine restaurant in New Orleans. Dessert will rotate but normally include exotic sweet Filipino rice cakes and fresh coconut chunks.

    • omawarisan says:

      Yeah, I thought about the food thing. My concern was ending up with the same thing every day. I need to have a rotating list of meals.

      Filipino Rice cakes? Hmmm…

  6. KathiD says:

    I would also like for you to have a helium tank, so you can make your voice high and funny.

  7. Karen says:

    Geez, a guy finds out he has “regular” readers and all of a sudden has delusions of seeing Russia from his front doorstep. No M&M color preference?!

    Can’t wait ’til you show up in the celebrity mags in the “Who Wore It Better?” column.

    • omawarisan says:

      I can see your house from my roof. Interesting.

      If I am in a who wore it better column, it must be either the Hawaiian shirt issue, or the baseball cap issue.

  8. […] will be able to work out the particulars. Yes, Darius Rucker is out there. I suppose he is pretty good. But I don’t carry all that […]

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