« Non-speech »
adies and Gentlemen:
I assume you are ladies and gentlemen, although I have no way of knowing, because I am not present.
It gives me a great deal of pleasure not to be with you on this momentous occasion. I can safely say that only one thing would give me greater pleasure, and that would be to be with you.
This "would be to be" stuff is a little confused, and if I keep going I shall get trapped in a semantic monstrosity suitable only for sale to John Campbell, Jr.
So let's proceed with the body of my speech and try to dismember it.
As I don't look out and see your smiling faces, I am not reminded of any funny stories today.
There are many things I would like to impress upon you if I could, but how can I, being a thousand miles away.
All there is left for me to say is, enjoy yourselves. I am with you in spirit if not in the flesh...and if anybody taps George Smith on the shoulder as he is about to take a drink of Pepsi Cola, or breathes down Tucker's neck as he is about to lay out a hand of Old Maid, it's probably me, in spirit. I shall also be hanging around the auction, offering fake bids, and my astral presence (pardon the expression) will haunt the party in Korshak's suite.
This is the first convention in history which I am privileged to enjoy as a ghost.
In conclusion, let me tell you all how much I enjoyed not talking to you today, and I hope I haven't bored you with the speech I didn't give. I should like to say, "Thank you very much," but why should I?
As a matter of fact, I never opened my mouth!