If you're up for it, you can read it here.
And now a humble, mini pep talk on rejection: According to my records, I've submitted 18 pieces to McSweeney's since late 2002. Part of it is figuring out precisely the kind of stuff they publish. But there were some submissions I sent them that I was sure were so incredibly right for them.
Another thing: As happy as I am to finally gotten a piece past them at McSweeney's, this piece was rejected by two other publications and was sitting in piles at four other pubs when it was accepted.
This is all to say that the value of our work and the opinions of others, even "serious editors" are so subjective. We all know this but we need to repeat it to ourselves daily. In fact, say it right now. Go on, say it.
Anyway, here's an excerpt to whet ye olde appetite:
I feel like it's my obligation to make this commencement speech something you won't ever forget, and doing that with mere words and wisdom and funny stories is, frankly, impossible.
And that's why I've decided to release a family of lions into the audience. Granted, some of you will lose your lives and some will be mauled to that icky point where you'd rather be dead. Some will lose limbs but go on to secure respectable employment with reasonable wages, assuming they've retained the use of at least one arm. Others will mark great achievement in the artificial-limb industry—if not for yourself, then as a tribute to a fellow graduate. For the rest of you: Congratulations, you've made it. Welcome to the real world.