We are of course grateful, humble, and a little bit tipsy...so here to accept the award is AHOY Publicity Coordinator Hanna Bahedry! With a slight assist from illustrator Peter Bagge...
I HADN'T PREPARED ANY REMARKS
My word, this is just—this is just such a surprise. Hand to God, I didn’t prepare at all for this. Not a lick. I even had a moment last night where I was like: “Should I prepare something just in case? Like, on the off-off-off chance that I win?” But I dismissed the thought almost immediately. It was getting late and I was still a little bit drunk from the afternoon and I thought—no bullshit here, I really thought this—I thought: “Who’s going to give me an award? Little old hapless, goofy, off-beat moi? Never in a million years.” And so instead of writing anything down I just put the kids to bed while nanny supervised before swallowing one of my special melatonins and blacking out.
I almost didn’t even show up here today I was so sure I wasn’t going to win anything. No joke—I almost stayed home! My husband had to actually carry me here, fireman style, after he and the children dressed me like I was one of my daughter Serafina’s American Girl dolls. He and our limo driver had to drag my semi-conscious body down the red carpet between them Weekend at Bernie’s-style to get me here, my stilettoed feet drifting behind me like a child’s beach toy through the sand. Seriously! I’ve been told by my publicist that there’s footage of it.
And Lord knows I wasn’t expecting to hear my name called when they announced the winner! Certainly not when I was up against so many talented people. I mean, I straight up wasn’t even in the room when they called my name! You all know. You were there. That camera cut straight to my empty chair. You all had to watch like five or six solid minutes of the emcees trying to fill dead air while the cameraman wandered frantically through the theater trying to hunt me down. I was so shocked when he finally found me, out back by the dumpsters trying to bum a smoke off a security guard, and told me I’d just won, I didn’t believe him! Not even when the security guard showed me that I was trending on Twitter. Incidentally, what’s a hot mess? Somebody tell me after.
I thought the whole thing was a gag. I took my sweet time, as you might remember, making my way up to the stage— finished my cigarette first and everything! But when I finally got in here and saw my name on that screen next to the word “winner,” I swear you could have knocked me over with a feather. Turns out you didn’t even need a feather, really, as those couple glasses of wine with dinner had gone straight to my head and I took a fairly significant nosedive on my way up those stairs—to the point that I’m actively bleeding pretty badly right now. True story!
I know I have so many people I need to thank for getting me here tonight, but the thing is, I don’t actually remember most of their names. It’s not even just that I forgot to write them down—it’s that I was so utterly, completely convinced that I’d never get this award that I never bothered to learn their names in the first place. I remember a man with a moustache and a pen who seemed to be coming in and out of my trailer a lot. And there was that woman who would bring me coffee, and the other one with the makeup bag, and then a whole bunch of folks holding all those cameras. Also I spent a hell of a lot of time with that one guy who was in the majority of my scenes with me, the one from the movie poster? That one’s bugging me, actually, I’m pretty sure I know that one. The second I’m off the stage I’m gonna be like, “Oh, Billy, duh!” But not Billy. Something like Billy. It’ll come to me.
It looks like they’re telling me to wrap it up. There’s a lady with a headset who has been gesticulating wildly at me for about ninety straight seconds, and I can see behind her that there’s a stretcher and a couple of EMTs in the mix as well, which feels like a smart call. Hopefully next time you give me one of these awards, I’ll be better prepared.
(This piece was first published in SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #3)