Shadow Convention Ė August 15, 2000

Al Franken (as Stewart Smalley)

Ok, Iím a little nervous. In fact I havenít been this scared since I spoke at the National Shame Conference. Thatís OK, because Iím owning my fear. Thank you. Wasnít the last speech great? The Mayor of Salt Lake City. I thought they couldnít have caffeine there. No wonder theyíre ODíing; they donít have any tolerance.

I donít know anything about politics, and Iím not interested in it either, although one of my heroes was a politician, Mahatma Ghandi. Although, a woman in my Overeaterís Anonymous group told me that he had an eating disorder. Nobodyís perfect. Iím scared, but itís OK. Just remember, fear is a dark room where negatives get developed. Isnít that cute? You know why? Because itís true.

Oh, we were talking about politics. As I say, I donít anything about it. I do like President Clinton, Iíll tell you why; because I think heís in recovery, you know, for a couple things. The one thing I relate to is heís ACOA, which I am. My fatherís an active alcoholic Ė Stinking Drunk Ė and as you know, his stepfather when he was growing up was an abusive drunk who hit his mother. I love the story that Bill Clinton told about when he was fifteen he went up to his father who had been hitting his mother and he said "Dad, youíre not going to hit mom anymore. If you want to try it youíre going to have to come through me" and his dad never hit his mother anymore. I relate to that so much because when I was about the same age, I did the same thing. I said "Dad, youíre not going to hit mom anymore. Youíre going to have to deal with me," and then he beat the crap out of me.

I like Hillary too, though. Remember when she said "Itís not "Stand By Youíre Man:," which is, like you know, the co-dependent anthem, unless itís "Ainít No Mountain High Enough." Very codependent if you look at the lyrics. Or the Robin Hood song, you know, "Everything I Do I Do For You." Thereís a line in it "I would die for you." Isnít it about time that someone writes a song with a lyric "I would live for you"? Letís see, Iím so scared.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself, and where Iím coming from, and why Iím here. Because Iím a member of several 12-Step programs, OA, ACOA, Al Anon, Debtors Anonymous Ė I have money issues Ė I have issues with money. I donít have any. I spend too much sometimes. Also, I donít ask for enough when I work. Itís an issue.

There are a lot of groups. I have to tell you a story. Have you heard of COSA? Itís Co-dependents Anonymous with Sex Anonymous combined; hereís the joke. How many COSA members does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. They detach, and tell the light bulb to go screw itself. Isnít that cute? You know why? And itís true.

Anyway, I guess the reason Iím here is because Iíve learned today that I am whatís called a "demand sider," which is, Iím for treatment instead of incarceration.

I think pretty much everyone should be in a 12-Step program, but especially people who, you know, are addicted to substances or other people or whatever, food or alcohol especially, which is, uh, hideous. It gives you tools, 12-Step programs. For example, it teaches addicts Ė Iím an addict; Iím a food addict and a people addict Ė it teaches you things like "It is easier to put on slippers than it is to carpet the entire world."

Wanna hear a scary story? There was this girl, and she was twelve years old, she was babysitting for two little brothers. The house was a very scary house, because her father was an alcoholic, and thatís just scary. So anyway, she was babysitting, and the phone rang. She picked it up and she said "Hello" and the other voice on the other end went "Arrggh aaah arrghhh ahg" and she hung up the phone. So now she was very scared, so she went to the refrigerator and ate a Sara Lee. Then she checked on the kids, and then the phone rang again. She picked it up again and the voice said "Arrggh aaah arrghhh ahg" so she hung up the phone. She was very scared, and then it happened again, so she called the operator, and she said "Operator, Iím getting these strange calls, and I donít know what to do" and the operator said "stay on the line and weíll trace the call." So sure enough, a minute later the phone rang again and the guy said"Arrggh aaah arrghhh ahg" and the operator came on and said "get out of the house, itís your father, heís in the house and heís drunk. " Isnít that scary? But everything turned out OK, because the operator called social services and they got him in a program, so it has a happy ending. Doesnít that have a happy ending?

Iím going to do real quick affirmations for everybody. Especially, are there any police here? OK, because you know, theyíve been having a hard time, you know. OK close your eyes and say "Hello, me. I am a police officer. I am fun to be with. I have a hard job. Sometimes I make mistakes, but thatís OK, because Iím good enough, Iím smart enough, and Gosh darn it, some people like me."

OK, I gotta go. Thank you. One day at a time.

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