A large auditorium is filled by a sea of very similar looking black haired boys and men who face a podium. Suddenly, “HAIL TO THE MIKE” plays and the thirty-two year old CURRENT MIKE enters in a well tailored suit. He marches to the podium with resolve in his eyes.
“Good afternoon, my fellow Mikes. Times are hard at the moment for us, and many Mikes are unhappy with the direction that I, as the current leader, have taken Mike. My approval rating is historically low. This cannot be denied. Nevertheless, before I address your specific concerns, I would like to point out a couple successes of my administration.
First, while Mike has gained twenty pounds since I was sworn in as leader, it must be noted that he has lost two pounds in the last two weeks. This is a small loss, yes, but a step in the right direction.
Second, Mike’s bowling average, which has consistently gotten worse for over a decade, is now on the rise thanks to pro-bowling legislation enacted during my term. I am proud to say that a 160 average is visible on the horizon, and we will get there. We can do it. Yes, we can.
I will now open the floor up to questions.”
Hands shoot into the air. Current Mike points to the EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD MIKE.
EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD MIKE: “You speak today about having lost two pounds. But that, sir, is too little too late. When I was the current Mike he weighed 180 pounds, wore size 34 jeans, and – if I may say so myself – looked damn good. You, on the other hand, represent a Mike who is only a couple slices of pizza away from being mistaken for John Goodman!”
The gang of Mikes cheers and hollers. Current Mike firms his chin.
CURRENT MIKE: “First, I would like to say that John Goodman is a fine actor, and we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss a comparison to him. Nevertheless, Mike is nowhere near that large, and you know it, Eighteen-Year-Old Mike. Second, I want to re-iterate that Mike has lost two pounds of late, and has done so under challenging circumstances the likes of which you never had to deal with during your administration!”
EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD MIKE: “Are you actually saying that being in charge of Mike is harder now than it was during my day?”
CURRENT MIKE: “Yes, sir, I certainly am. While the eighteen-year-old Mike was an active young college student with a gym membership, the Mike of my administration is a stay at home dad who rarely leaves the home. That is not good for the waist, nor is the fact that Mike’s metabolism is slowing down!”
There is half-hearted applause among the Mikes. Current Mike leans over the podium and points a finger at Eighteen-Year-Old Mike.
CURRENT MIKE: “Furthermore, while you are quick to remind us of your Mike’s trim figure, you have neglected to mention your administration’s failings. Even a cursory glance at your record shows that the Eighteen-Year-Old Mike pulled staggeringly few girls for a Mike with a 34 inch waist, and for that you, sir, should be ashamed!”
The collection of Mikes boo the Eighteen-Year-Old Mike who turns red and sprints out of the auditorium. The Current Mike smirks, pleased.
CURRENT MIKE: “Next question!”
More hands shoot into the air. Current Mike points to the six-year-old Mike, who wears an astronaut’s suit.
SIX-YEAR-OLD MIKE: “You may have gotten quite a positive reaction from the Mikes with your mockery of Eighteen-Year-Old Mike’s failure to pull girls, but pulling girls, sir, is not something that interests me. I still contend that girls are icky! Even if that is an unpopular position among Mikes these days!”
The collection of Mikes heckles the SIX-YEAR-OLD MIKE.
CURRENT MIKE: “If your question is about why I have ignored your pleas to create an ‘Anti-Girl’ amendment, Six-Year-Old Mike, you are wasting your breath!”
More cheers. Six-Year-Old Mike stands on a chair.
SIX-YEAR-OLD MIKE: “No, sir! My question does not have to do with girls! What I would like to know is why you have done so little to realize my administration’s number one goal – making Mike an astronaut!”
TWELVE-YEAR-OLD MIKE, who wears a San Francisco Giants’ baseball uniform, goes to Six-Year-Old Mike’s side.
TWELVE-YEAR-OLD MIKE: “And I would like to know why your administration has done so little to make Mike the Giants’ first baseman. Mike is almost thirty-three! We must act now!”
A scattering of applause mixes with boos among the Mikes. Current Mike pounds the podium.
CURRENT MIKE: “Not all goals can be accomplished. That is the nature of being human!”
The Six and Twelve-Year-Old Mikes cross their arms and pout.
CURRENT MIKE: “And, Six-Year-Old Mike, you really need to let this astronaut thing go. If you remember, we did much research into what it would take to become an astronaut, and deemed it an impossibility as far back as the Nine-Year-Old Mike’s administration!”
NINE-YEAR-OLD MIKE, who wears a fireman’s uniform, nods sagely.
CURRENT MIKE: “As for playing major league baseball, Seventeen-Year-Old Mike made the hard decision – one I applaud him for making – to give up that ghost.”
The SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD MIKE, who wears a Pinewood High School baseball jersey, wipes a tear as the TWENTY-TWO YEAR OLD MIKE runs on-stage wearing dark shades, a beret, and clutching a screenplay.
TWENTY-TWO-YEAR OLD MIKE: “But what of our writing career? Have we given up that ghost as well? If so that is a very sad legacy for my administration, which saw Mike receive a degree from the prestigious University of Southern California Film School! Your faulty policies have kept Mike from superstardom as a writer, an eventuality that, to my administration, seemed like a foregone conclusion!”
CURRENT MIKE: “You, sir, and your entire administration, were naive to the realities of becoming a professional writer. You had no idea the kind of competition that awaited Mike once he graduated, and if you had, you might have spent less time in college drinking beer and watching The Simpsons with your friends, and more time writing! Furthermore, this administration still makes becoming a professional writer a main concern, and is taking measures to ensure that happens.”
TWENTY-TWO YEAR OLD MIKE: “Measures? Like what? Writing this blog?”
The Mikes break into mocking laughter. Current Mike reddens.
CURRENT MIKE: “Well, yes, in fact I think this blog -”
The Mikes howl even louder and drown out Current Mike. They sober, however, when tears well in Current Mike’s eyes. A long beat passes as Current Mike composes himself.
CURRENT MIKE: “Being Mike is not easy. Each of our administrations has seen that first hand. Mike has dreamt dreams that have been dashed. He has presented his heart only to have it stepped on. And, yes, he has gained a few pounds. But there is still time. And as long as there is time I know that no Mike will ever give up on trying to make his life all that it can be.”
Scattered applause echoes throughout the auditorium.
CURRENT MIKE: “In the meantime, I think it is important that we stop to acknowledge something.”
Current Mike steps away from the podium, walks over to the wall, and flips off the lights. He then hits a button that projects the following image onto the wall twenty feet high and wide:
CURRENT MIKE: “This is something we can all be proud of.”
Slowly, but surely, Mike after Mike applauds until each and every one is clapping. Current Mike returns to the podium with pride in his eyes.
CURRENT MIKE: “Thank you, my fellow Mikes! Keep the faith! We will prevail!”
The Mikes rise, giving Current Mike a standing ovation that grows louder than the encore of a U2 concert. Current Mike looks back at the photo on the wall, then pumps his fist in the air.