“Welcome one and all to the First Annual Itinerant Understatements of Record Conference. Clearly this is the least important event you will attend this year.”
Ho, hum. The opening speeches all sound the same after a while.
“We expect this year’s efforts to be at least as interesting as last year’s. Or perhaps I hope that was an understatement, even if not in the running.”
Yup. Same old pabulum.
“The usual note about the name is in order. Every year is the first, because it will never get better than the first year. Past conferences are renumbered. Last year was the zeroth. Since negative numbers have no concrete existence, we don’t acknowledge earlier years.”
Nope. Nothing to see from last year.
We bring our smallest possible lies to display, in hopes of being not so much noticed as recognized for our skill in placing the lie in a context that makes it true, and sometimes placing truth in a context that makes it a lie.
For most of us, our hopes are sunk immediately on arrival when we realize that there are other people here.