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State of the Family 

by RICHARD MILLER & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & M & lt;/span & y Fellow Family Members: Tonight, I'm proud to report that the state of our family is strong. It has been my honor to serve as husband and father of this household for the past 17 years. In that time, Carol and I have raised three fine American children and they are present tonight, here at this dinner table. Caitlyn, Britney and Zack, would you please stand up? Caitlyn, please take those earphones off. Now. You may applaud. (Applause.) Thank you, Zack. You may stop now. I said stop. Stop! All right. Thank you.





This has been a year of challenge and triumph, a year that has seen Britney tragically cut from soccer by the soft bigotry of a coach who hates us for our heartland values. Some would suggest we kneel before his authority and quail at the sound of his shrill whistle. I respectfully disagree. I believe, as does every freedom-loving American, that the world would be better off if that whistle were found deep in his spider hole. (Applause. Joyful slurping of milk.)





Amid the struggles, it has also been a year of bright new hope. Caitlyn has conquered her malaise, with the help of Pfizer, a company based right here in America. Britney has reached a historic compromise with family leaders on the eye shadow issue, which I still say makes any 12-year-old look like a Nyquil-swilling floozy. And Zack, exemplifying the bold spirit of our forefathers, has liberated himself from the tyranny of plastic bed sheets. (Applause and cheering.)





Carol too has shown the pride and power of being an American, exploring new frontiers in tennis, with invaluable and apparently hands-on help from the club's latest import to our great nation, Gregorio. We remain, as always, a shining beacon of opportunity to the filthier countries. (Fidgeting) Stop fidgeting. Thank you.





Speaking of Carol, known simply as "Mom" to the children who used to love her, she will be transitioning to an ambassadorial role in the coming year, and be temporarily based in an East Sprague motel. I will be meeting with Carol, Gregorio and their swarm of flesh-eating attorneys to discuss the financial arrangements. Carol, would you like to stand up? No. Are you sure? I didn't think so. I really didn't think so.





& lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & n reflection, then, it has been a good year, a great year, and I commend the entire family for their achievements. (Applause. Throwing of celebratory peas.) Thank you. And take those out of your nose.





Amid the celebration, though, we cannot afford to be complacent. (Gross sneezing noises.) Due to Carol's well-deserved promotion, we face new financial challenges. Some would say we should quit, we should snivel, we should quake with cowardice and mewl like a teensy-weensy kitten. I respect that view, but I disagree. I strongly disagree. I believe these new challenges offer new opportunities. So tonight, my fellow family members, I will set out a historic new path, a vibrant agenda for a vibrant American family. (Spilling of celebratory milk.) Not yet, I'll tell you when I'm done.





First, Boxer, our longtime dog, after long and careful consideration, has decided to pursue other interests at a farm in North Idaho. Boxer's position will go dark for now and be re-evaluated at the beginning of the next budget year. (Whining.)





Second, some of Carol's valuable work has been outsourced. Rosa, our dedicated cleaning person who came to this country seeking a better life, will take on new responsibilities and shall assume the Cabinet-level post of Mistress of Domestic Affairs. I'd like to extend my personal appreciation for her enthusiastic and deliciously acrobatic contributions during the past year.





& lt;span class= "dropcap " & A & lt;/span & nd finally, my fellow family members, to ensure the future prosperity of this great family -- and based solely on seniority, not on any personal rancor -- Zack will be taking on an exciting and challenging new role at Miss Leatherstrap's School for Boys. We would like to honor him tonight for his five years of service to this family. (Applause mixed with sniffling.) Zack's position will also go dark, and his college fund will be protected in my Club Med "lockbox." Zack, you may leave the table and start packing. (Weeping.) There's no point in crying, Zack. Second-guessing is not a strategy.





And so this family moves forward, optimistic about our future, faithful to our values, and confident of the year to come. (Loud belching. Quiet sobbing. Boxer celebratorily throws up on rug.) May God bless us all. Please take your dishes as you leave.

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