Kirstie Alley was so nervous that her palms were sweating. Of course, Kirstie Alley’s palms were always sweating, but she could tell that this time they were sweating because she was nervous, not because her body was working overtime to process the sugar from an entire box of ice cream sandwiches. Well, OK, Kirstie Alley wasn’t a doctor, so maybe her palms were sweating from both nervousness and 12 ice cream sandwiches eaten with an animal-like vengeance in a bathroom stall just three minutes earlier. Kirstie Alley ordered a mocha Chai tea latte made with half-and-half and three Diet Cokes to calm her nerves.
On stage, another poet was reading something about a lake? And the lake was also her mother? And she wanted to bathe in her mother’s tears? So the lake was crying? Kirstie Alley had never particularly been a fan of poetry readings (NOT ENOUGH FROSTING!), but when she had received the email filled with animated GIFs of gnomes baking bread asking her to come to the Dreamcatcher Cafe tonight and read some of her Twitter postings, she figured it would be fun, and besides, maybe a casting agent would be here, or a branding expert for a diet foods corporation looking for a new, but mildly famous, and definitely moon-shaped face.
The poet finished and walked off stage. There was a smattering of mild, polite applause. Then, the skinniest woman Kirstie Alley had ever seen, a wisp of a woman who couldn’t weigh more than 200 pounds, got up to the microphone. “Up next,” she said into the microphone, squinting at the peel of feedback, “we are lucky to have one of the bravest new voices of our generation. Please welcome to the stage, Ms. Kirstie Alley!”
This was it! As Jim Carrey said in The Mask, IT’S SHOWTIME!
Kirstie Alley was still nervous and had a little bit of diarrhea as she climbed the stage. But she thrust back her shoulders, droplets of sweat popping everywhere, and reminded herself that she was a performer. How many of the frail men and brassy women in this room that smelled vaguely of BO and hemp clothing had the courage to do what she did? Well, most of them, since after the poetry reading ended, the cafe hosted an open mic poetry reading, and most of the audience was just waiting for that, but Kirstie Alley didn’t know. She gripped the mic, which disappeared into her flesh like an old friend.
Kirstie Alley cleared her throat. “This first poem,” she began, a weird Joker-smile creeping crookedways along her face, “is called ‘Run.’” She cleared her throat again, and found half an ice cream sandwich in there. She swallowed, and then she read her poem.
“EVERYONE RUN TO YOUR NEAREST SONIC AND GET A FREE ROOT BEER FLOAT!!!! RRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!! Thank you.”
The crowd erupted into applause. Kirstie Alley’s dress was matted to her body with sweat, but now the sweat wasn’t nervousness and treats, it was the flush of pride. And treats. She smiled a big, creepy, gargoyle smile, and lowered her head. “Thank you. This next poem is called ‘A Haiku for Joy Behar.’” Kirstie alley took a deep, ragged, gurgling breath. “and WHY has Joy Behar turned into such a self righteous cooz head? OOOOooo that’s right…..FOREVER!!!”
Again, the audience lost their minds. Gone was any shred of Kirstie Alley’s anxiety or self-consciousness (although the mild case of diarrhea remained). This was why she got into this business in the first place! Her fans loved her. Her fans needed her!
“My final poem is a freeform poem and it is called ‘Kirstie’s Poem.’” Kirstie shook her oily, ravaged hair, which was plastered across her brow. And she closed her eyes as the poetry took her. “HELLO PEPPER SPRAY HEADS! hope you got your finger on the BLOCK trigger!!!! go get em killers!! going to dinner with friends..then off for some sex with Vicky…..lmao…I wish it worked that way…LMAO would be much easier!! GOING TO DINNER….TINY LITTLE BIT THAT IT IS…lol…enough to wittle me down. and huge compared to our HAITI friends..will return soon a a aaaa roma ro ma ma… ga ga oo la la …want a GOOD romance…LOVE HER HELLO FUN PEOPLE…I just danced for an hour and I’m feeling lazy so I’m going on a HIKE…hike teacher could care less if I’m whining..lol GOOD MORNING BABY LOVE HEADS..our children are our future..we gotta take good care of em..kiss your babies all day long At MarleeMatlin MY B DAY WAS GREAT FUN!!!! I miss you..our lives are so crazy busy..when it rains it pours…anyway come visit me!!” Kirstie Alley opened her eyes. “Thank you, I’m Kirstie Alley.”
The audience was in tears and some were screaming “Truth! Truth!” Kirstie smiled and took a bow, and she was about to step off the stage when a figure came running towards her. “Kirstie Alley?” the figure asked. Kirstie nodded and smiled her terrifying smile. “My name is President Obama,” the figure said, and then President Obama stepped out of the shadows and the figure was President Obama. “I don’t have any idea what a hiking teacher is, but i do know what a Poet Laureate is, and I want to make you the Poet Laureate of the United States. My staff and I have been traveling the country and secretly hiding out in the backs of weird smelling coffee shops and hippy community centers looking for the right person, and I think you are that person. Let’s shake on it! It’s a deal!” The secret service was standing all around him and they were crying and nodding and reaching out just for the briefest of touches of the dampened fabric of Kirstie Alley’s frock.
Kirstie Alley could not believe it. She was such a good poet and she didn’t even know it. She could not wait to tell her family and her friends. She could not wait to tell her astonishingly large number of Twitter followers. But there would be time for all of that later. First, it was snacktime. And Kirstie Alley was FFAMISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHED.