The following is a transcription of a speech given by Col. Brian L. Etchieson on the occasion of the American Dairy Prevention Council's annual Epiphany Dinner and Twentieth Anniversary Celebration, held on the thirteenth of February, 2007. Edited for content.
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished members of other species. It is my great pleasure and honor to welcome you all to this, our American Dairy Prevention Council's annual Epiphany dinner and twentieth anniversary celebration! (applause)
It seems only yesterday that Commander Julin, Col. Keely and I received our charter, and with it custody of the archives, as granted us by the secret chiefs of the A.D.P.C., from high in their mountain stronghold, deep in the Himalayas. In the twenty years since that event, we have had many successes, and surprisingly enough, absolutely no failures! (applause)
Now, our various exploits are familiar to all of you sitting here tonight, but I would like to touch upon some of the highlights of the past year. Please join me in congratulating Captain Katherine McDonnel on the success of her mission as our envoy to the second-largest anti-dairy organization on this planet; namely, the nation of India. She has successfully negotiated a treaty with them, which, incidentally, now makes us allied to a nuclear power! (applause) I would also like to recognize Engineer First Class Thaadd Powell, who led the mission to rescue our long-suffering comrade Omaha from his exile in the land of the not-we. (applause) Let us not forget also, that this year, the A.D.P.C. finally acquired that final credential necessary for any secret society; in can now be said, truthfully, that all of our upper echelon of leaders are high-level Masons! (applause)
As we look upon our long and glorious history, certain words come to mind. Determination. Persistence. Professionalism. If history has taught us anything, it's that these virtues get you absolutely nowhere! Where was Archimedes when he had his eureka moment? Lazing about in the tub! Where was Newton when he had his gravitic revelation? Under a tree, sleeping it off after a long night with Sam T. Coleridge! When our beloved Nicola Tesla first developed his theory of anti-gravity, did he test it in some sterile lab? No! He did it the old fashioned way, by jumping off his parents' roof!
My friends, it is not the Edisons and company lab-men who move the world. It is the wing nuts, the oddballs, the geeks who propel innovation; it is we who shift the lever which moves the world. It is these virtues which are inculcated in our philosophy; it is that spirit which moves the A.D.P.C. forward. Our friends at NASA have as their motto, this slightly bowdlerized Latin saying: per aspera, ad astra; which is to say, through aspiration, to the stars. A noble sentiment, true; but I prefer the original parsing, to wit: per absurdia, ad astra! Yes, it is through rampant silliness that we shall attain the stars! (applause)
So, my friends, it is in that spirit which, in closing, I would like to offer our traditional (and perhaps starting to sound over-patriarchal) tripartite toast:
(all) To the mission! (applause)
Transcribed from the audio record by A.D.P.C. Junior Archivist J. Foote, at the request of Senior Archivist Col. T. Keely. Copyright 2007 A.D.P.C.