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If you’ve been blackout drunk before, you’ll recognize this feeling. You’re having a good time floating along, things are normal; then you blink and it’s five hours later. You’re sideways on your friend’s lawn. You seem to recognize the vomit in front of you; you heard your friends’ voices coming from behind; and you find a cold slice of pizza on your face.

Did you pee yourself? No? Good work, champ.

That’s what it felt like when I was offered the gig. I had no recollection of applying for the job and no idea why it was offered to me. An email just showed up one day and offered me a job. I felt wholly unqualified—I AM wholly unqualified—but that didn’t stop me from accepting the job.

This is America. Fake it ‘til you make it. What’s the worst that could happen?

I only remembered applying for the job when I went in for the interview—a full year later. When I submitted the application, I knew it was a long shot. They’d have to be desperate to hire me. No other option. Bottom of the damn barrel.

The interview was only a formality, and I was very unimpressive. I wouldn’t have hired me. I’m lucky to have squeezed my fat ass into the suit I bought 60 pounds ago.

Yes, I’ve been told that’s a horrible way to measure time.

Walking into the building for my first day of work, I was completely underprepared and had no idea how I was going to fake my way through this job.

It’s okay, Ry. You’ll figure this out. You always figure it out. Figure It Out was an underrated show. I hope they bring back Legends of the Hidden Temple. No, I want to be on Guts instead. I’ll be the kind-of-out-of-shape-guy that does surprisingly well and finishes in second. Yeah, second is more believable. Was it the Astro-Crag or the Aggro-Crag? Agrocrag? Why was the Shrine of the Silver Monkey always so confusing? That always seemed like one of the easier rooms.

I entered the room where I’d be spending the next five months, made a beeline to what I assumed would be my desk, and plopped my stuff down. Twenty blank faces stared at me expectantly. I had no idea what to do, what to say. There was a book I was supposed to read before this, but I hadn’t even thought about buying it.

I’m Ryan Goddamn Fay. I can fake my way through anything. Elementary school chorus. Catholicism. Dating. I’m never gonna die. Say something now, say something smart that ties back around to it later, and they’ll think you planned it all along. That’s a problem for Future Ryan. Now just open your mouth and introduce yourself the way they expect you to. After that, everything will all fall into place.

“Good morning everyone. I’m Professor Fay. Welcome to Intro to Public Speaking. I’ll have printouts of the syllabus for you next class.”

Ryan Fay

Ryan is an editor and semi-pro author with life goal of having enough money to buy the cool things people make in DIY videos.

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