My graduation from the Little Bo Peep Kindergarten was quite a big fête. Formal invitations were sent out to the elite of Brockton. Only the highest of the social order could attend. All of the 5 year olds were draped in classic pseudo ‘Gucci’ black caps and gowns. Each graduate had to speak in front of the auditorium full of eager guests. I was so nervous about the speech that I was selected to give. I stood in line with the other future Bo Peep alumni. I was experiencing my first episode of ‘as the stomach turns’. I was sweating profusely from multiple glands pacing back and forth wearing a permanent path into the plywood floor with my infamous orthopedic shoes, rehearsing my lines over and over. Would I get it right? Would the audience be impressed? Would I leave a lasting impression? Would I make my mark on the world? Slowly the procession moved forward like a Russian toilet paper line. We were going on stage alphabetically, and having a last name that fell at the end of the alphabet I had to be patient. Why couldn’t my last name be Aardvark so I could go up first and get this nightmare over with?
Finally my moment had come. I was up next. Oh my God I was so excited and terrified at the same time. I stepped carefully onto the stage with my heart pounding out of my chest and into my throat which was deafening even with the buzzing crowd before me. My hands were trembling, beads of sweat were dripping down my stout face and I felt as though my feet were made of tangerine Jell-O and were going to give out from under me like they did many years later after drinking 8 shots of Drambui and attempting to launch from a bar stool at the Westgate Lounge. At any moment I could land flat on my behind which I preferred not to do twice in the same year. And then, courageously I took off my graduation cap, gently pulled out the small strip of paper that was nestled inside of it and with the conviction of a great actor, I said “Q is for Queen.” And a star is born.