Michael smiled, grasping both sides of the wide podium and leaning forward until his arms formed upright right angles. “Have to begin with an apology,” he began. “After showering in my hotel room this morning, I realized I had forgotten to pack my electric razor.” He had actually realized this oversight shortly after leaving his house, but thought a little artistic license was appropriate. He stroked his chin to draw attention to his stubble. “I thought about going to the convenience store across the street to pick up a blade and shaving cream,” (he had actually never really considered it, aside from considering it as part of his story) “but it’s been twenty years since I last shaved with a blade, and back then, the results weren’t pretty.” (True on both points.) “Now in saying this, I fully realize that if I hadn’t said anything, most of you probably wouldn’t have noticed. However, you seem like a fairly perceptive audience, so there was a good chance that somebody would notice and start to wonder if I had a rough night last night. So, I had to make a decision — did I want to take a chance that some of you would think I was a dirtbag, or lay it on the line like this and convince you all that I’m an airhead?” The line drew the casual, polite laughter he had been seeking.

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