You People Kill Me

by Jim Abbott

Let me see if I got this straight
You're nervous because at this time next week
In front of a room full of people whom you've yet to meet
At your place of employment
You must give a short speech
Nine, maybe ten minutes in length
You'll excuse me, won't you
If not a tear I do shed
Because of this ordeal, which for you
Does lay ahead
In fact, no offense
And please don't take this the wrong way
But I really can't help but laugh
vAt the manner in which I see you behave
You don't realize, do you?
You just don't have a clue
As to how lucky those such as you really are?
You think you get antsy about having to talk
In front of a bunch of strangers?
Well now, perhaps you'd like to walk
That is, take a short stroll, maybe a mile or two
Spend a little while living in our shoes
So, you say
You're in a bad way
Well that's how it is for us
Every second of every day
What exactly are you afraid of, pray tell?
Fumbling and stumbling over your words
Well now, is that right?
Could it be perhaps
That you haven't heard, perchance
About this little thing
That we call stuttering?
Listen, at least you can say your name
Without having to explain
Why it takes you 'bout a minute to do so
Yeah and when you walk into a restaurant
You can order exactly what it is that you want
A lot of us can't
Now, what do you think about that
And what about when you hear the phone ring?
Does your heart skip a beat, or two, or three?
Ours does
And you better believe that that's true
But you wouldn't know anything about that
Now would you?
And now you got to give this here speech
Well boo frickin' hoo
You say that you're just a wee bit scared
It's not that I mean to be rude
But please, here's 35 cents
Now go tell someone who cares
When you've spent some time in our world
Then come back and speak to me about fear
Until then, I just don't want to hear it
Don't want nor need to talk with you about it
You people kill me
You really do

added with permission October 16, 2001