Killing Dennis Gauda II: Dennis Gauda Strikes Back

by tommy klehr

“That's Governor Gauda to you, punk!”

This is the line from my speech “Killing Dennis Gauda.” The speech lost the Tall Tales competition at the division level, but I was unfortunate to have a chance to do this speech for Dennis Gauda himself at the last conference.

Let me set the stage for you. Even those present have blocked out the events as they were so gruesome.

It was Saturday night at the bar at the RIT Inn. The fair Helen was serving 25 Toastmasters who were wetting their whistles. Having wet my own whistle, I easily gave in to the prodding to give my speech for Mr. Gauda, who was basking in the glow of an International Speech victory.

“That's Governor Gauda to you, punk!” got the attention and laughter of the audience. The punchline, though not as dramatic, got the applause and I thanked the listeners.

Mr. Gauda, a smile on his face, came up to me, his hand extended. “Very funny,” he said as we shook hands, his left hand on my shoulder.

“May I give you some feedback?” he asked.


He paused, inhaled, and said “Always know your audience.” His smile instantly changed to a sombre expression. In an instant he lifted his left food behind his right knee and lowered his right hand.

A flicker of light was all that I saw as he removed a blade from the heel of his cowboy boots and plunged it deep into my abdomen. It happened so fast that it took three seconds for my brain to register what had happened. By this time, he had twisted the knife around my insides.

He removed the blade, paused for a second to clean the blood with his tongue. “Bitter,” he said as he expectorated.

As I stood there, not realizing what was happening, his left hand moved from my shoulder and grabbed my hair.

It's my story and I'll have hair if I want to.

So he grabbed a handful of my Samson-envying auburn locks — again, it's my story — and takes the blade to my throat and sliced my neck. My body drops to the ground with a thump as he holds my disembodied head.

He then went to the table where the woman in red was sitting; he snatched her glass of wine, flicked the contents out. The woman in red glided her hand up to catch a drop of Merlot as it made its way between the northern hemispheres of her alabaster breasts. She licked the drop from her fingertip and nodded to the fair Helen for a refill.

Meanwhile, Dennis took the glass and held it under my severed head, catching the life force draining from my neck. When the glass was full, he brought it to his mouth and quaffed it down. A red mustache remains. Got blood?

“Never mess with Dennis Gauda!” he screamed to the crowd as he threw the glass down, shattering it.

He didn't use the word “mess,” by the way, but chose a much more colorful word.

He then picked up my leg and dragged my body, toting my head in his left hand, through the lobby and to the elevator, leaving a crimson trail behind.

Safely ensconced in the elevator, he hit the buttons for the floors: 3rd, 1st, 4th, 1st again, and finally the 5th floor. The button panel opened up. He ripped open his shirt, revealing a perfectly coiffed mane of chest hair, green for some reason, and with his knife, he shaved a patch above his heart. This revealed a circle with a strange symbol inscribed.

He then plunged the tip of his blade into his chest and circumscribed the tattoo. He pried the flesh out and put it in his pocket. He then poked a finger inside this new orifice. After a moment of audible digging, he pulled out a small metal object which he put in his mouth to clean. He removed it from his mouth and inserted it into a slot in the open panel. The elevator dropped like a brick, down, down, down.

When it stopped, the doors opened and he dragged me through the dimly-lit basement of the RIT Inn. He kicked the door open to a storage area, revealing boxes and boxes of complimentary bottles of conditioner.

He tossed my body and head down, rummaged through the boxes and grabbed a handful of bottles which he stuffed into his pockets. He took one bottle, opened it, and poured the contents into my mouth. A bright white light appeared. My head and body were now reattached, though I could not yet move.

He then knelt down and opened my shirt. He cut a circle of flesh in my chest, similar to his own. He plunged his finger into the hole in his own chest and pulled out another object, which he thrust deep into my open wound, without cleaning it this time. He returned the chunk of my flesh, pounded it in, and dumped the rest of the bottle on it. He then inscribed the same marking in my flesh: the Greek letter pi.

He slapped my cheek ensuring he had my full attention. He grabbed my chin in his hand and turned my head toward him.

“Congratulations. You're one of us now. Good luck.” Then got up to leave.

“You'll need these,” he said, tossing the empty bottle of conditioner at my face.

“One more thing,” he said, returning.

“Don't... ever... mess... with... Dennis... Gauda!” Each word perfectly punctuated with a caustic kick to the crotch. Once again, he didn't use the word “mess.”

He was gone. Disappeared into the darkness of the dank, dreary, dungeon, far below the lobby of the RIT Inn..

As I lay there, waiting for the throbbing in my groin to subside, I vowed that I would get revenge on Dennis Gauda and remove this vile curse of loquacity which he placed upon me.

In the meantime, I live day to day, speaking whenever possible, unable to shut up. All the while, needing my fix of complimentary bottles of hair conditioner to silence the demons.