When asked if she was nervous about leading the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic National Convention's Wednesday night proceedings, 16-year-old Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas told Politico
"Not really. I'm just going to go out there, be myself and have fun."
Now, the "be myself" part works, at least in a straightforward sense: Gabrielle will literally be being Gabrielle as she's up there saying the pledge.
What is less clear is how exactly Douglas plans to have fun while reciting a 30-word rote expression of patriotism.
Will she keep faking everyone out as she starts to say the pledge, causing them to trip up?
"I p...I pledge…I—Haha, suckers. WAIT FOR ME."
Will she recite a bawdy poem in place of the traditional vow? Will she walk up the mic like she's about to say the pledge, then take out her cellphone and talk to McKayla Maroney for 45 minutes? Will she take a big hit of helium right before speaking? Will she wear a hat that is either distractingly large or comically small?
Though the standard by which Americans measure success has shifted, in recent decades, from "Did you do the best?" to "Did you do your best?" to "Did you be yourself and have fun?" there are still a very few occasions where "fun" is not a viable end goal.
Reciting the pledge at the Democratic National Convention is one such occasion.
After all, when event organizers selected Douglas, their rationale was likely not "This laidback free spirit looks like she could really get out there and have fun with the pledge," but rather "This young woman looks like she could lead the pledge without going off script."
Another contender for pledge leader, Ryan Lochte, was removed from contention after he informed organizers he could not, in good conscience, pledge allegiance to a flag other than that of Lochtenation.
(The flag of Lochtenation is a small square cocktail napkin on which Ryan Lochte has scrawled, in careful block letters, "RIAN'S FLAG.")
To watch Gabrielle Douglas get out there and be herself and have fun while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, tune in to the Democratic National Convention tonight.
[Politico // Image via Getty]