Gray-haired Man Freezes His Keester Off

It was a plan conceived to save an old man’s body from the suffering in low temperatures. It failed. Yesterday, I spent the morning hours begging for money to feed those in need. The plan called for a milder time today. deliberately, I signed up for  afternoon hours thinking the temperature would be milder. It wasn’t. Granted the temps were up from those in the morning, but they were lower this afternoon than they were yesterday in the morning. The result is that this gray-haired old man froze his keester off while begging.

The citizens of Frankfort were most appreciative and contributed generously. My fellow Lion, Tony, who has cerebral palsy and who has been a Lion for over thirty years, showed me up big time. He sat in his wheelchair bundled in his heaviest winter clothes and wrapped in blankets while begging. His bucket is always twice as heavy as any one else’s.

The manager from Jewel came out and told me to come in and to warm up, to have a complimentary cup of coffee, and to not bear the cold. I bravely told her it was better to freeze and look pathetic, people will give more willingly. Is that dumb or what?

My mind wandered as the cold penetrated my layers. This time it only took a few minutes to reach my joints, where yesterday it took an hour before I reached a point where my shoulders ached.

What a wimp I have become, I thought, remembering times past. Why just thirty-something years ago I went on a weekend campout with the Boy Scouts in below zero weather. Here I am standing within a few feet of a building in twenty-six degrees complaining about how cold I am. What a wimp those years have made me. Then, I looked across the front of Jewel to the second entrance and saw Tony patiently sitting in his wheel chair without a whimper. Yes, I am a wimp.

I remembered when I led my Boy Scout Troop 1776 to the Klondike Derby campout in Yorkville in January. The daytime temp was never above zero degrees, and the night-time temp dipped towards minus twenty. Amazingly, not a single scout or leader got frost bite or hypothermia. The crème de la crème came in the morning when the event ended and we all rushed to break camp and get the hell out of there. Not a single car started, and the leaders were all stuck starting frozen cars until four-thirty in the afternoon. That was not in the plan. We were smart enough to call home and have parents come to rescue their boys, but we were all stuck until the last car started and we all got out safely.

Yes! Thirty-plus years have turned me into a wimp. Where the hell is all this Global Warming stuff when you need it?

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