I am glad that it was August when my friend, Don Riley, extended to me the Ice Bucket Challenge. Had it come in January or one of the other six months of winter in Kansas, I suspect that I would have passed on the bucket part and just made a small but relatively sincere contribution to ALS research.
Instead, just under the twenty-four deadline, I put on my swim trunks and tee shirt, dumped a few pounds of ice into a bucket of cold water and handed Randa the camera. No big deal dumping ice water on your head when it’s for a good cause and it’s nearly ninety degrees outside, right? Randa pushed the red button and I did my intro, blaming Don Riley for the whole thing and attributing the good part to the memory of our friend, Ben Jackson, “who died of ALS back in 2003 in Cynthiana, Kentucky.” Then, I lifted the five-gallon bucket, and started dumping ice water over my head. Other than the difficulty that Randa had in holding the camera still while laughing hysterically, no big deal.
The only problem was that while I was reviewing the video, I realized that Ben Jackson died in 2001, not in 2003.
At first, I figured I would just make the correction in my written introduction to the video whenever I get around to posting it online. The more I thought about that idea, though, the less I thought of it. If you’re going to honor someone in such a weird way, the least you can do is get the year right. Right?
So yes, good folks, dear friends and distant neighbors, when you see that video of me standing in front of a big ole spruce tree and dumping a bucket of ice water on myself, that’s actually Take Two. I’m not sure that Randa wasn’t laughing even harder this time. I’m also not sure what kind of a moron has to rehearse something as simple as that. I’m quite sure I have a friend in Mayfield, Kentucky, that thinks it’s about the funniest thing he’s heard all day. Don’s laughter notwithstanding, anything worth doing is worth doing right, even if doing it right involves more effort and discomfort than we intended.
Whenever someone starts the Snake Pit Firewalk to raise money for the treatment of Religion Impaired Grillmeisters, the first person I challenge is going to be Don Riley.