Meeting this challenge left me cold - but gave me a warm feeling

Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

There was probably a time when I’d take a cold shower for a good reason – nowadays, I take one for a good cause.

At least, that’s what I did last week – thanks to a high school classmate I haven’t seen for at least a quarter of a century and the latest fund-raising/video/social media craze sweeping the nation.

I was happily minding my life, enjoying a Thursday night out with my wife and a former colleague who was back in town when I checked my Facebook page on my smartphone and discovered that I had been issued an ice bucket challenge.

If you’ve somehow missed all the news about this phenomenon – and if you have, what rock are you living under – this is a fundraiser for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) where you either pour a bucket of ice water over your head or have someone pour it over your head.

If you complete the challenge, you’re asked to make a modest donation to ALS research, and if you refuse the challenge, you’re supposed to make a substantial donation in lieu thereof.

My challenge came from, as I said, a high school classmate who now lives in California – just another example of how social media can spread things good and bad across the country instantaneously.

In this case, the challenge was politically motivated.

Astrid happens to be just about at the opposite end of the political spectrum from me, and she called out myself as well as two other classmates who have gotten into political discussions on Facebook more than a few times.

I’ve often heard it said that revenge is a dish best served cold, but in this case Astrid apparently thought it’s best cold and poured over one’s head.

I recruited Terry to help me complete the challenge the next day, which probably just compounded the agony for me.

She showed up at work the next day with a bag of ice and a bucket – I had brought a change of clean, dry clothes with me.

After filling up the bucket with water and ice, she took her perch on the porch above me and got ready to pour.

Aiden was with us for the weekend and, when he learned what Mee-Mee was going to do, he decided he wanted to join me and showed up in his swim trunks.

However, when he saw the ice cubes in the bucket, he chickened out and decided it was better to cheer Mee-Mee on than to freeze with Poppie.

As it was, Mee-Mee had way too much fun with it.

Instead of dumping the ice water, she let it trickle down slowly, turning it into a real shower.

I wouldn’t have minded so much if she hadn’t been laughing so hard all the while.

Really, the cold water wasn’t too bad – it was one of the rare hot August days we’ve had this summer.

What hurt was the ice cubes bouncing off the top of my head – I don’t have anything left up there to cushion the blow, unfortunately.

I managed to survive somehow and I even felt almost like I’d just won the Super Bowl – except I didn’t get to go to Disney World, just to the bathroom to change my clothes.

Several of my colleagues at work got to watch my soaking – we did it over the lunch hour – and a few of them were afraid I was going to pass the challenge on to them.

Although I should have, given how hard they were cheering for Terry and how hard they were laughing at me, I kept my chal- lenges in the family.

And no, Terry wasn’t one of them – I haven’t stayed married for 39 years by doing anything that stupid.

I was already over my chilling by then, but making my donation online later still gave me a nice warm feeling and made it worthwhile – almost.

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