Being a funny speaker isn’t all fun all the time. Particularly when you’re battling the elements and a fat foot.
Some of you know I’ve had my foot in a cast, and then a boot for a while. I’m getting better, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to run a 10 flat hundred or dunk a basketball anytime soon. But that’s probably because I couldn’t do those things before.
This has tested my patience at times though, like when I was in Fargo, North Dakota a few weeks back. I included North Dakota in that sentence in case you thought I was talking about Fargo, Oklahoma, because who would go to North Dakota in the dead of winter, right? That would be me. I think it was because the client had a check. Pretty sure that was the reason.
Crutches. An open-toed cast. A backpack. Those are the key parts of this story. Oh, and one other thing…the weather. The high that day was gonna be 5 below. That’s the high. Toasty. And they said it might “flurry”. Well, it ended up flurrying for seven hours. It was a major “flurry”. These conditions were exacerbated by a constant 30 mile-per-hour wind. Time for a picnic. I’m gonna drive to Minneapolis because they’re gonna get all the way to 1. Yep, 1 degree. That doesn’t even sound like a temperature. That sounds like the loneliest number. Which is the way I felt. Actually, I’m going to the twin cities because the client has a check. Pretty sure that was the reason. By now you’ve figured out I’m more a capitalist than a speaker.
I step out of the hotel to get to my rental car and catch a patch of ice and a gust of wind. That’s an ugly combination when you’re on crutches. As I lay in a fresh pile of “flurry”, it made me wonder how I ever thought playing in the snow as a kid was fun. In case you’ve forgot, it’s cold. It’s particularly cold on exposed toes. I had bought a stocking cap to put over the end of my foot, but it flew off in the not-so-graceful, scissor-kick, pratfall. It managed to land in the middle of some recently plowed dirty and wet snow. Cold or cold AND wet? Gonna go with just cold, so the stocking cap got left behind.
I have to take my gloves off to get the car keys from my pocket. In those 1.2 seconds, my fingers turn to icicles. Minimal dexterity. So I drop the keys into a snowdrift. This is the same snowdrift that has completely covered my car. Like a dog getting ready to bury a bone, I’m trying to retrieve my keys by digging on all fours…actually three, ’cause I’ve got my frostbitten toes of my broken foot up off of the ground so they can experience the wind chill factor. I find the keys just as I lose feeling in all my extremities. As I remove my backpack, I drop it as well. You HAD to see that coming. I somehow open the door with my elbows and a wind sheer blows most of the seven hours of flurry into the front seat. My car is now an igloo. Nice.
The drive to Minneapolis was delightful as all the snow started melting inside the car. The only way I can keep my cast dry and out of the ice and slush is by propping my leg up on the dash. This is not easy…and probably not safe. And I’m not that flexible. I pull a hamstring.
But I made it to the twin cities and guess what? It had stopped flurrying and the client had a check. That’s why I laugh about trips like this. The check. I’m pretty sure that’s the reason.
MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message.