Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Make Mom happy, embarrass me, fight cancer: win-win-win

[Updated May 24: Deadline extension, see below.]
On my wedding day, as I stood greeting arriving guests, Mom brushed her hand across my chin and said, "Couldn't you have shaved this?"

She was referring, of course, to the beard that has graced my chin since I realized that I am too lazy to--every morning for the rest of my life--engage in an aesthetic ritual that involves dragging a blade that is by definition razor sharp across my jugular and carotid at a time when my eyes are barely open and my brain is only vaguely functioning.

OK, perhaps graced is not the right word.

"All bearded men are trying to hide something," a colleague recently observed about me. I silently wondered about that, and about what bearded ladies might have to hide. But the truth is that I'm not hiding anything; I truly am wearing my laziness on my sleeve...er...face.

But perhaps I don't know what I'm hiding. Perhaps I have some horribly inadequate chin that slumps into my neck, making me appear like Beaker on the Muppet Show. Perhaps if I shave, all I'll be able to say is, "Mee mee mee mee mee!"

There is, of course, only one way to get the answer to this question, which will also make my late mother happy at the same time: shave the beard.

But why would I shave my beard after all this time? If I wouldn't do it for Mom on my wedding day and if I wouldn't do it to rid myself of whatever demons I've been hiding--why now?

I'll do it for you, of course, my six loyal readers. And I'll do it for Julia and for Declan and for Dad and my uncle and for everyone I know who has been touched by cancer. I'll do it when you have raised $1,500 to fight the fight some still face every day, the fight some have already lost, and the fight that any one of us may face one day.

And I'll go one further...

If I...[note the new, extended deadline]
  • raise $1,500 before June 1 Fathers' Day, I'll shave my beard.
  • raise $2,000 before June 1 Fathers' Day, I'll shave my beard and head.
  • raise $2,500 before June 1 Fathers' Day, I'll shave my beard and head and, in the finest cyclist tradition, my legs.

And yes...I will post the requisite videos here.

This is your chance to embarrass me by exposing my Beakeresque chin, make my late mother happy, and fight cancer--a win-win-win.

I know that many of you have given generously already, so if you would like to make Mom happy, another way to raise the money is to share this with your friends. The two people who have raised the most for my ride did it by sharing my ride information with their friends on Facebook.

To date I have raised $2,653, so to get me to
  • shave my beard, the total must be $4,153 by June 1.
  • shave my beard and head, the total must be $4,653 by June 1.
  • shave my beard and head and legs, the total must be $5,153 by June 1.

Papa Bradstein will ride his bald face, head and legs 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.
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