In these parts of Nebraska, Slim Everdingle was a legend. Everyone knew Slim because of his trademark, Fruit-of-the-Loom T-shirt that he wore in rain or shine, snow or sleet, whether the temperature was 100 degrees or 30 degrees below zero.
Today, on Christmas Eve, Slim was found frozen solid in a snowbank. The temperature was -16 Fahrenheit, with a chill factor estimated to be at least -34 degrees. Preserved for the ages like a prehistoric mammoth, Slim was clad in his singular style; his upper torso covered by a threadbare T-shirt, his lower by a pair of Wrangler jeans. A frozen, hand-rolled cigarette dangled from his gnarled lips, most likely the last bit of warmth he felt before he took his final frozen breath.
It was a tradition in the family of Sam and Hedda Everdingle to give their only son a brand-new, Fruit-of-the-Loom T-shirt for Christmas
Being dirt-poor farmers, each Christmas brought a new challenge of how they would finance the purchase of this gift of love. Since Slim was two years old, this was the only gift stuffed into his Christmas stocking. He was so proud of this present that it became a fetish with him to wear it everyday of the year, ceremoniously burning the old one Christmas Eve and putting on the spanking new fresh one Christmas morning.
This Christmas will be different. The town undertaker will dress the thawed-out Slim in this year's Christmas present, and he will be laid to rest next Tuesday.
Sam and Hedda Everdingle said that it didn't have to end that way. They blame Al Gore for confusing their boy by spreading the word about global warming; this they said confused Slim, who believed in Mr. Gore because he won one of those Nobel prizes and what-all.
May Slim rest in peace.
Merry Christmas from Dr. Billingsgate