Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to Get Your Ass Out of a Hole in the Ground

Weekly weigh-in: 198.7
Loss: -0.3
Total loss: 93.8 lbs.
Emotion: Steadfast

My Grandpa Noah once told me about a donkey he had back when he and my grandmother lived on a farm in rural Tennessee. He had this really ornery donkey named Donkey Odie who managed to fall down into a well one day. Donkey Odie cried and cried, but Grandpa Noah couldn’t figure out what to do about it.

Finally, he decided that Donkey Odie was old and used-up, and the
well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to try to retrieve the donkey, even if he could figure out some way to do it..

“Fannie Mae,” he yelled inside for my grandmother. “Invite all the neighbors to come over for a cookout. Then I’ll get them to help me bury Donkey Odie.

After dinner, the fellows all grabbed a spades and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, Donkey Odie realized what was going o and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, Grandpa Noah finally looked down into the well and was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his
back, Donkey Odie was doing something amazing.

He would shake it off and take a step up.

As Grandpa Noah’s neighbors continued to shoveldirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.

Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as Donkey Odie stepped up over t he edge of the well and happily trotted off!

“Life is going to shovel dirt on you,” I remember Grandpa Noah telling me. “The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.”

Is that a true story, Grandpa Noah?” I asked him.

“No, Jackie,” he admitted, smiling. “It’s just a parable.”

“What’s a parable?”

“It’s kind of like a henway,” he told me.

“What’s a henway?” I asked, puzzled.

“About four or five pounds,” he smiled.

I like to think I got my sense of humor from Grandpa Noah’s side of the family.


  1. "life is going to shovel dirt on you...shake it off and take a step up."

    your grandpa noah is a wise, wise man! such a good life motto

  2. Nice. So all I have to do now is master the stairstepper.

  3. Everyone needs a Grandpa Noah in their lives. :-)

  4. I REALLY needed to hear this today.Thank you.


  5. I just found your blog and LOVE IT! And Grandpa Noah was a wise old man..huh? hehe
    I'm looking forward to coming back often and reading more.
    Your weight loss is very inspiring. I just started my own weight loss journey to Onederland. One of these days....I'm gonna get there :)


  6. Well, as long as it is dirt that they are shoveling on me and not sh*t.. that stuff tends to stick and you just can't shake it off as easily...

    Happy Sunday and kudos on the .3.


  7. He was a donkey, not a stupid ass!

  8. GREAT story... I love how it applies so easily to my journey. And of course I love the humor too. :)

  9. Totally awesome...come clean, was this grandpa's or your henway?

  10. hehe :) Great story Jack! :) Congrats on the .3 it all adds up! :)

  11. Congrats on the loss and thanks for the parable.

  12. I'm going to call it "doing an Odie" from now on!

  13. Thank you, Jesus! I was starting to get horrified that Grandpa Noah would bury a donkey alive. Thought he should at least shoot him first.

  14. Talk about a Smart ass! Love this.

  15. Now that was GREAT!!!!! Shake it off and take a step up. YES!!!

    Congrats jack for shaking that dirt off!

  16. Believe it or not Jack, but I needed to hear this story today. I feel like I'm getting a lot of dirt shoveled on me and now I know how to deal with it! Happy Sunday! :)

  17. Hi. I have seen your comments on various blogs, but never got around to checking out your's. At my age I thought I had heard all these little stories, but this one was new to me and I really needed it. Also, being a fan of Jed, I really like your profile. Thanks for a bit of wisdom today.

  18. lol,
    YOu are better at that story than my preacher...
    He always litters it with a bunch of bible have more flow.
    good post.
    and ditto it does take time.
    .3 pounds...
    well, it just means you have less to lose right?
    That is the way I am looking at my month anyways...
    pollyanna out.

  19. Dude...for a minute there I thought Grandpa Noah was a donkey murderer, lol...congrats on getting the scale turned around and moving in the right direction again. :)

  20. This past 8 days I've been stepping up on that dirt. Whoooot! The top of the hole is only about 20 pounds away and I will....quite happily...trot away with a big ole "heeeehaaaaaaw!". :)

    Nice job on the loss this week, Jack Sprat!

  21. This post has smartass written all over it.

  22. Ma: Pa! Get me teh shuvul!

    Pa: Wot fer Ma?

    Ma: Tat Jack fella iz at it agin.

    Pa: Mo sh*t?

    Ma: Yup. Bes brang teh wagon an meh boots.

    Pa: Thasol?

    Ma: Nope. Need teh rake too. Aint eva seen sh*t lak tis bafo. Wheelm ache uhs sum fan furteelyezer Pa! Matty fan.

    Pa: WOOOOOEEE! Jack dun hit teh black gode agin. Weeez settun purty nah Ma.

    Ma: Yup.

  23. That was awesome and I totally needed a Grandpa Noah this week! Thanks for the pick me up!

  24. That is an awesome parable. Good job on losing again.

  25. I found you through another website and am stopping in to say hello. This is an amazing parable and so true to life. Thank you for sharing that.

    Congratulations on your success!

  26. I'm glad Granpa Noah wasn't telling an actual story coz i was getting quite pissed off at the level of animal abuse! lol

  27. Regardless of whether it really happened or not, this is true. Great advice!

  28. My husband told me a really similar story once but with rabbits and rocks rather than a donkey and dirt. Love it!

  29. Have heard this parable many times Jack, but you certainly tell it the best. Love it!!

  30. My mother used to say an ass-chewing was a
    a Donkey BBQ...
    Come to think of it....

  31. I'm so behind on my blog reading this week-let me say that I've read your last 6 posts too but I'm throwin' out one comment! Again-thank you. I am having so much trouble finding my motivation lately but hearing this parable (again) reminds me that I have to keep stepping up.

  32. I thought it was going to be a morbid story. I'm glad it ended happily. =D

  33. Very wise indeed. You can either get buried by the dirt or step up and eventually get out of it. Great lesson. And I DEFINITELY think you got your sense of humor from Grandpa Noah, and that's a wonderful thing.

  34. Be careful whose ass you tap!
    The REAL moral of the story!



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