Fellow Toastmasters, and Honored Guests:
[music] It happened during the High School Spring Break
of 1973, when four of my track team buddies and I were taking a seven-day tour of the Okeefenokee Swamp in Georgia. The tour
was led by one Dr. Josiah Soppleweed, who was a physician, as well as a guide. [clear throat] At the end of the third day
of the tour, I was walking up the steps to go back inside the Okeefenokee Lodge, when Bobbie Jo, the Doctor's beautiful, brunette,
teenage daughter, came up and put her loving arm around me, like so, and said:
"Bill, I left my binoculars in the boat, and I have to
do something for my father, can you get them for me?"
And as I scrambled down to the boat, I was not looking
what I was doing, for as I was reaching into the boat to grab her binoculars, I was looking up at Bobbie Jo waving to me,
when all of a sudden, I felt a sharp pain shoot up my wrist! And I heard for one second, what sounded like Bobbie Jo screaming
in terror! And the next second, I was walking along this solid-gold walkway, which led to these awesome gigantic pearly-white
And a man was running out towards me yelling: "Bill! Bill!
Go back! Go back! It's not your time yet! Go back!"
And I said, "I beg your pardon?"
And the man said "Bill, it's your guardian angel! You have
been cottonmouth bit! But a beautiful teenage girl is
weeping her heart out for you, back at the lodge, praying that you are going to live. Well, her prayers won't be answered
if you walk through those gates. Now, go to her, hence!"
And I didn't waste any time [scurry noise]. And the next
thing you know, I was sitting up in my own bed in the Okeefenokee Lodge, and the Doctor said, "Bill, we thought we lost you
for a minute!" But, the antivenin is taking affect, and you're going to be fine by tomorrow. Now get some rest".
And as the doctor left the room, Bobbie Jo sat at the head
of the bed next to me. Tears of joy were streaming down her cheeks as I took her by the hand, and poured out my heart to her
"I love you 'til the end."
And Bobbie Jo fell into my arms! And her rosy-red lips
were just about to touch mine when [beep beep] the alarm clock went off, and it was time to get up Saturday Morning; But thank
goodness it was just a dream! Or was it?
[check arm--show fang marks to audience--music]