Lemme tell you something…

Free Pancakes!

ECWait! Someone thinks I’m cool?

I’m Cool?!?

Well let’s dispense with that notion right now!

In this life, nothing is free. Crank! Crank! Crank!

So the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) has Free Pancakes Day on February 5th (National Pancake Day), and they’ve been doing this since 2006.

The short stack consists of three pancakes. That’s your free meal and you get to sit in their restaurant and drink your free glass of water.

If you’re a jerk, you don’t have to tip the waitress, and nobody is going to give you any grief. You got your free pancakes and never spent a penny.

But the point of free pancakes at IHOP is so customers who feel so inclined will donate to the charity that is being supported. Different IHOPS support different charities depending on state, etc.

You decide how much the pancakes were worth to you – if anything – and give that money to the charity volunteers at the door. As with most things in life, it can be as awful or as enjoyable or even as much fun as you make it.

Me, I live for fun.

So my sister Leticia, my wife, and me pile into the car and go hit the local IHOP here in Texas. In the Lone Star State, the charity is the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Now for a word from me about The Shriners: Not a cool bunch of guys.

In fact, there’s nothing remotely cool about Shriners. They’re often the geekiest bunch of happy old farts you’d ever want to meet. They look, dress, and act like a bunch of daffy clowns who left home without the pancake make-up. They look so ridiculous that the old San Francisco punk band, The Dead Kennedys, had an album cover mocking them in their goofy tiny cars they drive in parades. Even some Evangelical Christian organizations have openly mocked them for wearing a red Fez. Bah! Shriners! How small town can you get?

When Shriner members aren’t doing the charity stuff, they’re probably hanging out at Comic Book stores, Game stores, going to genre conventions, and dressing up as fat retired Klingon Generals (A fat Klingon in a Shriner’s fez! I’d buy *that* for a dollar!).

The work that they generally do probably has something to do with computers. They probably have annual conventions where they go and all get drunk and make total asses of themselves and do idiot crap that would embarrass most people.

So for breakfast my wife and I got our free pancakes and made a donation to The Shriners.

For lunch, my sister, wife, and I went back to IHOP for our free pancakes and made another donation to The Shriners.

And we’re going back again for dinner and to donate again. I’ll probably be sick of pancakes for awhile after today. Why would I do this? How can this possibly be anyone’s idea of fun?


Kickin’ it by the fire

1. Life: it can be as awful or as enjoyable or even as much fun as you make it.

2. Even though I’m not a Shriner (as far as I know, I don’t even know any Shriners), they’re my kinda people!

Shriners aren’t about looking or acting cool. Instead, Shriners created, support, and raise money for the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children throughout the U.S. And on Free Pancake Day, this is what IHOP and that hospital does.

IHOP’s National Pancake Day to Benefit Charities Including Shriners Hospitals for Children
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Perfect Opportunity: Have some Free Pancakes and Help our Patients

(Tampa, Fla.) February has a lot of special days – but only one combines free food and the opportunity to help kids in need – so mark your calendars for Feb. 5, and be part of National Pancake Day.

On Feb. 5, The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) will celebrate National Pancake Day by offering guests a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes*. With every short stack of pancakes served, diners will be invited to make a donation to designated organizations**, including Shriners Hospitals for Children®. The IHOP restaurants that have chosen Shriners Hospitals for Children as the beneficiary of this event are primarily in Texas, with additional locations in a few other states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Download the complete list of participating locations.

The family-friendly restaurant chain has set an ambitious goal of raising $3 million in this one-day event, which will take place from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. In addition to raising funds, the campaign will raise awareness of the charities, including Shriners Hospitals for Children, a 22-facility health care system that provides children with expert pediatric specialty care, regardless of the families’ ability to pay for services. Since the first Shriners Hospital opened in 1922, more than 1 million children have benefited from the generous health care offered by our unique health care system.

“We appreciate the efforts of IHOP to bring people together to share a meal on behalf of Shriners Hospitals for Children,” said Douglas E. Maxwell, president and CEO. “We are grateful for the opportunity to increase awareness and raise funds for our health care system. We also appreciate and are grateful for the community support for both our philanthropic efforts and this event.”

Everyone enjoys pancakes and this is a good opportunity to celebrate National Pancake Day by visiting your local IHOP restaurant while giving to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system of 22 facilities dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care, regardless of the families’ ability to pay. For more information, visit www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.

*Limit one free short stack per guest. Valid for dine-in orders only. Not valid with any other offer, special, coupon or discount. Valid at participating restaurants only, while supplies last.

Fabiana Lowe |Shriners Hospitals for Children
(813) 281-7164  | Filowe@shrinenet.org


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