“He dares to be a fool, and that is the first step in the direction of wisdom.”
— James Huneker
I’ll admit when the challenge was issued, it wasn’t the best timing in the world. Alas, the gauntlet was thrown down, and I accepted it with gracious hand.
Sitting in my living room last Sunday preparing for another workweek, I was drawn to a Facebook post I was tagged in from an email I received.
As I watched the video included in the link, someone had given me a Cold Water Challenge. Don’t know about the Cold Water Challenge? Statistics show you will sometime within the next three minutes to 30 days. This thing is really growing legs around Wilson County.
So here’s the deal. You are cold water challenged when someone posts a video on Facebook fulfilling his or her challenge while challenging a list of other people of his or her choosing.
When challenged, there are two options. You can choose to get wet – involving cold water – in any method of your choosing and pay $10 to the charity of your choice. The less popular and more expensive choice is to stay dry and pay $100 to the challenger’s charity. So far, I haven’t seen anyone write one of those checks yet.
I’ve watched as the contents of said videos have become increasingly creative. From dousing from fire hoses to dunk tanks and everything in between, I even saw one person borrow an ice bath from Cumberland University’s athletic center. At a chilling 43 degrees, that might be the most creative I’ve seen thus far.
Of course, that’s not to detract from the buckets of water – and I’ve seen several – poured over heads.
I knew I had my work cut out for me as far as creativity goes. So when it was my turn to take the plunge, I let humor replace a few degrees, both Fahrenheit and Celsius.
The few fans I have who read this column regularly should know by now I have an affinity for pretty much all things ’80s. So as I walked to the pool where my challenge would be fulfilled, the idea just sort of popped into my head.
At the same time I took my challenge, I also re-enacted the famous scene from National Lampoon’s Vacation.
You know the one where Clark Griswold gets into a fight with his wife and retreats to the hotel bar. Clark meets up with the character played by Christy Brinkley, and they find their way out to the pool.
She jumps in. And minus Christy, that’s where my acting picked up.
“This is crazy; this is crazy; this is crazy.” I repeated just like good old Clark before he jumps in and leaps from the water screaming, “Cold!”
Again, I have to admit the water wasn’t all that cold. In my defense, however, it was nighttime in an outdoor pool, and my acting had to score me a few points.
More importantly, I issued a challenge to several people, including some members of the Leadership Wilson class of 2014, the best class ever. I’ve already seen some responses to my challenge. I await the others. You know who you are.
So it wasn’t the best timing, but the Cold Water Challenge proved to be just the distraction I needed to get through an otherwise unbearable week.
And my charity, Habitat For Humanity of Wilson County, received a little benefit, too.
Jared Felkins is The Democrat’s director of content. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @paperboyfelkins.