Confessions of an insomniac. These are the things I think about at 3am.
I saw someone on Facebook innocuously ask earlier “exactly how does dumping ice water on your head help people with Lou Gehrig’s disease?” and I therein realized a small flaw in the whole life-meme thing. It’s sort of just become like a thing now. It’s like a giant game of telephone. It’s so big that it’s not exactly clear what the point is.
I’m sorta kinda impressed that it has managed to maintain a relationship to ALS at all. As we all know, the Internet is a connected series of tubes! So naturally, as any seven-year old knows when you play telephone with such a connected series of tubes, inevitably the message is going to change. So what was initially “the ALS Challenge to Donate $100 or Dump Ice Water on Your Head” is now sort of just “the Crazy ALS Dump Water on Your Head Challenge.” My expectation is that by about next Tuesday or so, it’s not even going to be about ALS anymore. It’s going to be “Crazy Al’s Bucket of Ice Water Challenge.”
Don’t believe me? Do you even know where the ALS challenge came from? You don’t, do you? See, game of telephone. I know because it’s after 3am and I don’t sleep, so I research stuff like that. His name is Peter Frates and he’s 29-year-old Massachusetts man with ALS. Of course, no one knows this at all. But, they know Jimmy Fallon and the Roots did it. And the Roots are cool godammit! I want to be just like them! By September, this is just going to be another one of those things like the cinnamon challenge that you see on Tosh.0.
In the meantime, it sure is amusing. Of course, I’m pretty sure any day now we’re going to start hearing reports of people dropping dead from doing this. Hypothermia. Sudden heart attacks from system shock. Pneumonia. Or, if in a case of utter irony, the ALSA gets enough money for research from all of this that they discover that the cause of ALS is a one-time sudden and drastic lowering of temperature around the brain.
It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Then it’s hilarious.
And that’s what I think this is all about. When my friend asked how this helped people with ALS, some people filled him in on the fact that you’re supposed to donate money if you don’t want to dump ice on your head. I on the other hand went with the more obvious thing, since most people are clearly doing the ice and not the money, then maybe, this is a way for people with ALS have a good time laughing at idiots on the internet. Who doesn’t love that. Thinking about it, I bet when Frates challenged his friends and family to do this, his thought process might have gone something like this:
You know what? Being sick kinda sucks. How can I get my idiot friends to amuse me? You know what would be awesome? A wet t-shirt contest! God, I used to love wet t-shirt contests. It’s too bad we could never get Carol to do one. Carol has amazing tits. Oh my god!!! That’s it. I bet we can tell Carol it’s for charity! Fuck yeah! Oh, umm.. . maybe we’ll raise some money too. That’d be cool. But OH MY GOD, CAROL’S TITS!
I’m sure this worked out better than he ever dreamed. Peter Frates has created the biggest wet t-shirt contest of all time. Here’s the Houston Texans Cheerleading squad jumping in on the fun.
If you’ve never been to a wet t-shirt contest… uh… it pretty much looks exactly like that. You’ll note that none of the cheerleaders actually mention anything about the money, nor do they ask the people they are challenging (Roman Reigns and Pitbull, both of whom I’m sure the girls want to see in wet t-shirts, and some local news woman from Houston) to donate, but they sure do enjoy whipping their hair around and bouncing up and down.
Well played, Peter Frates… Well played.