Ice water in my veins? Ummm… not exactly

This would've been refreshing if we lived somewhere warmer
This would’ve been refreshing if we lived somewhere warmer like The Equator.
Ordinarily, my day doesn’t end with a bucket of ice water being dumped over my head by a junior varsity football team.

No, it’s true.

But thanks to a challenge issued by Adam Sendek at Long Awkward Pause, my plans to watch the sunset with my wife on the porch while drinking something icy and alcoholic turned into something else entirely.

Except for the icy part. There was actually plenty of that.

By now, most of you have seen at least one of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos circulating the Internet, during which [Spoiler Alert!] someone gets a bucket of ice water dumped on their head. What started out as a celebrities-only challenge to raise money for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) research, has grown exponentially to include thousands of non-celebrities, all of whom are united in hope that, some day, everyone on the planet will be able to trace themselves back to Kevin Bacon.

In all seriousness, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a terrible, debilitating disease that leads to total paralysis while the mind remains sharp. Imagine being buried alive, except in your own body. There is no cure and only limited treatment for those afflicted — the majority of whom die within two to five years of being diagnosed. Since the Ice Bucket Challenge began in June, it has raised more than $13 million dollars for ALS research. Last year, the organization’s entire annual fundraising efforts peaked at $1.7 million. For the 30,000 people diagnosed with the disease, the Ice Bucket Challenge is more than a wacky stunt. It’s a show of support — and a voice for those who, in many cases, can no longer speak for themselves.

Even if, after getting icy water dumped on them, those supportive voices are screaming like little girls.

Because of this, and an unfortunate incident several years ago when someone mistook my screaming for that of a third-grade girl after falling into the lake during my daughter’s field trip, I felt an obligation to answer Adam’s name calling friendly challenge on Facebook…

Adam Sendek issues his challenge. Or maybe he just has challenging issues...
Adam Sendek issues his challenge. Or maybe he just has challenging issues… (click image

Given that the recipient only has 24 hours to complete the challenge, I immediately swung into action by coming up with a plan to procrastinate for as long as possible. That plan was quickly scrapped once my son pointed out that, since I didn’t receive the challenge until early in the afternoon, prime ice-dumping time (when temperatures are at their warmest) was going to evaporate by dusk. This conversation happened as I was taking him to his first day of football practice… which gave me an IDEA!

Because I look like this when I get ideas, my son really hates when it happens.
Because I often look like this when I get ideas, my son really hates when it happens.

Once it became clear my idea to fake a back spasm and substitute my son for the challenge wasn’t going to fly, I had another idea, which didn’t inspire fireworks because it involved actually dumping ice water on my head. My son, however, looked like this…

My son often looks like this when I have a bad idea.
My son often looks like this when I have a bad idea.

Why the big smile? Because it involved him doing the dumping, along with his entire football squad. That said, I’ve certainly had better ideas before, like the Rodeo Commode

If you're not done in 8 seconds...
If you’re not done in 8 seconds…

However, none of those ideas were as good as supporting ALS research while, simultaneously, strengthening our father-son bond by giving him permission to dump ice water over my head in front of his entire team and coaching staff. In fact, my idea was apparently so good that my wife and oldest son volunteered to record the challenge and even CARRY THE ICE WATER! With the help of Siuslaw High School’s JV football squad, which was almost a little TOO enthusiastic, I was able to meet the challenge before dusk…

I want to thank Adam for including me in his challenge, and the Viking JV football squad. Next, I’d like to pass this challenge along to my friends and fellow bloggers Michelle at MamaMick and Ross Murray at Drinking Tips for Teens, as well as Chris DeVoss at Long Awkward Pause — and not just because it rhymes.

Even though I completed the challenge, I still plan to send off the full $100 instead of $25 to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

And possibly my son.

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble.)


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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

49 thoughts on “Ice water in my veins? Ummm… not exactly”

  1. Oh Ned…paybacks are HECK!
    That said, your timing is impeccable. Turns out that I was challenged last night right after we doused and recorded our son participating.
    The hubs has been entirely all too excited about the shenanigans and making all sorts of plans to help me fulfill my obligation. If all goes as planned, I’ll be cold and frozen by 8 p.m. Not all bad when considering that our heat index is over 100 today.
    Loved your tribute and information about this horrible disease as well as the inclusion of the young players. I work with a woman whose father is in his second year after diagnosis. We are proud to walk, run and wear ice water to raise awareness and funds for ALS and for him!
    Thanks for thinking of me! Michelle

    1. Ha! That sounds terrific, Michelle! I knew I could count on you; icy water is no match for a warm heart. Of course, a 100-degree heat index doesn’t hurt, either 😉

      Thank you for your support and, as always, your generous and giving spirit!

      1. From one giving spirit to another.
        I can’t believe I actually am making this public. My bestie was supposed to do it with me, but chickened out at the last minute. Now she has to pay BIG time 🙂
        Thanks for letting me in on the fun…I need to go thaw now!
        (pay no attention to the fact that my husband loved his role in this)

  2. I see your plan and it is cunning…have the bucket pass through soooooo many hands that by the time it gets back to you, all of the ice has melted and the water is 53F. Nicely executed, my friend.

    PS The Canada thing scared me for a moment…haha on Ross!

    1. I promise it was there, but it sat for a few minutes because practice ran long. I have to say, though, passing it hand to hand didn’t hurt thee temperature any, either! Ha! But if it’s only consolation, my man-nips popped out, so it was cold enough 😉

    1. Thanks, Adam! It was real special having my son’s team in on it. And I know he enjoyed dumping cold water on his dad. He’s grounded now, by the way…

      And yeah, it’s pronounced Sigh-you-slaw (Siuslaw), which is a Native American name, presumably meaning “intoxicated slur.”

  3. Well done but now everyone knows you are macho and next will the the New Year’s day swim – we do that in the lakes here on New Years day. Not me per se, but some folks do. I like the New :Year’s day sauna or hot tub challenge.

    1. HaHaHa! I would definitely be up for the New Year’s Day Hot Tub Challenge, followed by the Bourbon Sipping Challenge and BBQ Pork Eating Challenge to raise awareness for… whatever.

    1. Thanks, Don. I think my son e joyed it a little too much, but we’ll be bonding even more now that he’s grounded… 😉

      By the way, I can tell you’re good people too, Don.


  4. You look like a wet cat. It makes sense, though, since you have probably poured water on many a fire. Good for you–and at your ripe age, too!

  5. Well done! And it’s ok that you did indeed scream like a little girl.

    BTW, one mistaken “fact” about ALS is that there is no cure for it. In fact, there are people out there who work in the realm of energy healing who have cured people with ALS. One of them that I met is Roger Deycaza of High Frequency Healing. ( Can he cure every person who has it? Of course not. But it is possible.

    1. Buzz chill *snort*

      From what I read, it actually started with an online dare from Adam Sandler to some celeb friends back in June. It got a lot play then took off from there among other celebs (Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Rob Ford…) before spreading to the common folk (Ned Hickson, Ross Murray, my dog Stanley…).

      And because of the exchange rate, you actually have 24 days.

  6. I wondered why you didn’t scream right away!
    I love how this is blowing up online. It is creating awareness, that’s for sure. I wonder how much ALS has made in donations?

    1. It took all of my will to not scream like a little girl right away. And by right away I mean when the bucket started going around.

      Actually, the challenge has raised $13.3 million since June… yeah, JUNE! Last year, the sum total for the entire year of fundraising netted $1.7 million. Pretty amazing.

    1. Thanks, Arend. There’s some debate over what the name “Siuslaw” means. It is a Native American word that means either “Intoxicated slur” or “cole slaw.”

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