After weeks (but what feels like months) of Facebook friends dumping freezing water on their heads to get out of donating money to charity, the ice bucket dumps almost took the life of one of our own. Kevin Hess, a freshman here at Illinois State, decided to accept the now infamous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Friday night with treacherous results.
Hess’ evening started out as many freshmen living in Watterson’s do: he went to dinner at the dining center with fourteen other guys from his floor. “I had four pieces of pizza,” Hess recalls. “And a bowl of cereal.” While at dinner, Hess received a Facebook notification. It had happened: he was nominated. He now had twenty-four hours to pretend to give a shit about something besides drinking… And complete the challenge.
After dinner, Hess returned to his floor. He was shocked to find his bathroom flooded with girls who had been banished from their bathroom on the floor above by a group of surprisingly scary sophomores. Hess was put in a daze by the short skirts, flower crowns, and stench of Chanel perfume. “Next thing I knew, I was out at a party. I honestly barely remember walking there, I think someone might have slipped something in my drink or something, but I was cool with it!”
Hess spent a few hours at the party and consumed a total of three and a half beers. By 11:30p.m. he was absolutely wasted and ready to return home with his roommate, Michael Besch. “We were walking down Willow when we saw some frat guys doing their own Ice Bucket Challenge in their front yard,” commented Besch. “Kevin knew that was his chance.” After a pitifully cheap bribe, comprised of $3 and a rejected hug, the group of guys reluctantly decided to help Hess with his challenge.
Hess prepared himself for the hypothermia that was sure to follow by taking a few shots with his new friends. “I think it was called Fireball? I remember it tasting like burnt Cinnamon Toast Crunch plus half an asshole.” More people showed up to the house and peer pressured Hess into taking more shots. It was nearly one in the morning when Hess remembered they had yet to complete the challenge. The group made their way back to the front yard, where a drunken Besch began filming as Hess incoherently introduced himself. In the middle of his speech, the two boys holding the bucket mistook him for being ready and dumped the water on an unprepared Hess. He immediately fell to the ground and started seizing, the warmth of the Fireball proving to be completely useless now. The shock apparently set his feeble heart into cardiac arrest and he slowly began to die.
Lucky for Hess, one of the bucket dumpers knew CPR, saving his young and reckless life. “The first words I heard when I regained consciousness were ‘No homo’. And I knew then that everything would be okay.” Hess later posted the video on Facebook and it got twelve likes. “It was a learning experience overall. The only thing I really don’t know is what ALS actually is. Maybe I should look into that.”