Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ten staff members at a Sacramento radio station were fired the other after a woman died taking part in an on-air contest where the idiot who drank the most water without peeing would win a Nintendo Wii. It turns out that drinking massive amounts of water and not urinating isn't healthy. Who knew? Oh, yeah, that's right: everybody alive.

The latest news out of Sacramento is that the local sheriff has opened a homicide investigation relating to the incident and the stupid, stupid victim's family is suing the radio station. Everybody is full of my favorite American emotion — outrage in hindsight. She had a family! She had three kids! She was in the contest to win the Wii for her three adorable munchkins! It's the kids that will keep this woman out of Darwin Award territory (besides, she's already passed on her mentally deficient DNA, so I guess that point is moot). I actually feel a little bad for her children, that they had such a dumb, insecure parent desperate to win her family's love that she was willing to take part in a non-pissing contest to win a toy for them.

And to me, that she was in this contest on her own volition is the key, and the posthumous ire is even more insulting to this poor woman than I could ever be. I'm going to drop the philosophical objections temporarily and assume that, like me, this woman had a free will and her death wasn't just one of the random freakish acts of physics that happens in the world but something she had the power to choose or not choose. I don't think the DJ's hypnotized her by dangling the Wii in front of her eyes, did they? Get over it: eighteen other people in the contest decided to answer nature's call and not die, no reason this woman couldn't do the same and go home, maybe without a Wii, but with a valuable lesson learned. (Hopefully.)