Charity may begin at home, but it ends in pain

Peter Borchers

A couple weekends ago, more than 200 people risked their lives for charity. These brave souls earned money for charity by jumping into Lake LaVerne for the second-annual Polar Bear Plunge.

I think this event was poorly named. A better name for this event would be the Stupid Human Plunge because I don’t think any animal on this planet would go near that creepy lake unless they were thrown in there with no means of escape.

If you read my columns, you’ve probably figured out that I have a deep-rooted fear and hatred of Lake LaVerne. I am almost positive Lake LaVerne is the root of all evil in the universe.

Not only am I afraid to go into the lake, I don’t even like to walk near it, especially at night. Why? Monsters. There are probably hundreds of monsters living in that pond of evil. And I’m not talking about those fake media-hyped monsters like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. I’m talking about monsters that we all know exist; the same monsters that used to live under your bed when you were a kid.

If you think I’m a nutcase and want proof, just look at Lake LaVerne in the winter. All winter long, the water sits there, bubbling away. No matter how cold it gets, the water never freezes.

The university will tell you that the bubbles are from a heater, but they are hiding the real truth. Those are monster bubbles. It would just make the university look bad if the tour guides told prospective students the truth.

Tour guide: “On your right is Lake LaVerne.”

Prospective student: “Why is it bubbling?”

Tour guide: “Those are from multi-headed monsters that live at the bottom of the lake. Occasionally, they creep out at night and eat nearby students, especially freshman.”

Prospective student: “If my roommate is eaten by a monster, do I get straight As?”

Tour guide: “Sorry, that’s just a rumor. But this isn’t a rumor: Don’t touch the water. It’ll melt your skin off.”

Despite these known dangers, over 200 people participated in the Polar Bear Plunge last Saturday. The basic idea behind this charity event was that you give money to a worthy cause for the privilege of jumping into Lake LaVerne.

Don’t read me wrong here. I think it is wonderful to donate money to charity. But this just seems like such a backward way to do it. I would never pay anybody money to jump into that lake. They would have to pay me a sick amount of money to get me in that cesspool. Not only that, I would demand that a team of world-renowned doctors be on hand to heal me when I’m finished. I’d also need a harpoon gun to protect me from the monsters.

But charities are always trying to raise money by having you pay them so you can do something you hate to do. Just a few weeks ago they had a Relay for Life where you paid a fee to run around a track for a few hours.

Why do charities do this? Wouldn’t it be easier to raise money by requiring people to run around a track unless they donate some money? My wallet’s out already.

I have also noticed from a quick survey I took (sample size: 1) that people don’t always know what charity they are supporting in these events. They just know everything is going to a “worthy cause.”

This is why I’m starting my own charity event. I will not reveal where the proceeds are actually going, just that they are going to a worthy cause (my ’87 station wagon). Once people have seen the catchy name I have given this historic event, Your Pain for My Gain, they will lose all self-control.

Here’s the basic structure of this great event: Give me $50, and I will rip your toenails off with a pair of pliers. For $200, I will hit you over the head repeatedly with a pillowcase full of hockey pucks. For $500, I will poke your eyes out with a pencil.

To encourage participation, any greeks who partake in this event will earn 14,000 greek week points for their house. Also, the dorm floor that gives the most money will receive a free pizza party.

Just call or send me an e-mail if you want to be a part of the first annual Your Pain for My Gain festivities.

And remember, your help is important. If we all work together, my wagon can finally get a hubcap on the left rear wheel — duh, I mean, this worthy cause can reach its goals.

Peter Borchers is a sophomore in advertising from Bloomington, Minn. He fears two things: airplane bathrooms and Lake LaVerne.