Ford column: After blizzard, Nate and friends tackle the summer of 100 ideas
Last April, a blizzard buried my hometown in South Dakota for two days.
Snowed in with nothing to do, my friend’s son Nate and his five best friends, all juniors in high school, had an idea. One hundred ideas, actually.
They created the Summer of 100, a list of challenges they had to accomplish before their senior year. They signed it in blood.
The tasks varied from disgusting (wear the same boxers for a week, eat a tube of lip balm) to hilarious (keep a banana in your pants for half a day, buy a box of tampons and cry).
Not surprisingly, eating gross things dominated the list. They had to eat a booger, glue, worm, dog treat, piece of paper, raw egg and a leaf.
Underwear played a major role. They had to go without it for one day and wear tighty whities another.
They had to buy used underwear at a secondhand store and a woman’s thong at the mall.
And wear them.
Their bodies took a beating. They waxed their stomachs, dyed their hair, lived for 12 hours in one bedroom without leaving, buried themselves in sand and spent 24 hours in Walmart.
They canoed across Lake Kampeska, swam across Lake Cochran, rafted the Big Sioux River, played basketball for five hours, did 500 jumping jacks, walked a mile backwards and dug a hole big enough to stand in.
Public humiliation was important, of course. They skated from Nate’s house to the outdoor pool. In Speedos.
They walked to a convenience store in coats, snowpants and boots. In July.
They streaked. They skinny-dipped. Perhaps most humiliating, they drove to a nearby town going only 25 mph.
The seemingly simplest tasks on the list may have been the toughest. Make fire. Count to 1,000. Chop down a tree. Grow a crop and eat it.
They went for a day with no shirt. They went for a day with five shirts.
They went barefoot. They wore short shorts.
They painted their entire bodies and went to a public event.
They did something low-tech (build a tree fort) and something high-tech (sell an item on eBay).
They must have been feeling sentimental when they chose to fly a kite, play at every park in town, skip a rock six times and spend a night on a trampoline.
Nostalgic but even more challenging, they leap frogged for one block, gave someone a piggyback ride and skipped for three hours.
The police were summoned only once, when all six boys had duct-taped themselves to a utility pole for 30 minutes. An elderly woman who lived nearby thought they were being tortured and called the police.
When the cops ordered them to free themselves, Nate checked his stopwatch ó 31 minutes.
Nate and Kory conquered all 100 challenges. Steven, Derek, Alex and Andrew, however, must drink a teaspoon of their own urine for each challenge they didn’t complete.
This creative group has a couple of ideas about that too. Mix it with Gatorade, or freeze it and make “pee pops.”
My suggestion: J-E-L-L-O.
Emily Ford covers the N.C. Research Campus.
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