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Written on January 15, 2007, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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I was strangely moved by this article about Jennifer Strange, the woman who died trying to win a Wii in a bizarre radio station competition, “Hold Your Wee for a Wii”. Like Lea Betts the ecstasy-taking British teenager, she died of hyperhydration – excess water in too short a time created the disturbance in brain function that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits.(Wikipedia)

What struck me as particularly sad was that the woman was poor, taking part in what she thought was a harmless activity and trying to win the gaming console for her family. One of the other contestants Mr Ybarra is quoted as saying, “She was telling me about her family and her three kids and how she was doing it for her kids.”

The ramifications are endless. I would hate to be the bright spark who thought up this particularly stupid stunt – he or she will have this death to contend with from now on, attaching itself to whatever they do. I foresee someone exiting the radio industry soon, perhaps finding a job in social welfare work.

What will happen to the woman’s children? Will the radio station have to run ads advising caution for anyone taking part in their competitions? Will Nintendo now be forced into slapping labels on their consoles advising that too much water all at once can kill you?

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This thing has 5 Comments

  1. La Sirena
    Posted 15 January, 2007 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    That story is profoundly sad and oddly poetic.

    About 4% of schizophrenics die of water intoxication… some folks just have this compulsive need to hydrate– http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/11/1/86

  2. Brad Roach
    Posted 16 January, 2007 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    I thought this story was just plain screwed up. God is getting bored is with the day-to-day, although I won’t be betting in favor of any more radio contest-related water intoxication deaths happening again in my lifetime.

    In other news, I just realized that we both began our blogs at virtually the same time. Shows how much I pay attention to stuff in general. Congratulations on taking a considerably different path than me.

  3. Indigobusiness
    Posted 16 January, 2007 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    This story is heartbreakingly emblematic of our desperately consumeristic society.

    Aside from the poignancy of the tragedy, there’s the coldblooded bathroom humor fun the press had with the headline.

    Sick fucking society, desperate for fun. Strange irony.

  4. Deek Deekster
    Posted 18 January, 2007 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Ten people got the sack.

    I can see a follow-up film: what happens next to all ten…

  5. Anonymous
    Posted 19 January, 2007 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Now, unfortunately, we get to witness the finger-pointing and blame deflection that inevitably follows. The memory of this poor woman will be soiled in court as attorneys for the radio station and those responsible try to prove that they’re not responsible, it was the woman’s own fault. Makes me ill.

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