I don’t need the “ice bucket challenge.”

At some point in time, I know they’re coming for me.  One of my friends will undoubtedly pour a bucket of ice water all over himself or herself – videotaping it for posterity, mind you – and then, in the video, he will challenge me to do the same.

You know what?  I’ve got a better idea.  And I’m sorry if this sounds like I’m being a grumpy old curmudgeon, you’re just going to have to put up with it for now.  And get off my lawn, you freakin’ kids.

I understand that this “ice bucket challenge” has become a viral campaign to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a disease that has confined wonderful people into un-paroleable prisoners of their own non-responsive bodies.

The idea for this fun little campaign is that Person A will video themselves with a bucket full of near-freezing water, most likely with a bag or four of ice in the bucket as well.  Drench.  Afterward, the soaked person now challenges their friends: Persons B, C, D and E must pour water on themselves, or instead make a donation to ALS research.

You know what?  I could do this.  I could go down to Home Depot and get one of those buckets, I could stop at Stewart’s and grab some bags of ice, then bug one of my friends to hold the camera while I douse myself in an ersatz H2O-for-Gatorade bath.  Then I can ask my friends to do the same.

But what if they refuse?  What if they not only refuse to get ice-bucket-soaked, but they also refuse to donate to the charity?  I mean, nobody has to donate to any charity just because I tell them to.

Of course, here’s the other argument.  Someone can say to me, “Come on, Chuck, it’s harmless fun.  And it raises awareness.”

Raises awareness.  What, like people didn’t know about ALS every time they show this clip?

Like people don’t know about what ALS can do to a human body?

You can drench yourself with enough ice water to cause hypothermia.  Yes, it might cause “awareness,” but there’s a difference between “awareness” and “action.”  Being aware is one thing.  Raising money and contributing to charities and participating in service organizations and volunteering with aid assistance is another.

And believe me, I’m sympathetic to people who make it through this world with additional challenges. I know people who survive every day, who get up in the morning and do their jobs and have friends and lovers and families – despite dealing every day with their own battles with ALS, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, any one or any combination of any and all.

You want to pour water on yourself?  Feel free to do so.

Forgive me if I choose to raise awareness for ALS in a different way.

If you want to make a donation, whatever amount, here is a link to the ALS Association of Greater New York.  My challenge ot you is to use this link and make a donation.  Every penny brings us closer to treatments and cures.  Maybe not in our lifetimes, but in the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren.

Prior to writing today’s blog, I too made a financial donation to the charity.  And I encourage each and every one of my blog readers to do so as well.

And save the ice buckets for their intended purposes.

Use them to cool off after a hot day.