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January 17, 2007


Robert Miole

It's even more tragic because the contest was over a new video game system.


Ok, Jimmy, I'll pray for her, but it's awefully hard to spare alot of sympathy when people kill themselves because of their own stupidity. We've got men and women dying while defending us in Iraq, Christians are being killed in China, Indonesia and Darfur. I've can think of alot of people who REALLY need prayers.

All for a stupid video game machine!


I sadly must agree about the stupidity-- the only thing I've ever heard that sound similar is electrolite imballance. Which is taught about in every high school in the US. So... this woman had the information to know that she could be risking her life.

I will pray for her, but at the same time I just don't get people.

Ed S

Even stupid people REALLY need our prayers. Sympathy is not the deciding factor.

Tim J.

If stupid people don't get prayers, I'm in for a l-o-o-o-ng time in purgatory.


Surely someone at the radio station should have known better. And think how awful to die alone knowing you've done something really stupid. Probably most car accidents are caused by someone doing something just as stupid, so pray even if you don't get it!


Let's remember that she was doing this for her kids, not for herself.


Unfortunately, a lot of people have the idea that pure, clean drinking water is the epitome of harmlessness and safety. Even if they've heard that water can be dangerous in excessive amounts, they often think the speaker is referring to drowning, not overinjestion.

I heard of one very sad case in which a young couple, frustrated by their inability to break their child of a persistant bad habit of unauthorized between-meal snacking that was spoiling mealtime appetites, decided that they would make the child consume a safe but not overly tasty food item until thoroughally sick of it. Operating under that misconception that pure, clean water is the epitome of harmlessness, they made the kid drink an enormous amount of water. Then they had not only the heartbreak of the child's death, but criminal charges of child abuse.

Tim J.

Let this be a lesson. If you are that sick - in such pain that you are crying - and you are not sure why... go get help! Drive to a clinic, to your doctor's office, to the emergency room.

Don't go home alone and hope it passes!

I've known people who suffered from BAD menstrual cramps, migraines, similar things... that's a different story, because you are probably aware of what the problem is.

Mystery ailments, on the other hand, are not to be messed with. Go see a doctor.


Curious & Sailorette,

The woman was drinking water. I doubt she realized that she was doing something dangerous. Just because you may have learned about electrolyte imbalance in high school, it doesn't mean she did. How do you know it is even taught in every high school? Even if it is standard curriculum, we all know that there are plenty of bad schools.

I personally hadn't heard that drinking too much water could kill you until several years after high school and my high school was not really that bad. I just didn't make the connection of drinking too much water with lowering electrolytes to a dangerous level. Then I heard a radio show doctor say that death is possible but most people can drink as much water as they physically can and never reach that point.

She probably though that she was doing something silly at most and no dangerous at all.

Ed Peters

I see no inconsistency one's saying "I will sincerely pray for this very stupid person." Only by disregarding half the sentence can either part be criticized, or so it seems to me.


This goes to show just where all our priorities have gone to in the world we live in today.

Just think, even in that situation back then with the limited new product release of the Playstation III video game console, there were actually folks out there committing acts of violence -- and for what???? A damn video game console!!!

The quote in the past from Sir/Saint Thomas More:
"... it profits a man nothing to lose his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?"

today becomes:

"... it profits a man nothing to lose his soul for the whole world... but for SONY/Nintendo?"

Tim J.

You're right, of course, Ed. We cross-posted.

I wasn't actually responding to your post. I was just bemoaning the general lack of sympathy for stupidity in the comments.


Just for the record, my comments above reflects on society in general, and not the subject person in this article.

Certainly, she deserves our prayers.


This is so sad precisely because it was such a stupid accident.

The Christians being martyred in China are having a most honorable death.

Ed Peters

TJ, i guessed as much. The plot thickens: seems the station has just fired 10 people. Yeah, like that sounds sooooo fair.


Dear Giacinto,
Even granting that some people may not know that drinking too much water is bad for you, what about the other half of the equation? Part of the contest was not to let it out. I would think most women, particularly ones who have experienced childbirth, would know the dangers of bladder infections and ruptures. You just don't fool with this kind of stuff.

Again, it's a sad story, but we are living a "vale of tear" after all and there are alot more serious things going on.

Gene Branaman

This is very sad, indeed. I heard about it over the weekend. Got a lot of press when I was at my Mom's - she lives 30 minutes north of Sacramento.

I've done some really, really stupid stuff in my life. Perhaps many of us have, too. My heart goes out to this woman & her family. They will be in my prayers.


10 staff have been fired from the radio station involved.



10 staff have been fired from the radio station involved.

deja vu???


The Board Meeting:

Curly: "Let's do some stunt involving drinking copious amounts of water and not seeking relief."

Larry: "Should we consult a doctor first?"

Curly: "Nah!"

Moe: "How about calling the station's lawyer and checking on our possible liability?"

Curly: "Nah!"

Another Voice: "Aren't you worried about the Law of Unintended Consequences?"

Curly: "Nah! I never studied law."



I'll pray for her. I get a bit discouraged with all the...'stupid people' comments.

I also get a bit discouraged when a friend e-mails me 'the darwin' awards. Or when like a few days ago, I recieved 10 stories illustrating the 'ten biggest idiots' of the year award. I would wager that most of us have done very stupid things at one time in our life...hopefully no one was watching.

Although, it might temporarily inflate the ego to point out the obvious, in that a certain person committed a big mistake, a stupid big mistake; I think it's a bit sad when we write the whole person off, such as when we define them as a "stupid person." Lastly, while we're having fun painting with such a broad brush, some kid is crying because his mom ain't coming home tonight.



What about Shep????

Another case where Shep's left out of the cold! ;^(


errr... in the cold, that is.


Uh, Esau, do you mean "Shemp"?


Uh, Esau, do you mean "Shemp"?

My bad -- yeah.


I guess I'm just a big ole meanie.

I never made a "stupid person" comment. I said that what the woman did was stupid. It was. To say that we all do stupid things therefore we have no right to comment smacks of moral equivalence. It is like saying we're all sinners, therefore we can't object to unjust or immoral acts.

As I said before, I can think of alot of situations in this messed up world which need prayer as badly or more.


I never made a "stupid person" comment. I said that what the woman did was stupid.

.....Which is why I wasn't refering to your post. And I didn't want to refer to any specific post.

To say that we all do stupid things therefore we have no right to comment smacks of moral equivalence.

.....I don't think I said this. After all, I was commenting on the situation. I was just saying that maybe we should slow down before writing the women off based on one grossly stupid mistake. Just doesn't seem fair.

It would be analogous to my fictional math teacher declaring that I was a stupid mathematician because I missed a question on the exam.


JM Kraemer

A few comments.

1) I'm on SSI. I can't afford stuff like that really. I would never do a stupid stunt like that to get a free game system.

2) Everyone deserves our prayers. Regardless of what happens to them. So many evil things are going on in this world. The woman's heart was in the right place, but it was still a tragic thing to do.

3) I'm waiting for the Jeff Feiger type lawsuit that will come from this. This just screams wrongful death.

-The Lego Church Project


She has my prayers. "The Dumbest Thing I Ever Did" beats her stunt, by far, since everyone knows that height+rocks at the bottom=broken parts.


I am too struck with sadness to comment on the stupidity. Maybe it was stupid but I think what she was trying to do was to win a video game system for her kids. I can only imagine what might have been motivating her.

Was she trying to compensate for not being able to provide enough at Christmas? Was it the thought of just surprising her children one morning? She may have been real desperate to hear some words of gratitude or encouragement. It can be so hard to be a mother sometimes. Maybe their family was going through some hard times and she wanted to bring a smile to her kids' faces. Maybe she was trying to make up for a mistake or an argument or an unkind word uttered in the heat of the moment.

And what about the children? For the rest of their lives they will know that their mother died because she pushed herself for the sake of their happiness. That can not be good for growing up.

Maybe you people do not know that Nintendo is the one game maker that still caters to young audiences. Its new game system is designed with a unique goal of whimsy and fun. They really do not do hyper-violent gore and nudity like the other systems (I don't play but I read the magazines).

She was only trying to get her children an appropriate (albeit somewhat expensive) toy. Obviously her heart was bigger than her physical limitations.


I hope we can all agree on one thing: "A little prayer ain't never hurt no one!"

Henry Karlson

This is very sad but it is also a very telling statement about the state of our society. We are willing to risk our lives for unnecessary, luxury good. This has got to make mass marketers happy -- they have turned their own goods into a life and death necessity! And people wonder why Popes have criticized Western society with its consumerism -- the system is every bit as materialistic and dehumanizing as socialism.

Not only are people encouraged to die for the sake of luxuries -- but now we can use our money to keep our children small and baby-like: aka, the "Ashley Treatment" which you can see discussed on the net at many places, such as here: http://blogher.org/node/14155


Eek, what a way to go :-(

I feel sorry for her kids. I have three of my own. I can't really fathom doing something so patently dangerous, but, obviously she was completely unaware that one can drown internally from excessive amounts of water.

Sad and bizarre. Poor kids.


I also get a bit discouraged when a friend e-mails me 'the darwin' awards.

Ditto that. The "Darwin Awards" ridicule those whose mistakes -- admittedly often ludicrous -- cost them their lives. I find this tasteless and offensive.

The stupidity of a fatal mistake might just possibly be something you could laugh at or mock, in a gallows humor way, if you actually knew and cared about the person, or if you know and care about someone who did. To be deliberately inappropriate at such a time can be cathartic, and may even, in a wry way, be a way of honoring the person.

But there's nothing wry or ironic in this way about the Darwin Awards. It's snuff humor, and beneath human dignity, IMO.

Tim J.

I have many times done things much stupider than drink a dangerous amount of water. The thing is, for some reason my guardian angel(s) was always there to keep me from destroying myself with my idiocy.

In many ways, I feel like The Guy Who Got Away With It.

When I was 20, or so, I fulfilled my dream of owning a motorcycle. I was forbidden to ride one, as a kid, but dreamed of hitting the open road on two wheels. I got the chance to buy one, and took it. Not just a motorcycle - a chopper. Long front forks, king & queen seat with a sissy bar. I was ecstatic. I met the seller at his house, paid him cash and, after having him explain the controls (it was a British make, the controls arranged the reverse of Yank bikes) I hopped on.

A couple of complications: I had no motorcycle license, for the very good reason that I had never ridden a motorcycle in my life... not even a mini bike. I also had no insurance of any kind, and no helmet.

I managed to putt down the quiet residential street without any problem (I had been using a stick shift for years, and picked up on the gears pretty quickly) and approached the main road.

I then got a quick lesson in the meaning of the words "turn radius". Choppers, having a long snout, require more room to turn than you might think, especially if your two-wheel experience is limited to the piloting the bicycle you rode since junior high school.

As I made my right turn, I swung out wide, right into the middle of the approaching lane of traffic, and for a brief second, caught a glimpse of the front of an oncoming city transit bus. I swung back into my own lane in time to avoid the collision by the matter of a couple of feet. The driver honked.

It was the only time in my life I was glad to have missed the bus.

And this is only the tip of the stupidity iceberg. If you think I wised-up after that incident, you obviously did not know me then. There are plenty of other stupid incidents I could relate, but (thankfully) I am prevented by decency, embarrassment, and other things.

When I get to heaven (please God) I will fall at the feet of my guardian angel and apologize.


I thought the view from the top of the waterfall would be pretty good. It was, but of course the wet rocks were slippery and I went over the waterfall. I broke my right hip, left cheekbone, two front teeth and sustained a very serious head injury to my left brain-you know, the logical side. (Specifically, to the part that controls verbal impulse control, so when I'm one step ahead of the angry mob-again-because I ran my mouth off, you'll know why) The terrain was too rough for my friends to carry me so I had to walk on my broken hip and now my right leg is slightly shorter than my left. Also, when the weather is turning interesting, like today, I can feel it. So I get an almost daily reminder of how dumb I was.


I live in Sacramento. Yes, 10 people, including the three DJs, have been fired. The station suits are investigating. The police are now doing a criminal investigation after hearing a tape of the program obtained by the local paper, the Sacramento Bee. The DJ's were informed by a caller of the possibility of the stunt being dangerous. They also joked about dying in regard to another contestant. The family has filed a wrongful death suit in civil court.

This probably is just the tip of the iceberg in this case. It's tragic for everybody, especially for Mrs. Strange and her family. But those who participated in this stunt, including the other contestants and the staff, need our prayers too. I can't imagine ever getting over the fact that something so inane resulted in the death of this woman. We all have done completely stupid things at one time or another. I don't know how I could bear the thought that something I did caused the death of another person. I don't know how they will, either.

Maybe the only good thing to come out of this will be second thoughts about encouraging this kind of inanity and to check out everything beforehand, no matter how "safe" it seems.

God help them all.


Tim J's point is well taken -- who can really say they've never done some stupid pointless thing that could've gotten them (or someone else) killed?

The stupidity here is on the part of the radio station, not this poor woman. Lots of people don't know that just drinking water could kill you. God bless those kids that lost their mom so senselessly.

David B.


I couldn't have put it any better.

Ed Peters,

There is a special place in hell for canon lawyers who say mean things about dead people (I'm only joking).


If her only crime was ignorance, she is in very good company indeed.

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