“How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon.” - Dr. Seuss
by Chason Gordon
- The Capitol Hill Times -
It shall go down as one of the bloodiest, wettest, sexiest days in Seattle history, a day in which thousands of men and women gave their dryness so that a charity might endure. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here: have a really, really big water balloon fight.
Months of planning went into the battle organized by Party Camp, the team that was responsible for the record breaking snowball fight in January, where nearly 6,000 participants hurled snowballs at each other and ultimately raised $50,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of King County (the club then used the $50,000 for a money fight). Since the water balloon is the summer cousin of the winter snowball, a subsequent water balloon fight was only natural. This time the charity (water balloon war profiteers) was Camp Korey, a group which, as a whole, is a better person than you (they help kids or something).
Besides raising money for charity, the Saturday water balloon fight at the Seattle Center was also an attempt to break the 11,000-person record held by the University of Kentucky, as well as a chance to get a lot of people laid. Rules for the event were clear from the start. Participants were only allowed to use the water balloons provided, and could not bring their own filled with rocks or nitroglycerin or sulfuric acid (one can only assume the water balloons used were filled with pure, organic, farm fresh Seattle bottled water). Neither were people allowed to bring any water balloon launching contraptions, like catapults, trebuchets, cannons, giant spitball straws or genetically modified pet dragons that shoot water balloons instead of fire. And finally, attendees were discouraged from head shots and told to “aim lower,” which means a lot of people took it in the balls.
The battlefield trembled with fear and anticipation in the moments preceding the chaos. Hundreds of children’s pools held over 300,000 water balloons, as a British DJ, who probably does raves in Manchester, addressed the crowd. And what a crowd it was, filled with hipsters, college kids, older bearded hippies, face-painted warriors, in-shape guys all too happy to have their shirts off, and me, trying not to leer too creepily at all the bikini-clad girls.
The DJ counted “3,2,1,” or maybe it was “1,2,3″ (I can’t remember), and they were off. Thousands of airborne water balloons blotted out the sun in a thunderous roar, and were quickly pulled down to earth, where the gyrating of strained wet latex crashed against the taut skin of young virile bodies, with jets of water exploding from their balloon cages, dowsing flesh and grass and sinking deep into the soil, for time to remember. The gods looked out over the fighters, making their legs swift with courage and their arms sharp with thrust. No individual faces could be seen in the haze of violent action. All appeared as one, as the speakers blared philosophical narration written by Terrence Malick (“What is this evil in us?”).
One warrior, like brave Odysseus before him, grabbed 3 water balloons and thrust them like daggers into oncoming enemies. Later, as the falcon poises high upon above the earth, and swoops down upon a bird over the plain, so did one girl ascend into the air and cast her water balloon at a fleeing teenager. But all was not daring and vigor. A worthless coward fled from the battlefield and dove frightened into the depths of an adjacent Porta Potty, more content to be covered in filth than test his might. Another corrupt individual captured an enemy and tied him to a park bench, ruthlessly water balloon boarding him for information. I had to turn away.
In all, it took about 75 seconds, at which point the fighters, soaked and panting with exhaustion, noticed that all of the 300,000 water balloons were gone. What remained of them were scattered shards of latex, strewn about the field like discarded condoms in the alley behind a 7/11. The aftermath was brutal. Throughout the field desperate cries of pain could be heard, as surgeons from a medic tent worked to pry pieces of latex from people’s internal organs, quelling the pain with shots of morphine. One man screamed in anguish as a whole unexploded water balloon was carefully extracted from his sternum. I walked amongst them all, administering last rites and placing coins on the closed eyes of the fallen.
No record was broken that day, as a scant 4,000 people showed up. But they did manage to raise $55,000 for Camp Korey, which is certainly an impressive feat. What’s more impressive, however, is that 300,000 water balloons were exchanged that day, and not a single one hit me. I was late, but still.
To donate to Camp Korey, go to campkorey.thankyou4caring.org