15 minutes of fame

- February 15, 2005

"You have disgraced the family."

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So said my husband in his best Don Corleone-esque accent, looking at me in disbelief as I told him that I had just been chosen to be a contestant in the Q104 - Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay Igloo Challenge. I just stared at him and wildly grinned. I was going to (hopefully) live in an igloo for a day. And maybe win a trip to somewhere sunny. But I didn't care about that so much. I really just want to live in the igloo. 

Last Monday I was listening to the radio as I did the dishes and heard the contest spot: "Can you survive 24 hours in a Halifax igloo?" All the memories starting rushing back. It was ten years ago this month, that my housemate, Sherif, and built and igloo in our front yard. Our house was in the middle of the student housing area of Kingston, so we had many visitors throughout the week stopping by and helping out. Well, really they watched us as they drank beer, but it was encouraging just the same. Sherif was a mechanical engineer and, thus, the designer of the igloo. I was the 'snow-packer' and 'water-er' (we watered the igloo every night). We had built in chairs and even a few candle holders. At the end of the week we had a massive "Tear Down the Igloo" party. "Yes," I thought, "I definitely could survive 24 hours!" and ran to the computer to enter the contest.

When we arrived home from work the next day, I noticed the light on the phone flashing. My heart started to beat quickly. I listened to the message. I had been selected as a contestant, but should call back as soon as possible and let them know that I was still able to participate. 

It struck me that now might be a good time to call my boss, June Davidson (Associate Director of Communications and Marketing) and ask if it was ok that I participated. After a quick confirmation from her that it was all right, I called Q104 back. "You're in!" Matt, the promoter exclaimed. After he found out that I work at Dalhousie, he told me that the igloo was actually being built by Dalhousie engineering students. I knew then that this was going to be a lot of fun!

Hearing me laughing as I hung up, my husband came into the study and asked what was going on. "I have just been selected to be a contestant in the Q104 - Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay Igloo Challenge!" I yelled. He was puzzled, perhaps because I had failed to mention to him that I had entered that contest. "You've been selected for what?" After I explained everything to him, he patted me on the shoulder, looked very seriously at me and said, "You have disgraced the family." Then we both danced around the kitchen. 

After the initial excitement wore off, I knew I had to get down to business. 

I went back to the Q104 website and printed off the "What you need to bring" section. What was I going to bring? "WARM CLOTHES" was the very first item the page screamed."LAYER! LAYER! LAYER!" it continued. "Blankets, pillows, sleeping bag, a classic Yo-yo." Yes, that is right - a classic yo-yo. "Where am I going to get a yo-yo?" I thought, "I can't remember even seeing a real yo-yo in over 25 years."

I reassured myself that I was doing the right thing, but started talking to some people (including a paramedic and a sports psychologist) about the mission just the same.


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