There is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. ~ Winnie the Pooh
The immortal wisdom of Winnie the Pooh seemed like an appropriate way to begin this article about a 15-year old California kid who died doing something stupid he saw on the Internet. Between you and me, I think that teen failed Pooh’s smell test.
The boy, whose name has not yet been released to the media (I’m speculating that he probably has an embarrassingly ironic name like “Dave Smart” or “Gary Sensible-Choices”), was attempting to play the “Pass Out Game,” a popular video sensation on YouTube. What separates his attempt from the more successful videos speckling the YouTube landscape was that he attempted to play the game with a drinking glass in his “crash zone.” Allegedly unconscious, the doubtless future-Darwin-Awards-nominee tumbled forward onto the glass and it slashed his throat.
Paramedics were called, and the Chula Vista (it’s near San Diego, if that helps) boy regained consciousness briefly, but ultimately died as a result of injuries suffered.
The game, which my bosses forbade me from attempting (here I’m speculating that they just don’t want me to be cool like all the other kids), involves hyperventilating yourself for a minute and thirty seconds, and then blowing on your thumb until you black out and tumble to the ground while your dickhead friends laugh hysterically.
Two other teens have died playing a version of this game, which through deprivation of oxygen to the brain, causes artificial highs and sexual stimulation (really?! Well my bosses have no control over what I do on my lunch breaks…). I contacted YouTube reps to see if they would be restricting access to “pass-out” videos, but I have not yet heard back, and considering that they didn’t take down a movie trailer resulting in the deaths of several Americans and riots all over the Middle East, this seems like it kind of flies under their radar.
In the end, I think the notion that perhaps more-respectable reporters haven’t considered is whether the teen boy and several of his friends recently survived some tragic freak accident in which they should have all been killed? Perhaps Death, in a bid to smooth out the resulting cosmic ripple, is now stalking them one by one through increasingly unlikely scenarios, and this kid is merely the first in a violent chain of carnage. Damn, right?