There are things you do purely for the fun of it. Other things you do because you are competative. Some things you do out of utter boredom. Our kindred's tradition of holding an annual milk challenge is motivated by all three.
It is nice having the day after Thanksgiving off from work, but it is one of those days where there is just nothing really to do. I know, I know...it is Black Friday and there is all that shopping...but who the heck wants to be out in that mess, elbowing their way through crowds and crowds of moron sheep-like consumers?
So, in 2009...Craig Winkler and I challenged the rest of Jotun's Bane Kindred to a milk challenge the day after Thanksgiving. The rules established were fairly simple, and remain the rules today. The winner is whomever can drink an entire gallon of milk in one hour's time, and hold it down for 5 minutes. In the event that no one is able to drink and hold down a full gallon of milk in an hour, then whomever pukes the farthest is declared the ultimate champion...
I know, it sounds ridiculous. It sounds like something some fraternity somewhere would do; and perhaps it lacks the seriousness and dignity that we normally reserve for ourselves as responsible adults. But, despite all that...it is enormously fun, competative, and everyone's sides hurt from laughing when it is all over. And, knowing our ancestors...you can imagine the odd challenges and contests they would have engaged in during the long winters...just to stave off the boredom.
Organizing your own milk challenge with your kindred or among your friends is fairly easy, and this little essay will give you some pointers if you are interested.
GETTING PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE
Choose a day that your kindred or friends can be there. The Friday after Thanksgiving is perfect, but any old day will work. This is definitely an outdoor event, and not something you do in you home. LOL. Now it is time to recruit the participants. If you, as the organizer, aren't going to participate...you probably won't have much luck recruiting participants. As long as you are participating, you only have to convince, challenge, or goad one other person into joining in to make this work. Of course, the more folks that participate, the bigger the spectacle and the more fun you'll have. But, as long as two of you are doing it...you are in business.
You know your fellow kindred members and friends better than me, so you'll have to use your best judgement on how to get some of them to participate. Some will participate, just because you are doing it. Some will participate in response to a challenge from you. And some of your kindred members and friends will have absolutely no interest in participate...but they'll be all fired up to show up and watch! The more folks that show up to watch and laugh along with you during the event, the more fun you'll have.
SETTING UP FOR THE CHALLENGE
Part of the fun of the milk challenge is putting way too much work into the field of battle. For ours, we line up enough chairs for everyone that will be participating. Take into consideration the direction of the wind, and put the wind to the back of the participants. It is just common sense to put the wind at their back, but it is worth mentioning.
Using a tape to measure distance and a board to ensure the lines are straight, we use spray paint to paint on the lawn the sporting field. There is a line every foot of distance from the front legs of the row of chairs. We usually paint 9 lines out from the front legs of the row of chairs, just in case someone manages to vomit 9 feet in distance during the challenge.
The painted distance lines make measuring the puking distance much much easier. Plus, it just look cool and increases the spectacle of it all. We assign a spotter or two, to judge the distance each participant hits. The spotters should be off to the side of course.
We've done the milk challenge with whole milk, egg-nog, and this year we used chocolate milk. Whatever you end up drinking for the challenge, it is important it is a dairy product...and don't use some watery dairy product like skim milk. That would just violate the whole spirit of the event. Don't involve alcohol in any way, shape, or form. And agree to all drink the same exact thing. As the organizer, you can provide the milk for the challenge, or you can have everyone BYOM (bring your own milk). We've always gone with the BYOM option because its just easier.
PLAN SOMETHING FOR AFTERWARD
The milk challenge lasts for an hour at most. And I'm fairly sure that none of our milk challenges have lasted more than a half-hour. And despite all the puking, most of the participants feel fine just 10 or 20 minutes after the end of the challenge. So, plan something for after the milk challenge. Make some food or order pizza for your guests. Have a movie night, a game night, or some other fun thing your kindred or friends typically do when they get together.
Don't plan anything serious after the milk challenge. The event is so full of laughter, that attempting to calm everyone down for an intellectual exercise like a study group session after the milk challenge would be pretty counter-productive. Just plan something fun afterward.
LET US KNOW HOW IT GOES
We've had three annual milk challenges so far, and we'll have our 4th next year, the day after Thanksgiving as usual. We'll invite some heathens that are friends with our kindred. And I suspect we'll have more participants next year than ever before.
If you schedule your own milk challenge, let us know how it goes. Send me a message or an email with a link to the photos or the video. Here are links to photos and videos from our past milk challenges:
2009 Milk Challenge Photos: http://tinyurl.com/milkphotos2009
2009 Milk Challenge Video: http://tinyurl.com/milkvideo2009
2010 Milk Challenge Photos: http://tinyurl.com/milkphotos2010
2011 Milk Challenge Photos: http://tinyurl.com/milkphotos2011
2011 Milk Challenge Video: Coming Soon...
Mark Ludwig Stinson
Jotun's Bane Kindred
Temple of Our Heathen Gods