Apparently there are people who celebrate Jan. 1 by jumping into freezing water, because nothing says "Hello, new year!" like having all your skin contract and crush your internal organs. I'm sure it's invigorating. Flossing with a downed power line is invigorating. Trimming your nose hair with a chain saw is invigorating. I can think of one scenario in which I would willingly plunge into freezing water, and the phrase "last moments of the Titanic" is a crucial detail.

No, that's not entirely true. Many years ago in the Chelan mountains I was advised to bake in a sauna for an hour, then jump into a mountain stream. Your pores closed with such sudden violence that you were actually jet-propelled out of the water. You ran back into the sauna, where you discovered that you could sit in a room with a temp of 110 degrees and shudder uncontrollably. So it's a pneumonia simulator, then. Fine.

The new year's jump is called the ALARC Ice Dive, and no, it does not stand for Absolute Lunatics Are Really Cold. They did it for charity. It's just like the Ice Bucket Challenge, except for the possibility of getting lost under the ice. You find yourself in freezing water in your underwear, pounding on a foot-thick sheaf of ice, thinking: My obit will read "cause of death was 'Charity.' " You'd want to bring along something capable of breaking the ice, like a harpoon or a good anecdote. You'd want them to tie ropes to your ankle; perhaps someone would notice if the rope suddenly unspooled with great speed. "Current's got that one, Bob; might want to reel him in."

What's next? Come one, come all: Jump into a lake of molten lava! C'mon, it's invigorating. You feel all crispy afterward. No, thanks. It's for charity. Do you want orphans to eat straw? Uh, no. Do you take plastic? Sure, but let's step away from the lava; cards melt.

You suspect they would raise just as much money if people could pay not to jump into a hole in Lake Minnetonka. It would be better if they let you set up recurring bank account withdrawals, and every day you stuck a foot in the shower before the hot water kicked in and thought "I can write that off on my taxes." I'd go for that. I'd even walk the dog without gloves for a week, but I'd need a receipt. The IRS can be such a stickler.