January is the time of year that certain lunatics in the northern hemisphere raise funds for charity by doing something called the Polar Plunge.
The state of Maine, for example, has already had at least nine plunges this winter and Rhode Island had at least 10 on New Year's Day alone.
The idea is that you sponsor your friend to jump into icy waters, and they give all the money they raise this way to the charity. It works on much the same principle as other events do in South Africa, such as a big walk, a readathon and even those calendars where random groups of people strip off and pose for a photo.
It makes my blood run cold just thinking of it but if you go for a polar plunge, I suppose you may as well go big.
These four students in the picture, from Mankato in the Minnesota River Valley, were really putting their money where their mouths – and freezing limbs – were when they did their polar plunge.
Mankato’s winter temperatures dip to well below freezing in centigrade terms. I checked online and saw that tomorrow’s weather forecast for Mankato is 4 deg C – not to be confused with our winter low of 4, this is equivalent to our minus 16 degrees celsius. And don’t forget the wind chill factor which will take it down to minus 33 deg C.
Eina! You can rather sign me up for that 5km walk while reading a book in the buff right away ...