Over the last week, the ‘tipping water on your head’ challenge has spread far and wide through the Deaf community, with Deaf folk challenging their friends to either soak themselves in cold water or donate hard cash to charity.
With each person nominating five friends, the craze has quickly gone from involving just a handful of Deaf people to the entire Deaf community.
But there’s one person who slipped through the net, and we’ve managed to track him down.
Meet Danny Black, of the Ribble Valley, Lancashire.
Danny signed from birth and attended a Deaf school from the age of 4 until he took an apprenticeship in plumbing.
Like him, Danny’s parents, grandparents, and three generations before them were all born profoundly Deaf.
He’s a lifelong BSL user who socialises regularly with Deaf people and has a Deaf girlfriend and son.
Every single Deaf person Danny knows has either tipped water on their heads or donated money to charity – or both.
But remarkably, Danny hasn’t been asked to take part in the water challenge yet, and since every other BSL user in the UK has now taken part, his only hope is that a Deaf person from abroad nominates him.
“Some of my friends said I’m lucky,” Dannny told us. “Because I haven’t had to get my head wet or pay money to charity. But I’m upset. I feel like everyone else has had fun together, but I’m not included.”
He’s been ready for weeks. “I have a bucket, and I’ve kept it next to the cold water tap in the garden. It would take me two minutes to fill it up and film myself. But now cobwebs are growing on the bucket because it’s not been used.”
So why wasn’t he asked to take part? “I kept expecting someone to nominate me. Like my girlfriend, my friends or my grandad. But they didn’t. When I asked them why not, they said they thought I’d already done it. But I haven’t.”
By the time Danny realised he’d been left out, everyone else had taken part and it was too late for anyone to nominate him.
Initially, Danny enjoyed watching the hundreds of videos of Deaf people tipping water on their heads, but now says he can’t watch them and because his timeline is full of videos of water tipping, he says he is even thinking about leaving Facebook.
“Every video just reminds me of how I was left out,” he said. “And I can’t go on Facebook without seeing more videos. So I’m thinking it might be best to cancel my account.”
Do you live outside the UK? Could you nominate Danny for the water tipping challenge? Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help!
With thanks to satirical website The Onion.
By Charlie Swinbourne. Charlie is the editor of Limping Chicken, as well as being a journalist (Guardian, BBC Online) and award-winning scriptwriter. His short film The Kiss was shown at Bradford International Film Festival in March, and his comedy Four Deaf Yorkshiremen go to Blackpool can now be seen on the BSL Zone by clicking here.
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