You would think that since the North Carolina Tar Heels won their second national championship in the last five years this past Monday, the students on campus would know how to celebrate. After all, the rules to celebrating a championship are pretty simple: You run out onto the street, tip every car you see, and light everything that’s flammable on fire while chugging whiskey straight out of the bottle. It’s that simple.
Of course, this is college, and much like the players on the team, every year brings new students to campus and they may not be as familiar with the rules as others. Andrew Madlon is a freshman at North Carolina and his celebrating on Franklin Street started out well enough. He began crowd surfing amongst a sea of fellow revelers, but then things went wrong. Sure, when crowd surfing, the crowd is supposed to let you down and may drop you from time to time. But it sure would be a lot nicer if they didn’t drop you into a bonfire.
“I was sort of up there for five or 10 seconds, and the crowd just ran out and I got dropped into the bonfire,” he recalled.
Madlon’s right forearm landed on the hot coals. “I actually didn’t think it was that bad at first,” he said.
He had second-degree burns. Dirt from the coals lodged in his skin, leading to an infection that required surgery and a type of biological Band-Aid made from pig skin.
Overall, eight UNC students were treated for burns due to bonfire related injuries, and this brings up an agenda I’ve been trying to push across for years. You know why these kids were burned by the fire? Because they have no real sense of how dangerous fires can be.
And do you know why that is?
Because ever since they were toddlers they’ve been told not to play with matches.
This is why we need to rethink the way we raise our children. Give them matches. Let them light things on fire. It’s the only way we can save them from drunken tragedy in their later adult lives!