College Myths Debunked: The Hidden Dangers of Ice Luging

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Halloween Ice Luge 2

As college students, we are constantly inundated with new knowledge. It can be useful, thought-provoking, or crammed into our head on a Starbucks-fueled binge several hours before an exam. However, very rarely do we question the validity of all this new knowledge (unless you take philosophy classes, then you’ll question away).

That’s where College Candy comes in. We’re not going to debate whether or not the Theory of Relativity actually exists (a disappointment, I know, but I’m a communications major and stopped taking science classes after Baby Bio fresh year). However, we are here to thoroughly investigate the most widespread college knowledge (no, not rhyming): the myth. Last week we discussed breaking the seal and this week we’ll investigate the ice luge (the non-Olympic variety, of course).

While sliding down frozen mountainsides is somewhat adventurous, nothing compares to the college Ice Luge. 6 feet tall, carved into the shape of your school mascot, fraternity letters, or just a giant wedge, the ice luge will leave you liquored up and slightly frostbitten around your mouth and nose.

A  game day staple, ice luges can most commonly be found at tailgates or other large parties, typically attached to girls in various stages of drunkenness. Also known as vodka slides, these blocks of ice with carved channels for various types of alcohol are a college favorite, as many of my Facebook albums can attest to.

Recently, when mentally preparing my mother for the debauchery she may or may not witness on parents’ weekend, I warned her that tequila in any amount will have me shouting at the top of my lungs that she NEEDS to do an ice luge. To my dismay, she said “no effing way” in so many words and I demanded an explanation for her lack of ice luge enthusiasm. Her excuse? Fox News told her she would get gonorrhea from it.

I experienced a roller coaster of emotions: shock, sadness, betrayal and disbelief. I figured this needed serious investigating, so I consulted several of my sorority sisters—they had all heard variations of the “Don’t do any more vodka slides or you’ll get an STD” story. However, a couple of upside down margaritas with the Sigma Chi boys had them singing a different tune—one that slurs along with Lady Gaga and insists that “ice kills germs, alcohol kills germs, it’s like hand sanitizer for your mouth!” With such conflicting theories on this particular college myth, I decided to do some serious research and visit the good people at CDC.gov

According to Herpes.com, “Herpes is spread by direct skin to skin contact. Unlike a flu virus that you can get through the air, herpes spreads by direct contact, that is, directly from the site of infection to the site of contact.” Therefore, unless you share the mouth-end of the ice luge with some guy (or gal) who has the Herp, it’s nearly impossible to get from an alcoholic ice sculpture.

As for Gonorrhea, it “is spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus.” Nothing on there about contact with the ice luge. In some cases, your ice luge may be shaped like any of the aforementioned body parts, but unless someone has been swabbing the mouth piece of it with a petri dish full of gonorrhea bacterium, you should be fine.

I started to notice a recurring theme, but just to be safe, I checked out how exactly Chlamydia is spread: “by vaginal and anal intercourse,” and occasionally via oral. Guess how it’s not spread? Through casual contact, and what could be more casual than ice luging in cutoffs and flip flops?

After researching the trifecta of college STD’s and their possible relation to ice luges, I have come to the conclusion that catching any kind of sexual disease from drinking (not sex) is highly, highly improbable. However, given the predictions of H1N1 breakouts on campuses across the nation (Florida State predicts that 25% of us will contract the virus), avoiding the ice luge may be in your best interest, even if you can’t catch an STD from it.

So remember, when that wasted girl insists that the cold and alcohol kills all the germs, she is wrong—but it won’t give you gonorrhea.

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