To begin to tell this sordid story of things that shouldn’t be seen, I need to first set the tone:

It’s cold here. Not necessarily super cold, like sub zero, but cold none the less.

Good, now that’s established, on to the story. I left the Reg a little before five today in hopes of catching a $1 latte at the Divinity School Coffee Shop. It’s a Friday tradition here at the U of C and one I take full advantage of whenever I can. On my walk through the first quad I notice something strange:

Lots of people lined up on either side of the quad, forming a corridor of sorts. I get a little further and notice this:

I can’t say whether it was NBC or Telemundo who had sent a camera crew to the U of C. Curious as to what might be going on I asked one of the people what was up. They said it was The Polar Bear Run.

“Polar Bear Run… What’s that?” I replied.

“Part of the Winterfest”

“Winter what?”

“Oh… You must be a grad student… HERE THEY COME”

And then they came:

Fifty or more students. Mainly male with a spattering of females in there. All running. All missing clothes. Some all of them… burr…

And the first thing that ran through my mind is: I need to blog about this… Cell Phone Camera, AWAY!

quick aside on ethics: the only reason I photographed this was because I knew that the camera wouldn’t have enough resolution to capture faces. Beyond that, this was clearly a public event and therefore the people waived a lot of their rights by participating. And besides, they’ll all be shown on Telemundo anyway.

So apparently, there’s a Winterfest going on. It’s the type of thing they don’t tell the grad students about )we’re too busy studying). And this Polar Bear thing has been going on since 1983.

Anyway… What can I say. I’m scarred. Especially after watching some of the people do somersaults. Let’s just put it this way… Cold weather is not a friend to the naked.