If you've spent a considerable amount of time on social media, then you've undoubtedly come across a challenge or two. Some are more famous than others. You've probably heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which was launched as a viral and fun way to help raise awareness for a medical condition: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
It was the best of both worlds: you got to laugh at strangers making fools of themselves on the internet while helping to bring more eyes to an affliction that the medical community wanted to bring to more people's attention. This added exposure resulted in donations for research into finding better cures and treatments for the disease that's all well and good.
And then you've got challenges that aren't really wholesome. In fact, they're downright destructive, irresponsible, and dangerous. Like vaping tide pods, driving while blindfolded, and kicking out people's legs from underneath them to break their skulls.
The aforementioned ones seem like something created by the Darwin Awards Foundation in an attempt to make humanity stronger in the long-term, but this now-viral challenge, while destructive, is at least rooted in humor.
Or an appreciation is food-colored sugar water, at the very least. Apparently, there's a new TikTok dare called the "Kool-Aid Man Challenge" which encourages folks to record themselves attempting to run through a fence and break through it, ala the beloved Kool-Aid Man.
Naturally, individuals are expected to shout, "Oh yeah!" while running through said fence in the spirit of the challenge. And as hilarious and this challenge may seem, there are some people who are suffering as a result of a bunch of hooligans participating in the challenge.
Like Jay Johnson, who had his own fence "OH YEAH-ED!" and torn up, which cost around $800 in damages. But the worst part is that his two dogs keep escaping through the tear in his fence now, and he's frightened he'll be getting a phone call any day now that one of his pups was hit by a car and is either gravely injured, or killed.
Local news outlet KJRH reported that there have been additional instances of folks attempting the challenge on different properties in Omaha, Neb., and the surrounding area. It seems that the challenge, which formerly went viral in July of 2021, has gained in popularity yet again.
Lt. James Wrigley of the Sarpy County Sheriff's office said, "They get into a group mentality where one of them thinks they have a good idea and the others ones go along with it. Once we meet up with these kids individually they tend to say they're sorry and wouldn't do this by themselves."
Wrigley said that his department alone responded to eight separate calls all reporting the same thing: kids are running into fences in order to complete the challenge.
But it's costing folks serious damage: one of the cases involved some $3,500. The outlet reported that S&W Fence Operations manager Lindsay Anderson stated that supply chain issues make replacing fences expensive, not to mention that repairing the kind of damage caused by the Kool Aid Man challenge is fairly difficult and in some instances, not possible.
"Vinyl pricing more than doubled when the pandemic hit as with everything. The cost to repair them for some people is more than the price they paid to get their entire fence."
Perpetrators of the viral trend could very well find themselves on the receiving end of criminal mischief charges. Or they could just buy their own fences to vandalize for the 'Tok to not get in trouble.