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Woman Killed In Wii-Related Competition

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the natural-selection dept.

Wii 784

snuffin writes to tell us that a local radio competition to "hold your wee for a Wii" has ended with a Sacramento woman dead from water poisoning. From the article: "An Associated Press interview with another contestant, named James Ybarra, claimed that contestants were initially given eight ounce bottles of water to drink every fifteen minutes, with larger bottles being used once contestants began to drop out. According to Ybarra, 'They told us if you don't feel like you can do this, don't put your health at risk.' He described the victim as 'a nice lady' and that 'she was telling me about her family and her three kids and how she was doing it for her kids.'"

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784 comments

Mmm... (5, Insightful)

EinZweiDrei (955497) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617514)

What a stupid world.

Re:Mmm... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617570)

So did she win?

Re:Mmm... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617858)

No, but got pissed instead.

Re:Mmm... (-1, Redundant)

EinZweiDrei (955497) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617602)

It really is astounding how redundant my first post was.

Re:Mmm... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617734)

Redundant gets through Meta Mod easier.

The Korean War must have been fun. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617706)

Yeah I'm sure the Marines at Chosin Resovoir had a lot of laughs.

Totally tasteless quote, but then again what else would you expect from this crappy site?

Re:Mmm... (5, Funny)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617878)

Yeah I nearly pissed myself laughing when I heard about it yesterday, but the irony was too much to handle, and I passed out.

Killed?? (5, Insightful)

celardore (844933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617516)

A woman wasn't killed, she died as a result of self induced water intoxication. It's a difference that means a lot. The headline makes it sound like a sport killing of some kind. Would have been more appropriate to say "Woman dies In Wii-Related Competition".

Re:Killed?? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617632)

Would have been more appropriate to say "Woman dies In Wii-Related Competition".
mmm... not in any meaningful sense...

Re:Killed?? (0, Flamebait)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617670)

I suggest you look up the word killed. It is not a synonym for murder. She was killed. When you commit sucide you "kill yourself" not "die yourself." She was killed by her own stupidity, water posioning, participating in a stunt. If she had been killed by another person, ie if the people hosting the show would not let her go to the bathroom, then it would have been murder.

Re:Killed?? (5, Interesting)

starwed (735423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617822)

It's a bit harsh to call it stupidity; water poisoning isn't that well known.

Re:Killed?? (4, Insightful)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617890)

However, ignorance is no defence. Stressing your body always incurs a serious risk.

Re:Killed?? (5, Funny)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617974)

However, ignorance is no defence. Stressing your body always incurs a serious risk.

Right, so the hell with exercise.

Re:Killed?? (5, Insightful)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617870)

She was killed by her own stupidity

If we're picking words, then I'd say she was killed by her ignorance, not stupidity.

If she knew that excess water consumption can kill you, then yes, she was stupid and the station doesn't have a liability.

But did she know that? Did the station inform her? Did the station know? When she started to feel sick, is it reasonable to expect her to go to the emergency room just for drinking water? And even if she had, was it already too late at that point?

I just have questions, not answers, but I also reserve judgment until the details are known.

Re:Killed?? (1)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617908)

To die is a passive verb, but to kill requires a subject, someone or something that carries out the action.

Re:Killed?? (5, Insightful)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617726)

This title is completely ridiculous. It's sensationalist and makes it look like someone died using the Wii. The womans death has nothing to do with a Wii, it could have been a competition for anything.

Re:Killed?? (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617872)

Yeah, I'm sick of the PC thought police trying to blame all these deaths on water. Water doesn't kill people, radio DJs do.

Killed!! (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617958)

Right but on the other hand this woman did not get up one morning decide to drink
canada dry. Obviously to her the prize was worth tremendous effort, exertion and
possibly humiliation.

Should the DA decide to make a case out of it, he'll flesh it out along the lines of
who put how much pressure on that woman to keep going.

Man, even water can kill you! (4, Interesting)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617528)

I knew you could drown in the stuff, but dying from drinking too much of it? Wow. Didn't know that.

Re:Man, even water can kill you! (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617586)

Especially after complete immersion for an extended period of time!

That said, the ultimate cause of death was cerebral swelling - the body had so much water (and relatively little salt) that systemwide swelling took place. With the brain, that's a real problem.

Re:Man, even water can kill you! (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617922)

You heard it here, kids. Now, eat up on those salty fries and chips! As for me, I'll have extra on the rim of my next margarita, please!

High profile ecstasy related case in UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617712)

There was a high profile case related to this some time ago in the UK, where a girl died after drinking too much water because she had taken ecstasy...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leah_Betts [wikipedia.org]

Re:Man, even water can kill you! (4, Informative)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617820)

Here in UK there've been a few "ecstacy deaths", last a few years ago, that turned out not to be the ecstacy as such, but drinking too much water to avoid dehydration and overcompensating. You need to replace your body salts when drinking, or they get flushed out, and organs will fail.

Other risks come from the chlorine put in tap water to stop bacteria from growing - well the bacteria in your guts you kind of need, for digestion etc. Boiling the water first evaporates off the chlorine, otherwise, you're disinfecting yourself everytime you drink it, an accumulative effect.

Re:Man, even water can kill you! (5, Funny)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617962)

Water--or dihydrogen monoxide--is a dangerous chemical that we treat far too lightly! Water contributes to global warming, soil erosion, and caused the levee failures in New Orleans!

Become informed of the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide [dhmo.org] before it's too late!

Re:Man, even water can kill you! (1)

OmniChamp (874914) | more than 7 years ago | (#17618002)

One of the first principles of toxicology is that everything toxic since toxicity depends on dose and duration of exposure. Case in point.

sheesh (5, Informative)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617534)

This is not some mysterious malady. The radio station is off the scale negligent for putting contestants in the position of potential serious harm:

I'd had this argument many times with a friend about my water intake. I've always known my intake was fine (hint: coffee counts...), but in the course of that discussion I found many articles on the problems one could encounter by drinking too much water.

I won't claim any person on the street should know the dangers of drinking too much water, but the people putting on this contest (sorry, stunt) could have recognized they were in deep waters with a modicum of research.

I'm not much for lawsuits, but I hope the radio station that put on this stunt makes significant remedy to the lady's family.

Re:sheesh (1)

Noishe (829350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617614)

but the people putting on this contest (sorry, stunt) could have recognized they were in deep waters with a modicum of research.
oh ha ha ha ha ha... funny...

Re:sheesh (0)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617698)

They are NOT Negligent, they did WARN the contestants, and I also suspect that had a liability release that was signed by the lady as well. The only negligent person in this case was the deceased. If someone through stupidity or whatever helps cause the harm to themselves it is called "contributory negligence" and depending on the state and the finding of how much the injured party helped cause thier demise it can eliminate or greatly reduce any damages. In some states if the "contribution" was more than 50% the case is tossed out. If the station had NOT warned her then there is a real issue, or if the station didn't call 911 when she suffered harm THEN her heirs may have a case.

Re:sheesh (4, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617786)

My point is/was that to the casual observer (and contestant), signing a waiver and being "warned" (I didn't see anything in the article to suggest they warned how dangerous this was) would seem a mere "standard" formality and for the purposes of participating in a water-drinking contest, absurd. But, the radio station, as I pointed out, with minimal research should have known going in this was dangerous and not even hosted this contest.

The only difference I see between this and a contest where contestants drink as much alcohol as possible to win a Wii is that to the common man, dangers and risks associated with alcohol are much more widely known and understood. And, no radio station in the world would get away with having contestants drink alcohol in a similar fashion, waivers and warnings or not.

Re:sheesh (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617876)

Or you know, maybe they could have used gatoraide instead of water. Simple enough change for them and would be totally safe.

the "don't hurt yourself" warning... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617830)

They were negligent because they were having a potentially deadly contest, and they should have had some absolute limits, beyond which a tie is issued. A "play to the death" contest is not acceptable.

Re:sheesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617862)

Questions I would want to know about this situation:

*Did the station Consult a medical doctor before hand about the possible health hazards of consuming large quantities of waters? If was thinking up a contest of any sort, involving ingensting large quantities of anything - hot dogs, cake, pies, pork fried rice, whatever, I would like to find out from a Doctor ahead of time the chances that someone could kill themselves, become paralyzed, have a stroke, etc by doing this?

*Did the station then pass along the information from the doctor about the potential health risks to the participants in a written warning, signed by the participants before participation?

*Did the station have emergency medical staff (EMT's, doctors) on hand to treat participants if something *did* go wrong? Since we are talking about a situation where there could be known medical problems, it seems to me like relying on 911, instead of pre-emptively having medical staff available at the site of the contest, would be negligent.

*Having consulted a doctor about this, why didn't they have the participants drink something like Gatorade that would be electrolytically supplemented? Maybe Gatorade wouldn't have been appropriate, but it seems like they maybe could have mitigated the risks of this by having people drink something other than pure, bottled water - something that would help maintain an appropriate balance of nutrients, sugar, salts, etc in the blood?

If they did not take any of those steps, it seems to me like they might have opened themselves up to some kind of legal repurcussions. I'm no lawyer, and don't really know the fine details of negligence law. But it does seem like the above steps would have been fairly easy, common-sense things to do that might have helped mitigate the risks. I don't think any sane person would put their life knowingly at risk to get their kids a Wii. I suspect that the participant probably figured that drinking water is harmless, so what's the worst that could happen - most of us would probably assume we would throw up, or get diahrea, or something, long before we would get to the point of killing ourselves. Apparently, not so.

Re:sheesh (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617902)

They are NOT Negligent, they did WARN the contestants,

Sorry, but what did they warn them of ? "Drinking too much water can have adverse side effects."

Haha. The average person doesn't know that drinking four liters (even less if you drink demineralized water) or more can and will kill you.

The whole idea of this contest is fscked up. Whoever came up with this sh1t needs to go to jail so their crazy ideas don't kill any more clueless people. Sheesh.

Re:sheesh (1)

spyder913 (448266) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617748)

I agree, and in fact that's what I said when I first heard about this a couple days ago. I have heard about this a couple of times from frat initiation events (not hazing, they swear!) where they are making them drink lots of water since it isn't alcohol, which most people know will kill you if you drink 4 gallons in 30 minutes. At least one of these was local so that might be why I took notice in the first place.

If I were putting together a stunt for my company I would probably do some research too. I don't think that's the norm though, especially when it comes to something 'safe' like water.

Re:sheesh (1, Insightful)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617818)

This is not some mysterious malady. The radio station is off the scale negligent for putting contestants in the position of potential serious harm [...]

Why is the radio station obliged to understand the danger, but the contestants are not?

How Insightful (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617936)

Why is the radio station obliged to understand the danger, but the contestants are not?

Because the radio station is putting the contestants in the danger that they need to understand in the first place.

Re:sheesh (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617938)

Don't you know that only the person or organization with the most money is ever responsible? That is why you sue the bar for selling the drink and not the person who lets themselves get drunk and then drives home.

Because they incited the act. (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617990)

If I did something stupid like this, I'd be up on charges of manslaughter. So would you.

It doesn't mean you wouldn't get off (You might...but you'd still get tried for it in most cases...)- but just because it's a radio station (or other business) doesn't let you off of culpability for this sort of thing.

gawd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617542)

i read about this over 24 hours ago on mainstream news sites...

Re:gawd... (1)

general scruff (938598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617952)

Amazing... And you have had all that time to come up with something useful to add to this conversation, and yet all you can say is "Oh yeah, I heard this already..."

They should have... (2, Funny)

VAXcat (674775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617556)

Interviewed the winner and asked him or her how they felt about owning the Death WII.

Re:They should have... (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617924)

Maybe the winners will end up killing someone with a wiimote accident, cuz clearly the console is cursed. Btw, I still think this is insane. The body should just pass any water it doesn't need straight to the bladder. At a laser tag lockin all night, I sweated probably a gallon and drank at least a gallon of water and didn't have to pee all night so obviously it's the amount at a given time, not the overall amount. Whenever I'm fully hydrated and haven't sweat and all my glands are full enough, I usually just gotta go in like ten minutes if I drink a lot. You'd think it would just stay in your stomach if your bladder was full and you were holding it but apparently it somehow goes somewhere else and kills you. I still think that's a little iffy because it just doesn't make sense. You'd have to drink more water than your body can physically hold because your electrolyte density in your brain was diffused enough that you actually died.

Dumb contest, stupid people... (1, Troll)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617562)

They should've have the contestants hold their breath so it would be obvious when they turned blue that something was wrong. I don't think that would change the outcome of the contest.

Bizarre (1, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617574)

I can't believe that nobody involved in this event had misgivings about this, especially since just a couple of years ago a kid at Chico State died of the same thing (which got all sorts of press around California at the time).

What a stupid thing to have happen. You've got to feel for her family, especially with all the reports saying she was doing it for her kids -- having your mom die trying to get you some stupid video game system would be a shitty thing to live with. I hope they sue this radio station and the individuals involved into the poorhouse...

Re:Bizarre (1)

wizzard2k (979669) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617660)

I was thinking the same thing when I heard this on the radio. You'd think people around here would have learned from that. I mean, it was a BIG deal at the time.

"Sue into the poorhouse"? (-1)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617998)

"I hope they sue this radio station and the individuals involved into the poorhouse..."

I'd like to weigh in quickly regarding this part of your post. It seems to reflect the widespread consensus that personal responsibility in our nation is happily being handed off to anyone but ourselves. At what point does the individual assume some blame for something going wrong? We read this week about someone in Germany swerving their car off a highway onto a trolley track because his GPS said 'Turn left'. He just blindly did it, should the GPS company be sued? Or should the driver have maybe exercised some better judgment in blindly following the instruction?

If a radio station held a 'Let's play Russian Roulette' contest for a prize, should the family of the person who shoots themselves be able to sue?

Our civil courts have a purpose, and they serve that purpose daily. But our society seems hellbent on using the same system to try and get "the payout", a claim paid by an insurance company or by the liquidation of assets of a company that did some perceived slight. The american dream shouldn't be 'Succesfully sue someone' and make mad-kash.

What have we become?

Hold your wee for a wii... (3, Funny)

Jesselnz (866138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617576)

Who the hell came up with that name? See kids, this is why crack is illegal.

Re:Hold your wee for a wii... (1)

Gwyndolen (971433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617950)

From living in the Sacramento area and *occasionally* tuning into that radio station, it's right in line with their other stunt names.

Wii Hype Dying Too (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617598)

Now that the holidays are over it feels like the whole 'Wii thing' has really died off. Wiis are showing up in stores and there is a massive drought of new/good games for the system.

The Wii probably could have been the top console if the year consisted entirely of just December with everyone on vacation and sitting around the home with nothing to do. Too bad there are those pesky extra 11 months every year.

Call the Darwin awards (-1, Troll)

icedcool (446975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617610)

Our gene pool has been self cleaned again.

Re:Call the Darwin awards (1)

idlemind (760102) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617678)

She has kids. Thanks for playing.

Re:Call the Darwin awards (1)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617826)

Yes, but now that they're without a mother they may be more susceptible to other dangers in the world...

Re:Call the Darwin awards (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617976)

They live in the modern United States...not a prehistoric cave. Not only do the probably have a father, but they also probably have a life insurance payout.

Stupid people are actively protected from themselves in our society, and incidentally reproduce at will since society will prevent their cheeto-stained offspring from starving to death. As amusing as the darwin awards are, they're really the exception, not the rule.

Re:Call the Darwin awards (5, Funny)

dewie (685736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617700)

If you can't figure out why a mother of three is ineligible for the Darwin Awards, I think you may need to climb out of the gene pool yourself.

Re:Call the Darwin awards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617714)

Except she already had offspring, so her genes continue.

Re:Call the Darwin awards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617996)

As evidenced by several other posters on this topic, it's not reasonable to think that you can die from too much water. Of course, now everyone knows. Not to excuse the station... they should have researched this a bit - now they'll get sued and probably lose.

So, I don't think this tragic death would even count as a Darwin contender, kids or not.

Not to mention, it's a pretty fucking insensitive attitude to take, considering the loss to her family. May you never be the recipient of such treatment.

In other news... (5, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617630)

In other news, a Kansas City man died after slipping in pools of urine surrounding PS3 boxes at a local Best Buy.

Drank more than 8oz (1)

chiefer (1050460) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617636)

The woman must have drank way more than "8oz of water every 15 minutes." 8oz x 4 = 32oz in 1 hour. The average person with 2 healthy kidneys "can excrete about 1.5 litres (0.39 gallons) of water per hour at maximum filtration (other studies find the limit to be as little as 0.9L/h (0.24 gal). Source= http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication [wikipedia.org]. Even at the low end of the spectrum, she would have been borderline "OK" unless she had a severe sodium deficiency.

I think the point was that she couldn't pee (2, Informative)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617832)

"Hold your wee for a Wii"

Re:I think the point was that she couldn't pee (1)

chiefer (1050460) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617906)

Touche' however the bladder would be the "holding tank," while the kidney's still help filter the H20.

Re:Drank more than 8oz (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617884)

FTA:

"An Associated Press interview with another contestant, named James Ybarra, claimed that contestants were initially given eight ounce bottles of water to drink every fifteen minutes, with larger bottles being used once contestants began to drop out"

Do you have no shame Skuttle? (1, Insightful)

jdwclemson (953895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617640)

That is the most deceptive headline you have successfully posted ever. This death could not have less to do with the Wii. It is ONLY about a radio station that tried an irresponsible stunt, and a lady who put her own health at risk to win a competition. The Wii is only related in name, but has ZERO relevance to her death. Stop trying to decieve people and learn to post honestly for once. Thanks!

Re:Do you have no shame Skuttle? (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617910)

The death is related to the Wii in that a lady died by putting her life in danger for a Wii console, so it has a LOT of relevance to her death. Would she have died if the station was giving out tickets to a concert as a prize? No, because she did it to get a Wii for her kids.

Re:Do you have no shame Skuttle? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617918)

Sorry, but you're wrong. It IS related. It was the prize of the contest. The woman would NOT have been there if it wasn't a Wii, she'd have been somewhere else.

"But it could have been any prize."

Not for this woman. She (or most other people) probably wouldn't have wanted just any prize badly enough. Nobody would ingest enough water to kill them to win a toaster.

"It could have been anyone."

Sure it could have. But it wasn't.

The fact the matter is that the headline is correct. It IS Wii-related. They did not try to make it sound like the Wii was involved in the competition, only that it was related to it. And it is.

If it was related to any other product, they'd have put that product in the headline, and you probably wouldn't have screamed about it. You are only mad because the Wii is 'in' right now.

isotonic drink ... (4, Interesting)

AtomicBomb (173897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617666)

Before calling the poor woman a lemming/ a candidate for Darwin's award blahblahblah, I got to ask why can't they (the organisers) supply isotonic sports drink in this sort of competition?

Water intoxication is more common than many of us would like to think. It is part of the reason why many marathons now supply sports drink in addition to water. Newbies in many cases either don't drink enough or cannot stop drinking until water drains them from the inside.

Re:isotonic drink ... (1)

SalaciousPucker (911419) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617856)

That's what I was thinking. Gatorade used at Marathons & the like has double the normal Sodium, not to mention the high quantity found in Gel Packs, etc. Still, even if they were balancing electrolytes, it's just not right to mess with the body chemistry like that. Nothing in that quantity can be a good thing. It can be risky with a seasoned runner, and a runner will have better feel for where their body is at than your average radio show contestant.

Re:isotonic drink ... (1)

dnc253 (1039198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617978)

I got to ask why can't they (the organisers) supply isotonic sports drink in this sort of competition?

Simple. Price of water < Price of some type of sports drink.

Her family (5, Funny)

inKubus (199753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617684)

Sorry in advance:

Her family is probably pretty "Pissed". This contest really went down the "Toilet". I can't believe how it's been "Sprayed" all over the news. Talk about a "Drinking Problem". As said to the second place contestant: "Urine" luck! I guess she didn't really get a fair "Shake".

an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617688)

One of her kids could freeze himself and call his mom when he gets thawed out in the future using a device solely intended for prank calls.

what a "strange" way to die (1)

Noishe (829350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617692)

fta: Jennifer Strange was found dead on Friday at her home after taking part in a contest named "Hold your wee for a Wii"

Should have used beer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17617740)

This would have never happened with beer! You would be drunk off your ass long before you were poisoned.

10 minutes of research (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617782)

..could have saved her life. Someone point the other contestants to this link [justfuckinggoogleit.com] before they start killing themselves too.

drinking too much water flushes the sodium out (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617800)

and then lots of bad things can happen, like you can die from the cardiac arrest. of course it flushes other minerals too but seems like sodium is the most important one.

(funny because I actually have to maintain low sodium because of the high blood pressure.)

Reversal day (1)

clashdot (1034936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17617874)

Today, I hope the broken American patent system will grant Red Hat their software patent for DRM technology.

Today, I hope the broken American justice system will find a way to separate this radio station and its people from all their assets.

Tomorrow, everything will be back to normal.

(As a side note, I don't find it fitting to make fun of this unfortunate woman for not being familiar with the physiological consequences of extreme water intake. I believe most people are not.)
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