It’s hot out. Too hot. The kind of heat and humidity that makes me wonder why I ever moved to the South, the kind that makes me almost miss winter, the kind that keeps me inside even when it’s gorgeous out.

ericOn top of that I’m stressed, not just from work but from our national political climate, exhausted from running through doomsday post-election scenarios in my head when I should be falling asleep and from the recurring sadness from national tragedies playing like a 7-second Vine video on loop.

You’re feeling it, too. At least some of it.

What if there were a way to break the tension, to beat the heat while releasing some pent-up aggression, something more than just a few trips down one of the massive slides at Wet n’ Wild or unplugging from social media? Something like a massive, open-invite water-gun battle.

I totally nicked this concept from our publisher, Brian Clarey, who mentioned something about how he’s been casually talking up the idea of the Triad hosting the world’s largest squirt-gun fight. And I’m shamelessly boosting his concept.

It’d be nice to do something where nobody loses, especially after what feels like a monumentally suck-ass year. The bad guys appear to be winning in 2016 (the Super Bowl, March Madness, the election) and there’s all too much death (from Prince to Orlando to Baton Rouge and far beyond), and while there are glimmers of progress amid the doom, some light-hearted fun would really boost my morale.

I’m guessing yours, too.

I’d like to see the sort of all-ages event that draws a healthy cross-section of our cities, where politicians, activists, internet trolls and teenage athletes run around carefree.

Yes, fellow Guilford College grads, this idea would require a lot of water and be pretty wasteful. Maybe you can come up with a way to turn this into a fundraiser for the food bank or a similarly worthy cause. But regardless, I don’t think we can overlook the importance of lifting everyone’s spirits, of providing free and harmless entertainment and of bringing neighbors together who would otherwise never interact.

We could scale it back and do something like Congressman Mark Walker did while campaigning, having folks like him volunteer to sit for one of those dunk tanks and raise money for something by charging to throw a ball at the target. It would involve water and allow for the friendly release of some aggression. But that really doesn’t sound like as much fun.