I know the answer to what happens if you don't jump in the Chicago River, notably because I haven't been forced to confront the reality. But realistically I'm actually surprised that a study hasn't been commissioned by UChicago or Northwestern or some fancy pants environmental school in the Northwest that sees us urban midwesterners as prehistoric savages. The fact there isn't concrete evidence about the long-term exposure to Chicago river water is forthright mind bottling. Even short-term anecdotal evidence would go a long way to spreading awareness and who knows maybe even throw a punch or two in the fight against COVID. It's home to
arguably Chicago's strongest antibodies.
You see long ago the Chicago River would carry all of the city's literal & figurative shit out to Lake Michigan. But then like 130 years ago the water got ruined and a bunch of people died from drinking it. They figured it was probably bad to mix water with fecal matter and industrial waste so they tried reversing the flow. After a lot of effort and shoddy labor standards, the city figured it out and reversed the river. It now flows out southwest through a man-made canal into the Des Plaines then to the Illinois River where it links up with the Mississippi down by St. Louis. So technically you could argue we went out of our way to send all of our shit to St. Louis and you wouldn't be wrong. I kinda like that.
HOWEVA, that doesn't make for the most refreshing cannonball when compared to other aquatic experiences. Like not to be a huge suburban pussy but I'd probably rather be at your friend's pool in Hinsdale.
"We don't do above grounds in Hindsale." - your friend's dad
Yet time and again I see young men jumping in the river on their own accord. Usually it's attached to some kind of Barstool Chicago social media post so let me clearly state now that I think it's a bad idea. Sure you'll make it on our instagram but remember we can't help you with your rash.
In your defense though - at least you went All Gas No Brakes on river water exposure. Credit to literally just taking the plunge but again not really because I don't condone behavior that could put blood on my hands.
Even crazier though are the people in kayaks that are swallowing trace amounts with each oar splash. The people that spend hours marinating in a plastic seat of river water with all those parasites crawling up your asshole and into your colon. The people that readily have their phones available to record the guy jumping from 35 feet… those are the people in this equation that can't be trusted.
How about a nice relaxing day in commercial sewage
Call me old fashioned but No Thanks. The only time you'll find me on that river is when we BOAT WATCH HIT THE TAPE