An adventurous 4-year-old was the surprise winner in a massive, wacky brawl Saturday among hundreds of Joshes armed with pool noodles.
The goofy event, organized by a college student on the chilling fields of Air Park in Lincoln, Nebraska, was aimed at finding a single victorious Josh to stand for all Joshes.
The high-spirited bash was apparently the perfect anecdote for Americans sick of ugly political back-biting, judging by the social media explosion over the event.
The victor was Josh Vinson Jr. (#LittleJosh), still armed with his red pool noodle, who was awarded a plastic trophy and a Burger King crown that quickly slipped over his eyes. Asked for any words of wisdom, Josh replied: “I fight everyone” — and the crowd roared.
Josh’s dad, Josh Vinson Sr., told local ABC affiliate KLKN Channel 8 TV that his boy is “going to remember this for the rest of his life.”
The whack-a-noodle battle was the brainchild of 22-year-old engineering student Josh Swain, of Tucson, Arizona. (Swain has been vaccinated against COVID-19, and many participants wore masks.)
Swain came up with the idea when he was struck by how often his full name would already be in use when he tried to sign up on various internet accounts, he told The Lincoln Star.
So he sent out a Facebook message a year ago noodling about a “Josh Swain Fight” to dozens of others with the same name. Only a few replied. “It was entirely a joke,” said Swain.
But then the message went viral on Twitter and Reddit, with followers growing over the year. He decided to go ahead with the event, suggesting pool noodles for friendly jousts among Josh Swains and just Joshes.
He picked the “coordinates” for the event at random. “It was like throwing a dart at Google Maps,” he told the Star. He had no idea Thursday if anyone would show up.
The rest is Josh history.
The event raised money for the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Foundation Fund in Omaha (“It’s not just an act of utter absurdity!” Swain explained), and collected food donations for the Food Bank of Lincoln.
Swain tweeted after the event that “there is only one,” in homage to mighty Josh Vinson, or maybe to himself.