#2 (Video) You (and a friend if you wish) enlist with a local volunteer organization and have yourself filmed doing one of the following: planting a tree, working at a food bank or soup-kitchen, collecting trash, or helping out at a retirement facility. You must be wearing something that shows you seriously know how to party.
In 2014 I decided to throw in my hat and participate in the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. for short). It was all Ashleigh's fault. She lured me in with promises of adventure and glory. In the end, it was one of the most exhausting weeks of my life. Fortunately, I have a patient husband--and a career in academia, which prepared me for extreme sleep deprivation.
I didn't have a clue what G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. was about when we began. When I first looked at the scavenger hunt list, I remember thinking how weird it was that the organizers were so obsessed with the T.V. show Supernatural. (Turns out the contest is run by one of the show's stars.)
Fortunately, I stumbled into an excellent team. The St. Louis people I joined with of course, team FluffyPanda: Ashleigh, Melissa, Joanna, and Travis. But especially the folks we got paired with--an amazing trio from the west coast, team Bassackwards: Kristin, Nancy, and Matthew; and a group of artists extraordinaire from Finland, team MoonTV: Minttu, Juho, Jarkko, Tilia, Daniela, and Hanna.
I've compiled below all of our entries so others can enjoy our week of hijinks. Oh, who am I kidding--it's so I can go back through them whenever I need a laugh. Here we go...
#3 It's ''me time.'' Spoil, pamper and be decadent to yourself like you never have before. Oh, and P.S., you’re dressed as a Stormtrooper.
#4 Clearly your bicycle is underwhelming you with its current performance. Convert your bicycle into a warp-speed spacecraft.
#6 As GISHWHES certainly isn't all about dog-eat-dog competition, find someone on another GISHWHES team and surprise them with an act of thoughtful generosity. Make us tear up. We must see the team name or Username of the individual you are helping.
#7 Find an object that you’re holding onto for all the wrong reasons. Destroy it mightily.
#8 (Video) A lot of politicians oppose minimum wage laws. Let's expand their horizons: pay an elected official less than minimum wage to do at least 1 hour of yard work for you.
#9 (Video) Assemble a puzzle with a minimum of 50 pieces in one sitting. The video must show the box with more than 50 pieces and then you putting the puzzle together. For ease of assembly you must be wearing wool mittens or gloves throughout the assembly of the puzzle.
#10 (Video) Go through a drive-through at a fast food restaurant in your invisible car. Order, among other things, a Diet Water. You must have a passenger in your invisible car, and you both must be ''seated.''
#11 (Video) Set to opera music, stage a water balloon fight between 10 or more participants all wearing business suits.
#13 Time flies like a Wooster gone wild. There's someone in your life - an older family member or an older friend - that will someday be gone. There's something you used to do with them that you enjoyed or have been meaning to do with them, but never have. Do it now, before it's too late.
#14 File a Freedom of Information Act request for any available government files on your parents.
#15 Have an elderly person teach you an ''old-school'' skill now considered obsolete. For example, how to operate a telegraph or a mechanical typewriter (those examples are now off-limits).
#17 You are off to a most elegant formal evening gala. Disaster strikes! Your outfit is ruined! Dress yourself in an outfit fit for such an evening, using only items found in your bathroom.
#18 As you well know, all the actors who work on the CW network collect hand-painted paper-mache models of their own heads. Get one of these actors to post a photo on Twitter or FB of them holding your team's painted paper-mache creation of their likeness.
#19 (Video) Stand in front of a recognizable landmark or monument, wear something magnificent, and in whatever your native language is, complete the following sentence: ''Gishwhes makes me feel _____''
#20 Based on the Internet, which is always super reliable and never wrong, each year almost 100,000 people are saved by out-of-hospital CPR in the US alone… from everything from choking on food to heart attacks. Get an online or offline CPR certification. [...] Submit an image of you holding up your Certificate. Bonus points if you do it with a friend.
#25 Get all of the checkout employees at a supermarket to wear ''Mishacolypse'' masks as they ring up customers. They all must be working their individual registers when you take the picture. There must be a minimum of four checkout workers. The more cashiers, the more points.
#28 Stage a mini-newspaper boat regatta in a public fountain with at least four competing vessels. We must see intense competitiveness and gambling.
#29 If you’re like me, you’re sick of the go-to barista foam-art. If I have to sip at another latte adorned with a fern or clover shape, I’m going to cry. Let's see the Elopus professionally recreated in the foam of a café’s hot drink.
#34 Well done! You've just managed to catch a rare ''Popcorn Child Monster'' on camera.
#36 You at the beach, pool or on a boat, wearing a homemade, 99% edible, candy bathing suit. (The remaining 1% can be inedible thread or wire, but we don't want to see it.)
#37 ''When I grow up, I want to be...'' Have a child dress up as what they want to be when they grow up (lawyer, doctor, ballerina, dragon-slayer, etc.). Then stage the photo in the environment they would be working in.
#41 (Video) Go through a TSA (or your country’s equivalent) checkpoint dressed for snorkeling. Explain to the TSA what you are doing prior to doing it. If they don't allow it, don't do it.
#42 (Video) Some regions have legendary monsters like the Loch Ness Monster in Loch Ness, Scotland or the Abominable Snowman in... well, wherever that creature lurks. Catch the mystery monster on camera that haunts your hometown.
#44 Two people kissing across the Russia/Ukraine Boarder. If safety is a concern the image may be two people anywhere wrapped in a Russian and Ukrainian flag kissing each other.
#47 Cavemen get a bad rap, but really, they're no different from you and me. They like to dine at fine restaurants just like us!
#48 Four people use their bodies to form a table. Enjoy an elegant dinner for two at this body table.
#54 Covering your unmentionables with something you deem appropriate, how many clothespins can you fit (pinched) on the rest of your body? We know; it hurts. We’re sorry, but no pain, no gain!
#57 Capture the elusive NASCAR with a pink unicorn decal on camera. Must be a bonafide NASCAR.
#58 Register to be a bone marrow donor: you could save a child’s life or someone’s mom’s life. [...]
#59 Fograt, Wooster, Elopus or Marge Simpson tummy-art. The “tummy” canvas in question must be that of a woman who is at least 7 months pregnant.
#62 Office art. The boss is away. Take this treasured time to create a beautiful, museum-worthy sculpture in your cubical comprised entirely of company office supplies. If the artist in you feels it is imperative to use a coworker as a base or as an integral part of the piece of work, go ahead and indulge. The world deserves it.
#67 (Video) On a pool or billiards table, sink at least 4 balls with one shot. So we know it's you doing it, wear a t-shirt displaying your GISHWHES team name. The more balls that go in, the more points.
#68 In Washington State, USA there is a woman whose legal name is “Life Has Meaning.” Another woman has legally renamed herself, “Table.” Find someone whose name is a noun, verb or a phrase, and take a photo with him or her and his or her driver’s license with everything blacked out except for his or her name.
#69 An image of each of the members of your team in Brady-Bunch style grid format. Photos should be mug-shot style with each team member holding a black and white sign stating their city and country of residence.
#70 (Video) You know how at Starbucks they ask your name and write it on the cup so that when your latte is done, they can say, “Misha, skinny decaf grande latte - extra foam, extra hot, lightly sweet!” When they ask for your name, give the most ridiculous name you can think of when you order your Starbucks beverage. The video is of the barrista announcing your drink and your absurd name.
#71 (Video) Let's see what a fighter jet passenger or pilot POV looks like. The video must be shot during a flight and the aircraft must do a complete ''roll'' during the video. After completing the roll, you or the pilot must hold up a hand or arm on which is written, ''GISHWHES does Mach 2'', ''I flip for GISHWHES,'' or a similar phrase.
#74 Be the messiah you were always meant to be. Walk on water (must be a lake or pool). We must not see anything under your feet except for water. Not that we need to say this, but: no photoshopping!
#76 In case the show needs cast replacements, dress up two barnyard animals like SPN characters (you may not harm the animals).
#78 Get a previously published Sci-Fi author to write an original story (140 words max) about Misha, the Queen of England and an Elopus.
#83 The writers and producers of the TV series, “Supernatural”, sometimes pretend they don’t like the limelight. Of course this is false-modesty. Immortalize one of them with a stately portrait done in sidewalk chalk art.
#84 Send a military care package. One image is the box with all the items in it; the other image is you delivering it to the post office. [...]
#88 Make a mosaic Elopus, 2 meters in diameter, made entirely of natural objects (i.e. no plastic, human-made materials, only leaves, rocks, dirt, flowers, wood, etc).
#89 (Video) Create an Oscar-worthy love scene between William Shatner and Larry King using creative editing of existing footage of each of them.
#90 Gingerbread Villages are always so cute and quaint. Make a gingerbread village that shows urban blight: needle exchanges, prostitution, heavy police presence, etc.
#91 Using public transportation, commute to work wearing only the trash your household produced the previous day. (Note: recyclables do not count as trash.)
#94 Make a tiny adorable mouse from boogers. Must be constructed from real, bonafide boogers.
#96 Many people go their whole lives without really getting to know their neighbors. Find a neighbor you've never met and offer to sweep their patio, mow their lawn or help them with some other task they have to do.
#98 (Video) Act/dress like a mannequin, shrub or a trashcan in a shopping center. Suddenly come to life and scare a passing consumer by shouting, ''GISHWHES!''
#99 Zombies need to buy toilet paper too, right? What does that transaction look like?
#100 Provide visual evidence that unicorns really do fart rainbows. No photoshopping!
#103 Using charcoal or chalk, stencil the term ''D2N'' on the exterior of a factory. (The “2” must be backwards, but I can’t figure out how to do that on this keyboard.)
#108 Get NASA (@NASA), the CIA (@CIA), or the official twitter feed of another nation or any country's large federal agency to show their “fun side” in a twitter reply to you that mentions your twitter handle and #GISHWHES.
#109 Obviously, everyone’s favorite Captain of the USS Enterprise was Jean-Luc Picard. Create a heroic Captain Picard using condiments (mustard, relish, ketchup, etc.) for paint.
#110 (Video) The NSA is watching us. They’re reading our texts and emails and listening to our phone calls. The post office is just another branch of the government, so we can’t trust them either. There is really only one truly secure way to send messages these days... carrier pigeon. Using a carrier pigeon, send a GISHWHES shopping list with your team name on it from one location to another. We must see the pigeon arriving at its destination with the shopping list and see the list unfurled.
#111 (Video) There is a retirement home in Baltimore, MD called Rolland Park Place. My grandmother lives there. Bring flowers, chocolate or funny homemade or store-bought cards for some of the residents. Since this is a bit nepotistic, if Rolland Park Place is out-of-the-way for you, do the same at another retirement home. You must interact with the residents.
#117 Collect fruit from a tree on from which the fruit hangs over a public sidewalk. Make jam from the fruit. Eat it.
#119 (Video) ''Jump the shark''. You will be penalized if you are bitten or eaten by a shark, so plan accordingly. (Liberal interpretations of this item are encouraged.)
#120 Feed your demons. You are not permitted to submit an image of you eating desert.
#121 Challenge a movie theater employee: If you beat them in an arm-wrestling competition, they have to give you a free ticket. If they beat you, you’ll buy one. Either way, you get to see a movie. The images should be of you arm-wrestling across the counter and then you enjoying your movie.
#122 Create a piece of furniture that hasn't been created yet but would be very useful. Demonstrate its use.
#124 If Jensen Ackles, Jared Padelecki, Misha Collins, or Mark Sheppard were part man/part animal, what would it look like and what would its name be? Example: ''Jensen Catkles'' would be 1/2 cat, 1/2 Jensen. Tweet the image with the twitter handle of the actor your hybridizing and the hashtag: #GISHWHESspecieshybridization. You only have to amalgamate one of the aforementioned men. Edit the tweet and photo into one image.
#125 (Video) Sing a harmonized duet rendition of ''Eye of the Tiger'' with someone standing 30 yards away from you. The camera should be centered between the two singers and we should be able to see both in the frame.
#131 (Video) Convenience stores need much more oversight. Give Red Cards to customers in a convenience store while dressed as a referee. You must explain their infraction after handing them the card. Whistle optional.
#132 (Video) Launch a protest outside a McDonalds claiming the superiority of post-and-lintels to arches.
#133 Draw a New-Yorker-style cartoon for the caption ''I told them he was half-elephant!''
#134 You or your pet, in period costume, seated on a Game of Thrones-style kale throne. Make it so good that GOT producers would want it as a marketing poster.
#137 Lots of new Internet shorthand has evolved: ''LOL,'' ''IMHO,'' ''OMFG'' Come up with the meaning for the Internet abbreviation ''IDGHP'' and use it in social media. If you get it to catch on, extra points
#138 (Video) It turns out that jellyfish will be big winners in global warming. Create a PSA to help the humans prepare for a future with jellyfish overlords.
#141 A museum-quality installation exhibition of the dishware in your cupboard. Artist Statement is NOT optional.
#144 Find an odd integer other than 1, that is the sum of its divisors (e.g., 6 = 1+2+3 and (1,2,3) are the divisors of 6).
#146 Create an image of the Elopus and Wooster in an epic battle for mascot supremacy.
#147 It’s summertime and everyone loves a lemonade stand. But then again, every Tom, Dick and Harry is setting up a lemonade stand in the summertime and the market is flooded. Respond to consumer demand and carve out your own niche. Let's see two children manning a ''Hot Pasta With Jam Sauce'' stand.
#148 GISHWHES rock band album cover including one, some or all of your teammates.
#149 (Video) Shoot a potted plant off a fence post with a potato canon. Not a potato gun, a potato canon.
#160 (Video) Use a 3-D printer to make a quill pen. Write, ''Buy new toner cartridge'' with your new pen. We must see the pen being printed and the note being written with it.
#165 On Sunday, August 3rd, at 12:00 PST, someone from your team or a representative of your team, go to Miller Community Center [...]. You must follow the directions for this event posted on our UPDATES page. Submit an image here for your team that Misha directs you to at the event.
#166 (Video) Time-lapse: Re-enact the 1980’s ''Pepsi Challenge'' with a twist. Take two human molars and put each in a glass. Pour Pepsi into one glass and coke into the other and allow them to sit for 72 hours. Remove. Which is better for discoloring/dissolving teeth? Coke or Pepsi?
#169 Jared Padelecki does not love Excel Documents. Post one to him on twitter that might change his opinion of Excel.
#173 (Video) You see people holding up signs from time to time that say ''free hugs.'' I have always been wary of those people. I don't know what it is they’re after. Are they trying to cop a feel? Get me to buy a timeshare? I avoid them. But your ''free hugs'' sign won't leave any doubt in the readers' minds… Wearing a bathing suit, cover every inch of your exposed skin with honey, whipped cream, syrup or jam. Hold a sign on a busy public sidewalk that reads, ''Free Hugs.'' Enthusiastically attempt to recruit hug-victims.
#175 Rollerblade through a museum - Steve Martin style - but wearing a sock monkey hat.
#176 Try to make yourself look exactly like an iconic local statue (in every detail) and stand next to it.
#180 This is an item, the outcome of which, will rear its head later and you may have an opportunity to participate in something very strange and wonderful: complete workable architectural drawings for a beautiful, 9 foot by 9 foot, post and beam, open-air teahouse of redwood construction. The teahouse is to be built on an existing 9'X9' concrete pad. The structure must be designed to be comfortable and accessible to humans, must require no plumbing or electrical, have no doors (just an open entrance), and instead of windows, just openings. Design must call for no nails or screws, only mortises, tenons and pegs (with steel bolts to tie it to the slab).
#183 Last year, NASA used their official twitter account to politely ask us to stop bothering the astronauts on the space station. NASA has undoubtedly spent the past 12 months regretting this hastily-made decision, so we are giving them a second chance to get in on the fun… Get ''GISHWHES conquers space'' or ''GISHWHES [insert other clever phrase]'' written on or in something orbiting in space. 400 points if an astronaut poses with the inscription. No photoshopping allowed! A couple of teams cheated last year on the space item and were disqualified.