Sunday, July 11, 2004

The Proof is in the Prada

I was at the Blogger Bash Friday night talking to the lovely Jahna D'Lish when she brought up this "extreme scavenger hunt" she was taking part in and how she needed an extra person to fill out her team. Since he wouldn't take part, I read over the list of things that could be done and cracked myself up thinking of actually trying to pull some of these things off and for some insane reason I agree to take part and become the final member of Team Exit 9.

9:00 AM

I wake up wondering what the hell I have agreed to do and wonder if there is anyway that I can get out of it. I look around at the few remaining unopened boxes left since my move and the bag of laundry I should really take care of and decide that it's just more fun to go ahead and do this insane scavenger hunt. Mistake #1 of the day -- Making a bad choice in footwear that I would be wearing all day.

11:20 AM

I arrive at the scavenger hunt's starting point and we take our team photo with all of us (sans Jahna) giving the finger the camera. Jahna opted for a more rocker-ish pose. Our team icon (which had to appear in all of the photos) was the dragon from Mulan. The wait then began for the noon start time.

11:45 AM

We were approached by a member from Team Freedom and the Fanny Packs about arranging a time to meet together and knock off item #12 from our list -- Team member making out (yes, tongue) with member of an opposing team worth 40 points per team member in the picture. We agreed to help them and with phone numbers exchanged we said call us in the afternoon and we would set up a time. Team Exit 9 then pondered who they would want to kiss at the appointed hour.

12:00 PM

The event started and we all rushed out of the loft and onto the street. We dutifully lagged behind for a second and finagled our way into completing our first item #43 -- A team member walking through a car wash. I ran in with the icon and stood inside behind the hanging wipers getting drenched in soapy water holding out the icon. We took two one with me running out the icon rather blurry...but we scored early!

12:04 PM

Tick off item #46 as Nancy got behind the steering wheel of an NYC taxi looking way too comfortable and cute. The driver was concerned that we were going to take off in his cab but we reassured him that we just needed the picture and that he could take the keys out of the ignition.

12:10 PM

Apparently we're doing rather well (in our minds at least) as we get another one quickly knocked off when Jay gets a pizzeria to loan us some dough to twirl in the air. Excitement level is rather high.

12:16 PM

We're on fire!! With Juliette's help, I pose as a guy from the Netherlands who is having his first Big Mac and pull off a coup that we believe no one else accomplished as I get behind the counter and into the kitchen of McDonalds and pose with my Big Mac (Item #44). My only regret is that I didn't get someone to loan me a hat to wear. I did utter the only Dutch I can remember which, when translated, comes from "Little Red Riding Hood" and means "the better to eat you with."

12:20 PM

We score again with two in quick succession as Jay and I take on Item #5 -- Two team member simultaneously biting into the same Big Mac in the cereal aisle of a supermarket. Considering how starving I was I then wolfed down the rest of the Big Mac in about three bites. With Jahna looking to get into the walk-in freezer, I opt to stake out the rest of the place and see if I can find something else we can do rather quickly. Sure enough, I come across the unguarded door to the walk-in freezer in the back corner of the supermarket and drag everyone back to the corner where Juliette snags a picture of Jay hoisting a gallon if milk in the air (which he later admitted he should have been drinking) and high tail it out and head up to midtown.

12:30 PM

Coming out of the E train at 44th Street and 8th Avenue we spot a parked police car and realize that if we can find the officer attached to it, we could get 90 points per team member for item #53 -- Team member sitting in the back seat of a police car. Sadly, Juliette can't find the police office associated with the car (although we thought we spotted in him in a store but it wasn't him). We meet up with our official camera man, Ken and see another police officer and hope that it's his car and not the little traffic police cart vehicle we see up the street. Sadly it is his small vehicle and not the big car although he does say that if he sees a police car coming up the street he will flag it down and we can do it then.

While Juliette does her schmoozing, Jahna ran up to Broadway to complete item #55 -- Hold up a sign in front of a crowd in Times Square that reads "You're a cunt!" Sure enough caught in the picture is a woman with a supremely sour expression on her face that qualifies her to be the cunt. Meanwhile we learn that if we head back to the same spot in a few hours, we could possibly do Item #66 and enter an item under the Judge's Choice category of "Best Celebrity Photo" as Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore were doing event in Shubert Alley for Broadway Barks. As we're running short on time, we bid our police officer adieu and get word that there may be police cars at the police sub-station in the middle of Times Square. With that in mind, we head off because I have to take a piss and that works into Item #27 -- Team member taking a piss.

12:35 PM

We're on the fifth floor of the Marriot Marquis and I stupidly forget that I have to show my face while I'm taking the piss and the picture, while aesthetically pleasing didn't cut the mustard. Interesting to note is that while I'm taking the pic, Jay and I are talking about the shot and it sounds more like we're conducting a drug deal than anything else. When Jay says, "Don't drop the camera in the toilet," one guy who walked into the bathroom immediately turned around and walked right back out without missing a beat.

We do, however, decide to combine Items #34 (All five team members in one bathroom stall) and #15 (Team member's head in a toilet) and we have to wait for one guy to get out of the large handicapped stall at the opposite end of the Marquis' fifth floor. Finally we all cram in and get the shot taken, but not before the toilet flushes with my head in it.

Trust's a moment I'll remember. Of course, as we're leaving we run into a cleaning man who had to hear us having way too much fun in the bathroom.

12:53 PM

We decide to see if we can get Item #20 knocked off -- All five team members shaking hands with five different children. Where do we go? Toys R Us in Times Square. We see three girls heading down the escalator and follow them and get their parents permission to photograph them (along with two other kids). Our reason -- we're doing a scavenger hunt for charity and need this picture. One woman, a tourist with a video camera (natch), thinks it's the coolest thing and videotapes her child having her picture taken. With that accomplished we start to head out....BUT....

12:55 PM

"GAYEST KID! GAYEST KID!" I hear from behind me. Yep, apparently we have an entrant in the subjective Judge's Choice section -- Item #71 - The Gayest Kid. The kid was in a yellow Tommy Hilfiger shirt with the collar turned up, a puka shell necklace, and what looked like fur boots.

"May we take your picture?" Jahna asked him.

"Yes," he said, brooding the entire time. He did this totally disinterested pose (which he was already doing when we saw him) and we told his parents the same charity story and they thought it was rather cool as well.

12:57 PM

We try to get #24 done (Team member sitting on a horse) but the police officer won't let us do it and I suggest we go to Central Park (which we have to do anyway) and get on the carousel. This gets shot down since it says a "horse" which they take to mean a real horse and I say that it doesn't have to be a real horse because it doesn't say the horse has to be real. While I thought it would be a great shot and might get us bonus points. Oh well...the real bonus point shot, though, was just seconds away....

1:04 PM

We head over to the police substation in Times Square but there are no cop cars there. We're about to head to find the first bridal shop for Item #57 (Team member trying on a wedding dress) when Juliette sees this guy walking down the street wearing a shirt that says "Take Your Top Off." Juliette runs back, grabs him, and we throw him into the picture totally unaware of what's about to happen.

Juliette, standing in front of the painted wall that reads "Welcome to Times Square -- NYPD" very clearly behind her, does just what the guy's shirt says to do and she takes off her top exposing her boobs to the world.

"Holy shit!" we hear from the corner as we quickly take the shot with more than a few people looking on. We run up to protect Juliette as she's struggling to get her shirt back in some semblance so it can be put back on. It actually takes longer to put the shirt back on than it does to take the actual picture. We decide that one moment clearly qualifies for Item #67 -- Judge's Choice for Best Unplanned Photo.

1:14 PM

Off we go to W. 39th Street to try on wedding dresses. The first place we looked was by appointment only but Nancy being the smart cookie that she is had another place just down the street that was, apparently, of the warehouse variety. Now, I was initially going to try on a dress and hope that we would get bonus points since I figured that a guy in a wedding gown would be worth it.

I chickened out. I figured that it would be the one moment that someone decided to come barging in while I was in a dress and I wasn't willing to risk it. Besides the fact that there were signs everywhere saying that they didn't allow you to take pictures I was rather nervous and jumpy. With that Juliette, Jahna, and Nancy all got in the dresses and I snapped the picture. Nancy did look adorable with her tiara that had the pricetag dangling from it a la Minnie Pearl.

1:27 PM

With plans to meet Team Freedom and the Fanny Packs at 3:00 for the kiss, we head over to the Midtown South police station to try once again to knock off Item #53 -- Team member sitting in the back seat of a police car. We get lucky in one off-duty police officer coming out who let's us in his police VAN (not car). We all get arranged and Juliette and Jahna decide to go for bonus points and pull their tops up as the picture is about to be taken -- and right as a father and 7 year old son combo comes walking by. The dad hides his son (and keeps looking at the boobs).

The picture doesn't come out well but we do get lucky as a police car is arriving and the off-duty guy goes to talk to his buddy in the arriving car to see if he will let us do it and I am sure that the conversation included something about the girls showing their boobs. We manage to squeeze all five of us into the back seat and with that picture taken, Juliette tried her best to work in Item #52 as well which involved any team member in an NYPD jail cell. Sadly, that one didn't work out.

1:50 PM

We head back to Juliette's office and along the way decide to take on Item #25 -- All team members forming a five person pyramid on a moving subway car between stations. If we had gotten a sixth person (aka civilian, non-player) to join us, we could have gotten more points under Item #30 (aka the six person pyramid).

At this point, I have chugged a bottle of water and decide to take another stab at Item #27 and take a piss. Using the timer and angling my body just right, I got a great shot with a nice arc of piss coming from me. Considering I really had to go to the bathroom and it took three tries, I was just glad to finally be able to go!

We take the before shots of Jahna's arm for Item #4 (Team member getting a tattoo) and Jay's head for Item #3 (Team member getting hair dyed blue, green, or violet). Jahna then runs to the bathroom to dye Jay's hair while I take a before shot of my pubes to get them dyed blue while we wait for the other team to come for the kiss. However, since I am known to trim them down you really couldn't see that I had done anything after working the dye in. Oh well.

Meanwhile, Juliette starts to download the pics so we can see what we have and what is usable since we can only submit a total of 20 pictures for the final judging. It's at this point we get the call that they are five minutes out and we decide that we need to do a combo of things to get some more points. Therefore, in addition to making out with the opposing team (Item #12) we decide to throw in Item #23 (Team member nude wrapped in plastic). Jahna and Juliette duff clothing while we get out the next surprise of the day -- RED plastic wrap. Apparently Juliette didn't notice that she had gotten special colored wrap. Deciding to take one for the team, I drop trou and get my crotch wrapped. I will say this...being wrapped in that stuff is WARM!

3:30 PM

Team Freedom and the Fanny Pack arrives and they're game to go 5 for 5 on the kiss so we just arrange ourselves on the stairs and we've got three guy-girl couples, one girl-girl, and one guy-guy (guess which one I was in?) with three of us in plastic wrap. To top it off, they have the 20 point bonus fish (that we eschewed) that I had to hold up while kissing my guy (and trying not to laugh).

With the pic done and Jahna redressed, sans plastic wrap, and heading up to her appointment to get her tattoo, the rest of us regrouped, rinsed the dye out of Jay's hair, and ran through Juliette's office building looking to complete #17 (Team member smoking inside a public building in front of a No Smoking Sign). After climbing four flights of stairs we found one and quickly did the picture (Juliette lit and puffed my cigarette so it would smoke) and off we went to the subway to head to Central Park.

3:57 PM

We arrive in Central Park in an attempt to take care of #8 -- Two members in their underwear, in a tree in Central Park, holding a Diet Vanilla Pepsi. We also want to go for the horse sitting (Item #24) and the first carriage driver we approach won't let us do it and my idea of the carousel is shot down again. The carriage driver will let us do anything else, but just not on the horse.

So off to find the right tree that's kinda secluded in Central Park. Highly unlikely and just about impossible, but we do find one that's not near a lot of foot traffic and just as I'm about to drop trou and take the shot, Nancy screams out, "There's a police car coming!" We stop with our quick undressing and wait for it to pass so I can pull down my shorts, take the shot, and get redressed. Jay and I are both cracking up over this one.

4:22 PM

"They just called security on us."

This was in the Prada store on Fifth Avenue as we try to bang out #56 -- Team member trying on a Prada suit in a store. Now mind you, I know my suit size -- 46R. So when I found a Prada 46R I tried it on.

It came nowhere near fitting me.

Meanwhile Jay and Juliette are trying on suit jackets while I try to find one suit that fits me. Jay and Juliette head into the dressing room with Juliette giving the line that she knows she's in a men's suit but she likes wearing men's suits and even the salesman who knew something had to be up admitted she looked great. Meanwhile, my great suit search is on and I finally find, of all things, a 58R that fits me. It's the very last suit in the entire store that I look at and the only one that fits me. We run into the dressing room (the only one on that floor) and I throw the suit on and we take the picture with all of us holding up the Prada hangars.

We take the suits off and mumble things about being in town all week, having four hours to come back when they close in an hour...we just burst out laughing when we got out of the store.

5:09 PM

We decide to head over to 8th Avenue and find the Broadway fire house so Juliette can try sliding down a fire station pole (Item #48). Of course, we have no clue exactly where on Eighth Avenue the fire station is and it could be as much as another ten blocks to walk and we have no idea if they have a fire pole. Someone said to call them and ask but since we didn't have the phone number and information couldn't pull it out with just "a fire station on Eighth Avenue" so we opted to head back to Juliette's office so we could regroup on the pics and take quick shots of Items #28 (Team member licking the pole on the inside of an NYC subway car) and #11 (Pie in the face of a team member).

We got word that Jahna's tattoo is done as we head to the subway and tell her to meet us at the office. We head down to the subway and I point us to the express train that's leaving next (even though it's on the uptown platform). However, it's decided that we go to the downtown platform and get on that train sitting in the express lane. While I try to point out the sign was showing the other express train was leaving first, I'm told that the sign was wrong and sure enough it's that train that leaves first. I want to be all triumphant and indignant about being right but I'm just too tired at this point.

We meet up with Jahna and attempt to divide and conquer while I get food, Nancy and Jay try to get pie tins and whipped cream to smash in our faces, Jahna and Juliette start transcribing what they think is the longest soliloquy Shakespeare wrote on Juliette's chest and body (curving around her nipples ad then down her body). Sadly we later learned it was the wrong soliloquy.

6:30 PM

We race out of Juliette's office and grab two separate cabs to take us to the loft where we race through the pics so we can meet the 7:00 deadline. We pick out our 20 shots and when we see other team's pics we know that we are so not going to win. When we see one guy with the soliloquy written on his back (Item #65), wearing the Best Aluminum Foil couture modeled by a team member (Item #64), while being sprayed by a fire extinguisher (Item #10) by someone modeling the Best Suit Made Out of Newspaper (Item #63), with a Dead Pigeon (Item #31), and the bonus point fish as well. Oh yeah we were screwed...

We had a minor panic attack when we thought that we had lost all of the pics but that moment was short lived as the pics were located and we went on deciding what to use. We opted against me in the car wash since I was just standing in the car wash and not walking through it until we saw a guy doing the same thing in a combo photo where a team member was behind the steering wheel of a taxi at the entrance to the car wash and he was standing just inside it....

One team did have a carousel horse in their picture to which their teammate said that no one said it had to be a live horse. I officially pouted for all of four seconds when I heard that since it was my own argument.

7:30 PM

The judging started around this time and frankly the fact that it took nearly three hours to go through all of the pictures really started to get on my nerves. It was probably the only part of the entire day I didn't like because I really didn't know anyone there and after looking at a lot of other teams' photos and reveling in their creativity I pretty much just shut down and did my best not to look at the really odd looking man who was wearing bike shorts that showed off his best physical asset which he occasionally would tug on and say things like how he hoped he got a date out of the entire event. My feet and back hurt and I was really tired.

9:00 PM-ish

We get judged. We earn 500 points for Jahna's awesome tattoo of Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, 150 for the Big Mac bite (it was guy-guy which they liked). We got bonus points for the team kiss because I made them go back and realize that we had all three gender combos we got more points. The McDonalds story with the Dutch line went over well as did our infiltration of the Gristides freezer. Jay's dye job was cool because it looked on camera like it had all three color variants (green, blue, violet) and my piss got high marks for the arc of the piss stream. The fact that we were holding the Prada hangars up in our pic helped clarify that it was indeed the brand in question.

Our submission for Gayest Kid lost out to the kid in the Broadway revival of Assassins. While we had the brooding gay kid, the winning team had a flamboyantly gay kid in their picture doing a big Broadway musical-esque show pose. Even I have to admit that the kid was pretty gay. We did win for Juliette exposing her breasts for the Best Unplanned Moment with the guy wearing the "Take Off Your Top" shirt. We do think that Team Pussy (yes, that was their name, and yes, they were lesbians) deservedly won for the Best couture dress made out of Aluminum Foil because that thing was just 1) fucking awesome, 2) amazingly cool to look at, and 3) was just FUCKING AWESOME...even I was jealous.

10:20 PM

The final points were tallied and we had a winner. Given how much my feet and legs hurt and how tired I was at the time...well I was just ready for it to be over. With the commute back to Greenpoint on my mind and never having to take the G train home at a somewhat late hour, I was contemplating which way to get home that would be quicker.

Ultimately we didn't win. We did come in next to last although an argument could be made that we were in 5th out of 7 teams since Team Pussy had a member leave with their score sheet so they had no official score.

11:48 PM

I stagger into my apartment and talk with my roommates and their friends about the scavenger hunt. I opt not to shake their hands since I am just FILTHY and nasty from the entire day. The grime of the city, the sheen of sweat still on my body...ugh. It was just too much to handle. The roomies/friends combo thought it was a pretty cool, fun thing to do...I just wanted to take a shower and head to bed which I promptly do.

2:13 AM

I wake up with a cramp in my leg that really hurts so I spend the next ten minutes or so massaging it out so I can get back to sleep. I then start giggling like a school girl when I think of everything I did in the previous 24 hours and realize that I probably had the coolest weekend I've ever had in a long time.

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