Monday, May 10, 2010


To close this year’s Hunt, here are some tips for next year. A year of bickering and learning English grammar taught me to be a better Scavvy, which I will never go back to because they smell weird in large numbers.

1. Read the rules. They are useful, I promise.

2. Read the items. This sounds obvious, but in the midst of an all-nighter fueled by Venom, it really isn’t.

3. If quality is a function of time, get those items judged first. Or get tons of photos of the before. I just wish that I had eaten my choco tacos in their heyday instead of after they had melted into a puddle of goo.

4. Do not be too afraid to talk to us because interactions before judgment can benefit everyone. For example, it was only after we heard that several teams could not complete the museum item that Leah checked, only to find that it was taken off display.

5. Stop calling me Margaret.

6. Try to have the people who completed an item be there to explain or leave a written explanation for items that may warrant it. I often had questions which were answered with, “The guy who did this isn’t here.”

7. Use serving utensils for the dinner. It weirded me out how much food was handled with bare hands. Nuts and cookies? Ok, yeah, sure, fine – I would prefer a spoon or tongs but I can suck it up. But trying to serve me portions of wet, meaty entrée with your fingers was gross.

8. Mama Shaq. Mama Shaq. Shaq’s your mom. That’s a fact.

9. Sometimes a nail is just a nail.

10. I am not impressed by your bullshit. Any of it. Maybe this is just a tip for my page.

Anyway, hope to see you and maybe your dicks next year.


  1. I am sad to see that this is the first reflection to come out of Hot-side-Hot. In my opinion, such negativity is not something that scavvies want to see right after the hunt. Believe it or not, we pour our hearts and souls into the hunt, sacrificing a lot to give the judges items.

    "Read the items. This sounds obvious, but in the midst of an all-nighter fueled by Venom, it really isn’t." - Sometimes we miss things. Four days to work through about 250 items is a lot. Research isn't perfect, or sometimes scavvies interpret something in an unexpected way. Open-mindedness might allow for the appreciation of something awesome, despite not being the exact expected item.

    "I am not impressed by your bullshit. Any of it. Maybe this is just a tip for my page." I've been around quite a bit and worked on a number of different teams in my time doing the Hunt. Some teams drive themselves to black out the list, others aim to do good items. Please keep in mind that no team, no matter how big or small, has infinite budget or infinite man-hours. We simply cannot produce something epic for every item. If that is what you want, double the length of the hunt, help with our budget, or adjust the point values to reflect what you want. We REALLY DO try our best to provide good items, within each team's limitations. We use the point values to get a feel for the amount of man-hours and money expected to be sunk into an item. While each team has a different correlation model, we do think about these things.

    Keeping with that theme, some teams don't have or can't afford to provide the judges with a full utensil spread for dinner, as well as certain other amenities at these events that you seemed to expect. Help us out a little...understand that some teams don't have budgets, or access to such things.

    Again, I was very saddened to see this as the first reflection out of the judges this year. I have a great respect for the many of you I know personally, and by extension those I do not, as I only have heard positive things about you all as individuals. I expected something better out of HSH coming initially out of the hunt. After busting my ass for four days and sinking hundreds of dollars of personal money into items for you, hearing "why didn't you do more and better things?" really hurts. I hope this is not representative of the judges as a whole.

    "Anyway, hope to see you and maybe your dicks next year." If this is the first thing a new or prospective scavvie sees (hell, even an old fart like me), don't count on it. If you want the hunt to grow and be more awesome, this is not how to do it.


    ***DISCLAIMER: The opinions and responses expressed above DO NOT necessarily reflect the opinions of my friends, GASH, or any other Scav Team. This is just me, folks.***

  2. I read this post and thought the same thing Thias had the balls to actually write. With all the wonderful and awesome things in every hunt,
    it is saddening to see flippancy as the first reaction from hot side hot. I sincerely hope that these things didn't get to you too much, and you still had fun. That is after all what its all about. Now I will copy Thias's disclaimer.

    ***DISCLAIMER: The opinions and responses expressed above DO NOT necessarily reflect the opinions of my friends, GASH, or any other Scav Team. This is just me, folks.***

  3. Amen, Thias! Thank you for summing up what many of us have been feeling, and with more tact and grace than I know I can muster.

    Cynthia, I understand you may not have gotten exactly what you wanted for all of your items, and I can see how that is frustrating and disappointing. But what you did get were earnest attempts to satisfy the whims of a stranger while trying to have fun. We're not asking for points-just-for-trying, but we would certainly appreciate some common decency in how you publicly address the items and the teams that put so much time and effort into attempting to meet your high expectations. You're absolutely right that you would have done your items better, but what fun would that be? The thrill and joy of working with limited resources, imperfect knowledge, too little sleep, and yes, too few showers are part of what makes scav fun. I'm sorry if you weren't as happy with the outcome as we were. Next year, we'll know to just give you dildos and Canadian flags for every item and save ourselves the heartache.

    As for communication, I'd like to point out that we called Emily straight away when our road trip team ran into some police officers suspicious of their intentions. Not every problem is so clear cut, especially when looking for hard-to-find things in the first place. Kudos to whichever team spoke up first; it takes guts to do so when there is a demonstrated risk of being openly ridiculed for failing.


    [These opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect MPScav or any other scavvies, so on and so forth.]

  4. I would like to preface the following by saying that I have enormous respect for the Judges--those I know personally, and those I do not. You succeeded in pulling together yet another amazing Hunt, and were by and large a joy to interact with. I'm still startled by the number of judges who know my name, and the great interactions I have had with you--and hope to continue having with you--both on and off the field.

    However, I, too, feel compelled to echo Thias' comments. Having this as the first entry post-Hunt is somewhat akin to patting someone on the back while saying, "God, you're such a disappointment!"

    In the spirit of open exchange, I thought I'd offer up a list of the things I've learned over the course of six awesome Hunts. Most of this will be old news to vets, but bears repeating nonetheless.

    1.) Life isn't fair. Sympathy is appropriately sparse among HSH, and things do fall apart. But if a Scavvie is lucky, he at least won't be ridiculed for the shortcomings.

    2.) Being tired obscures otherwise straightforward items. It happens. We've still read the items--we're not mentally deficient. An associated mea culpa: I was helped write Max P's "Anglish" item, which utterly missed the mark. Having said that...

    3.) Sometimes, the end product is worth the lost points. Wrong or no, I would never trade the end result of our late-night bumpkin-izing of Cosmo (or the related memory of Binney giving a dramatic reading of the sex quiz) for any number of points. Points aren't always the end-all, be-all for Scavvies.

    4.) Judgment is a logistical nightmare. This is inescapable. It's a fact of life that when you get that many people with that many agendas in one room, all clamoring for the same small group of people, things are going to get backed up and hectic. The best-laid plans of HSH and Scavvies alike often go awry; 11 teams with identical melting items can't all be judged simultaneously. Realism, not sympathy, is all we ask.

    5.) Not everyone strives for a total page blackout. Faking an item is one thing, and an obvious piece of BS should rightly earn 0 points and mild scorn. Having said that, I fail to understand the degree of indignation that occasionally accompanies a missing item. It's not a personal insult; we just didn't have the time or the interest. Move along.

    6.) This is more obvious, but bears repeating. Judges do (and absolutely should) have in their minds a vision of the item that they would consider "perfect." And, in an ideal world, the end product would come close to that. In the real world, that item's being completed by half-dead Scav zombies on shoestring budgets who are trying to balance the demands of over a dozen judges in addition to their own team. A half-assed-LOOKING item may have involved more effort than the flawless one at the next table over. To echo #5: This. Isn't. Personal.

    7.) To people who haven't slept, the tiniest bit of courtesy goes farther than you can imagine. Seeing a Judge laugh or even give an appreciative nod is a morale booster. Being ridiculed for an honest attempt at item completion is not. You and I are still human, and the same rules of common human decency are applicable, Scav Hunt or no.

    Take my comments for what they're worth. The overarching message in this, I think, is that Scav is imperfect, as are the people in it. But to come straight out of the gate with flippant criticism and snide brush-offs does a disservice to the wonderful repartee that Scavvies and Judges alike have worked *so hard* to build in recent years. Scav Hunt is a wonderful thing, made possible by hundreds of wonderful people acting in concert, and to address it as an issue of "you Scavvies failed me as a Judge" is myopic and, frankly, unflattering.

    Oh, and also: ***DISCLAIMER: The opinions and responses expressed above DO NOT necessarily reflect the opinions of my friends, Max, GASH, or any other Scav Team. This is just me, folks.***

  5. I vehemently agree with all that has been said. One of the things that makes it fun to do scav is that the judges try (hopefully) to come up with items that we can have fun doing, and that they will understand and appreciate our hard work (and get some of their wishes fulfilled too). Obviously this will not always be the case. As a scavvy, though, it is infinitely more enjoyable to present to a judge who is interested in success and fun for all and understands this is not just about them. While an item might not have turned out exactly as they would have liked, they will accept this and not see it as a personal affront because IT IS NOT. Presenting to judges who are only interested in their own fun and no one else's makes scav go a direction it should probably avoid.

    * Disclaimer of personal opinion*