Sunday, July 29, 2007

Treat Or Trick Debrief


Concept: Use the public transportation in the city as the setting for a Shenanigan.

Plan: Dress up in "traditional" Halloween costumes, and go from car to car on BART trains giving out candy.

Challenges: Giving the candy away to a suspecting public


Execution: Agent TheBeast (as a pirate), Agent O.Range (as a witch), Agent Babes.com (as a sheet (um... actually: a ghost), Agent Wisecat (as a pint o' Guiness), Agent Double Seven Oh (as Evil Red Riding Hood), Agent Rye (as an "olde-timey" doctor), and Agent Wyrd (as an Wicked Faerie) all met on the Civic Center BART platform, shared their candy stashes, and set off on their adventure, narrowly missing Agent Awesome (as a cowboy) and Agent Kat (as a garishly-dressed tourist).

Mission Report from Agent Rye
As you were aware the team set off at 18:15, seven in total.
Several pounds of confections were dispersed to the public.
Various strategies were employed to from the simple "Happy Halloween" or "Reverse Trick'er Treat", to more factual "It's a Scientific Fact that Halloween happens only once a year. We are doing something about that!"
Tactics also included "Strangers with candy".


The most common costume used for the day and thus the most popular was of a BART train operator. Though the Wicked Faerie did excellent intelligence gathering from the public to find out what costumes they were wearing.

The whole operation concluded after an hour, at which point the team relocated to the secondary target, Lefty O'Tooles. It must be noted that those above ground had a much lesser understanding of English and free candy.

Mission Report from Agent TheBeast
It is amazing to see how many people deeply cling to the wives tales we have all grown up with. Many of the residents of San Francisco downright refused to even consider accepting individually wrapped and factory packaged candy from a band of roving costumed people.

Several people even challenged us with "What are those laced with?" Agent Double Seven Oh had the most rational response, "If we had access to drugs like that, why would we be here?!?"

Though many people were wary, there were still many people who 'got it', and another subset of people who figured out the innocent nature of the Shenanigan after they realized it wasn't just one or two oddballs giving candy out, but a whole group of seven oddballs. Somehow, numbers beget trust in Shenanigans.



My favorite mental clip of the day was while I followed Agent Babes.com, in his (fitted) sheet-ghost costume, through one of the BART platforms while he raised his arms and did his spooky and undulating "Ooooooooooo" noise. There hasn't been a scarier sheet ghost since Linus in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".

Agent Wyrd also did a great job of asking people what their costumes were supposed to be... Some of the best answers I overheard were "A businessman." and "A Berkeley guy".

We also tried to include the BART train drivers as well, and handed out candy to several of them. It was on one of our forays to the front of the trains that we discovered most of the drivers in the BART system already knew about us. We also found out that travel between cars is discouraged, which I didn't know. There's nothing like a Shenanigan to dole out the learnin', eh?

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