Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SF Spy Hunt

On Saturday May 9th, I, along with my friends Skippy and Evan, threw a motorcycle-based scavenger hunt for a whole passel of our friends.

Stop #1
The day started off with a mystery, as the participants had to decipher a clue just to find the starting point.

Inspect this video: http://www.seero.com/video/Steve_McQueen_3
At five 'til eight, you'll see a turnoff... Follow the radio until it runs out.

If they read the clue right, it lead them to the top of San Bruno Mountain State and County Park. (Where the 'Seven Sisters' radio towers live.) Evan, Skippy, and I met them all at the start with a couple of breakfast snacky items (and some fantastic views, too!). Once everyone showed up and had a quick bite to eat, we explained the game to them. Here is the overview, as written by Skippy:

Gallimaufry is a tiny land-locked island nation, and the only source of Unobtainuium, the world's most precious and rare substance. Gallimaufrians have obtained great wealth through the export of Unobtanium, and have used it to purchase high-tech weapons and an extremely effective mercenary army, in order to protect their watery, landlocked borders.
Recently, a small band of disgruntled former Gallimaufrian postal workers have used their connections to smuggle out the olios, the national artistic treasures of Gallimaufry.
Olios are the pride and joy of Gallimaufrian artisans, and the nation will do anything to get them back. ...Even if it means giving away exclusive redistribution rights to Unobtanium.

We took this time to break all the attendees into three teams:

  • Team GUPPI (Gallimaufrian United Postal Parcel Instituion) - Trying to find all the olios that they lost - Consisting of Rick, Switch, and Erika

  • Hawaii Five-O 2.0 - Hawaiian Detectives trying to win Unobtanium for their own goals - Consisting of Slim, Audrey, Keith, Carrie, and a late-arriving Nifer

  • Team Casual Friday - A bunch of Financial District types trying to profit from Unobtanium so that every day can be a 'casual Friday' - Consisting of Reed, Nina, David, Krissa, Simon, and Annie

After the teams received their little bits of thrift-store bling, we gave them their next clue...

Stop #2
Referee = (41.7 - 3.940178) X (314.159265 - 436.585498)

This clue pointed to a latitude/longitude in Dolores Park. Our friend James was waiting in the park to play the part of the referee. Once the teams all arrived and assembled themselves, he told them that they had to drum up as much support in the form of a cheering section from the uninvolved people in the park. The cheering sections (dominated by Team Casual Fridays') supported the teams through a grueling round of (Best of 3) Ro-Sham-Bo, which Team GUPPI won.
(Note of interest - Slim and Audrey totally embraced resourcefulness and stopped at a thrift store on their way to Dolores park to outfit their entire team with Hawaiian shirts. This was a most excellent idea.)

After the last blows of rocks, papers, and scissors fell, all the teams were given little notebooks that had been shredded and had the word "rock" painted on them. (Rock, paper, scissors, y'know?) Along with some random favorite quotes scrawled in the notebook, the teams found their next clue.

Stop #3

Wire Intercepted: Transcript reads-
Mars: --- Delivered to the Deity Dormitory on Mt. Olympus.
Zeus: -- It just showed up on Upper Terrace?
Mars: - humans looking for it.
Zeus: Meet you at the obilesk - Noon.
Mars: Sir, Yes, Sir. I will bring the Olio.
---- Wire Ended

This clue lead the teams to Mt. Olympus, which is a small park and monument at the geographic center of San Francisco. Here, the teams crossed paths with two very intimidating Russian characters played by MassiveBri and Damon.
The teams had to appease these (ethically misplaced?) gods ("Bring us a potato."), before they were subjected to a thumb-wrestling tournament. Rick handily won the tournament for the GUPPIS.
The teams then received the next two clues...

Stops #4 & #5

Obtain proof you have met with a Mr. Higgins. He can be found lounging under the veteran's 40 motorcycles of yesteryear. He has no Olio for you, but his friend Edward does. Edward can be found on the fore arm of parts at SF Moto. Show Edward the image of his favored drinking pal Higgins and ask for two BP7EVX for a Norton Commando. Edward will direct you to the recovered Olio.

Clue #4 directed the teams to grab a photo of Mr. Higgins, the resident cat at the bar Eddie Rickenbacker's in SOMA. The teams then had to deliver the photo to Edward at SFMoto. (Edward is the name of the cat that is tattooed onto the arm of the 'parts guy', and everyone working in the store knew this.)
Mr. Higgins is a hugely fat cat, and the teams quickly figured out who our subject was the moment they saw him sitting on the couch in the front of the bar.

At SFMoto (Clue #5), the teams were given a (mysterious) key to the case on one of the scooters out front. Here, the teams found their next clue.

Stop #6

A l b a c o r e T u n a

C n d c e q t g V w p c

Rtgukfkq Ctiwignnq icvg, vjg Urkte. Oggv cv vjg hqtm kp vjg tqcf hqt aqwt ejcnngqig.

This (+2 character) cipher directed the teams to the Andy Goldsworthy piece called "Spire".
Our friends Starchy and Mella were waiting here, playing the parts of Eastern European guides recreating an old Soviet family pastime of racing to the border on flat-tired bikes built for 5-year-old girls.

After much lolly-gagging, dangerous border racing (winner:Hawaii Five-O 2.0), and a PB&J lunch, the teams were given bent fork olios and their next clues.

Stop #7

The youngest mayor of San Francisco,
met his ruinous end in the bath.
Wear all your safety gear to the terrace
in hopes of avoiding the same path.

This lead the teams to the Sutro Baths, where the teams chose Champions to play ATGATT strip poker. ("Poker" here is defined very loosely as "Hi-Low-Smoke-Fire".) The last player still wearing their motorcycle safety gear won the round. Via cleaver teaming up of safety gear, Switch brought home the winning olios for the GUPPI's!

After re-assembling their gear, the teams were then directed to speak to a mysterious stranger on the beach across the Baths, to dig up their next clue. Their clues were wrapped in a bag that also had a teaser t-shirt that had been printed to commemorate the SF Spy Hunt, which they would all receive at the end of their ordeal.

Stop #8

The only neighborhood in San Francisco where a lady can stand exposed topless all day and all night, and not be bothered; although impervious to cold, wind, and fog, this lady is always perky.
In a Glass Coffin, another woman sits ready to be charmed. A double-agent of the GUPPIs, she is willing to trade her olios, for the right price. This moll is armed, but if you give her your best pick up line, she is willing to be charmed. If you succeed, she will give up your next clue, between her boulders.

This lead the teams to the Twin Peaks bar in the Castro, where another friend of ours - Lisa, was waiting to be charmed. The teams had to use their best pickup lines to get the next clue out of our moll. Later, Lisa rated David's (of Team Casual Friday) pickup line the best that she heard all day!

Stop #9

I see London, I see France
From Geneva I see Edinburgh and Naples, too.
Go too far, and you’ll wind up in the Amazon.
And this is your final clue.

May 28, 2008: A British man named Richard Jenkins has just broken the world land speed record for a wind-powered vehicle.
July 2, 2008: Yuji Hirayama and Hans Florine have broken the speed record for climbing the Nose of El Capitan.
April 3, 2007: A high-speed French train named V-150 has broken the world speed record for trains or rails.
May 21, 2004: A Nepalese Sherpa has broken the record for the fastest ascent of Mt. Everest, scaling the world's highest mountain in 8 hours and 10 minutes.
September 26, 2008: Motorcycle speed record broken by Rocky Robinson.

This last clue brought the teams to The Broken Record in the Excelsior neighborhood of San Francisco, where everyone met back up for food, drink, and a review of their day.

(Photo credits: All photos [except for the Twin Peaks one, which I just found with a simple Google search] come from either my set, Evan's set, or Audrey's set.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

No Pants Day!!!

D'OH! I didn't hear about it until today.

No Pants Day is a day where everyone, be they students, respectable businessmen, or cherished community leaders, leave their pants behind. Usually this means wearing thick, appropriately modest boxer shorts, but bloomers, slips, briefs, and boxer-briefs all work as well.

I gotta put in a reminder for myself, the first Friday in May is No Pants Day.