Even if it isn’t completely mainstream yet, many people have heard of G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. Most have then scratched their heads and wondered, “Was that the most polite sneeze I’ve ever heard?” No, because people rarely have time to be polite while sneezing. The sound these people heard is an acronym for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen!
During the first week of August, all around the world, crazed, time-crunched competitors can be found, camera in hand, documenting activities created to bring back whimsical fun and shamelessness. The money they pay to join this international party and any moolah they raise helps fund Random Acts, Inc. a charity that began as Supernatural actor, Misha Collins, mustered his followers on Twitter to come up with ideas to help our world. It has since grown into an international organization with volunteers working to create good through kind acts. G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. is a continuation of that goal, and the team that earns the most points gets to travel for a week with Misha Collins.
This will be my second year competing in G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. with Team Gishsaurians. Last year, our team consisted of members from Germany, Australia, Great Britain, Ukraine and the US. We formed friendships that lasted all year and amazed ourselves with what we accomplished. The list of over a hundred tasks drops at midnight, and the chaos begins!
Team members from Australia created a life-size puppy out of maxi pads and tampons, and a video of a robot army. My husband and I created a float out of empty water bottles and re-enacted the drowning scene from Titanic, right after getting a local movie theater to play 30 seconds of me washing kale in my sink during the previews of Fantastic Four. Another team mate vacuumed her front yard in 50s-style dress. We gardened; we read; we tweeted to celebrities and we laughed… a lot.
Many of the activities are based on bringing good into this world. One of our members got his brother the road map play set rug he had always wanted as a child. Bringing snacks to volunteers was one task, and there are many tasks that help pull the generations together in memory and love. Puppet shows in children’s hospitals are fueled by the fun of covering monuments with crochet work and lots of cosplay.
The hunt will be starting soon, and I will be sharing the highlights and lowlights of the entire process in a series of articles. The important thing to remember: nothing ever stays the same in GiShWhes. When you dip your fingers into the gishwater, ready to tackle some greasy tasks next year, be prepared for utter abnosome (a word created during a previous GiShWhEs year) chaos.