At the beginning of this year I spent six weeks in Minnesota with a friend. While I was up there one of the things she insisted I do was watch the show Supernatural with her. She did this particularly because she wanted me to be acquainted with the character of Castiel (or Cas) an angel who’s alternately used for dramatic or comedic relief. (Seriously, the showriters used that character. There’s no other word for it.) Cas remains throughout the show innocent, serious, loyal, honest to a fault, loyal, serious, and innocent. And then I came home and got involved with actually having a life and sort of forgot about it.
Until, for some reason, I followed the actor on twitter. The actor’s name is Misha Collins. You can follow him here. He’s as unlike his character (Cas) as an actor possibly can be. I’ve only followed him for about two weeks, and instantly I learned one very important fact. The guy likes to have fun. Lots of it. And he likes to have fun at other people’s expense. He’s a celebrity, which means people pay attention to him. And most celebrities use their popularity to help charities in some way, but Misha is really serious about it. The only thing he’s more serious about is having fun. At the expense of other people.
So last week I found out about one of Misha’s biggest projects. The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen, or GISHWHES for short. I found out about it the day registration closed, a week before the seven day Hunt began, and I spent all day reading and rereading the website and mulling it over.
It looked like fun. Tons of fun. It also looked like a huge time commitment. But then I’m practically unemployed, so I have a lot of time on my hands. There’s a registration fee; but that’s to keep people honest. And finally, after some encouragement from an old friend, I signed up. I made a graphic. And I spent the next few days wondering what I had got myself into.
Of course, I also took the precaution of following some people on Twitter and Facebook, and soon a list of last years items surface. 150 some items. All of them rather huge projects. I laughed at them, and began to look forward to the event. I marvelled at their complexity, and the deviousness of their author. I admired how some of them were intended to benefit the community independently from the actual Hunt. I found it cool that some of them were publicity stunts in the style of improv everywhere. But some of them were so utterly ridiculous that I thought “who would ever do these?” And then the true nature of Misha Collins dawned on me.
He’s a prankster, plain and simple.
And GISHWHES is his biggest prank ever.
The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen is exactly what it claims to be, and a little bit more. He tricks us all by picking winners and making it seem like there’s really some kind of a point to it, when secretly his laughing his pants off because he managed to get so many otherwise sane people to engage in totally pointless and utterly insane activities. GISHWHES is one big joke, and all the participants are the butt of it.
I mean, think about it. If an ordinary stranger asked us to take a picture wearing nothing but kitchenware, we’d call the cops. If a school friend dared us to take a picture wearing nothing but kitchenware we’d tell him to take a hike. But because it’s Misha Collin’s scavenger hunt thousands of people rush off to do just that.
I fell for it. I’m a part of GISHWHES 2013, and I’m going to do my best and have a lot of fun and fail spectacularly. I’ll let you know how it goes when it’s over. It starts on Sunday. Wish me luck.
And if I ever get a chance to prank Misha big time then, believe me, I’m going to take it.