The GISHWHES Chronicle: An Abnosome Aclockalypse


By Katherine Erlikh

A firsthand account of the madness and preparations in the week before the GISHWHES scavenger hunt starts.

The Hunt Begins in 20 hours, 39 minutes and 14 seconds:

Justin and Cecelia came up with a strategy; by doing a math, Justin noticed that each teammate only needs to do two GISHWHES tasks per day in order for us to complete the entire list of 200ish items; meaning this is totally doable. In practice, of course, I expect everything to turn into a chaotic free-for-all because I’ve never seen anything I was involved in operate as something besides a chaotic free-for-all, but I have my hopes.

We decided a group imgur account might be more feasible in this case scenario. We are currently debating the name for the group account. By my math (which is a little shaky), we get the lists at 2pm on August 11th. This is terrifying.

“So... Let me get this straight,” said unfortunate teammate Stephanie, who was chosen by the fandom life early on in the process. “We can't find a sheep, we may have to skydive, we're running on 4 hours of sleep, and all of Tumblr hates us now?” When I confirmed that this was indeed the case, she noted that it “sounds like a party.”

The Hunt Begins in 16 hours, 16 minutes and 30 seconds:

“Make peace with your Gods and good luck,” said Cecelia somberly as she presented us with the format for how the list should be claimed once it comes out (bold for the things we definitely will do, italic for the things we can probably get help with from our friends, regular for the things that are absolutely impossible).

“Impromptu sleep before GISHWHES should be looked at as a good thing, I think, since you will be wanting more in the upcoming week,” said teammate Amanda.

We received emails from GISHWHES, reminding us that it would soon begin. Ha! As if we could have forgotten!


Here’s a screenshot of the email. I promptly had to go and s**t bricks.

Likelihood of food art being part of GISHWHES task list has been determined incredibly high. “We will never look at food the same way again,” mused Amanda. “Food is just decoration for GISHWHES,” replied Jenny. “The cherry on top of the kale. The garnish next to the merkin. Or maybe the merkin is the garnish?” Amanda suggested. I realized then that “make a merkin out of kale” is a task that is all too likely to pop up on our lists in approximately 16 hours. I also realized that I’ve never even encountered kale before. What is this thing and how do I kill it?

The Hunt Begins in 15 hours, 18 minutes and 38 seconds:

The GISHWHES email system is broken, and I’ve received no less than 5 copies of the same flying person pic in the past half an hour, which is most unfortunate, seeing as I have the first email inbox automatically forwarding to the second one so I don’t miss a thing, and I have seen it ten times so far. Perhaps the email system has already lost its mind? Is highly plausible.

The Hunt Begins in 1 hour, 14 minutes and 12 seconds:

The decision over whether we wanted to put the docs on Google Drive or Facebook Groups was left until the last half hour; David’s excuse was that he was too busy dancing around to Lady Gaga in France to ask us earlier, a perfectly reasonable explanation considering who we are.

A number of teammates attempt to drown themselves in the shower half an hour before the events. I shaved my armpits with ten minutes to go until the list was released; they were getting annoying.

The Hunt ENDS in 6 days, 19 hours, 3 minutes and 28 seconds:

So far, we’ve had a rather calm time, organizing everything. I was expecting things to be much more rushed and chaotic, but we’ve actually gone and gotten ourselves in order, and started in on some of the things. A lot less madness than expected, but there is always the rest of the week. We’ve also come up with more inappropriate uses for churros than it should be legal to.

The Hunt ENDS in 6 days, 15 hours, 49 minutes and 40 seconds:

There had been peace and order… but, then, the clock nation’s #AlarmyArmy attacked. While I’m pretty sure I can’t say much about it, I am having a fantastic time on Twitter, where an impromptu wibbly-wobbly #Aclockalypse has started. “EACH TICK COULD BE THE LAST!” teammate (and fellow MTV Geek blogger) Amber Lena reminded us as the team cowered in sheer terror. Twitter has melted down into a medley of beeps, capslock and Best of Asia, and GISHWHES is to blame.

We’re also trying to figure out where we’re going to find a camel. All this planning over where we were going to get sheep and cows was for naught!

Oh god, Justin’s supergluing bread to the Netherlands. I have to go, goodbye.