Incidental Acts of Spontaneous Cerebral Violence

Friday, May 07, 2004

Compared to this, NYU's Village Pac-Man participants look like cutting-edge hipsters

I knew they were a bunch of dorks after I visted and subsequently refused to apply, but this raises the bar to a whole new level. When I think of scavenger hunts, I think Midnight Madness, sorority house panties, compromising photos of the dean's daughter and stolen mascots, not this pretentious academic circle-jerk:

Welcome to what's billed as the world's largest scavenger hunt, under way on Friday at the University of Chicago. Now in its 18th year, "Scav Hunt" began at midnight on Thursday with the unveiling of a 282-item list, each one worth a number of points, which teams of students seek to complete by Sunday when the game ends.

Some of this year's challenges: Build a "Calvin Kleinometer"; produce "a McDonald's Sad Meal"; construct a diorama tribute to dioramas with no infinite regressions; replicate Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss" using only lip prints made with cosmetics that haven't been tested on animals; and "demonstrate conclusively that there really is a wrong way to eat a Reese's (candy)."

The list has a handful of items that can be completed only from New Jersey, prompting several teams to send devoted members on the 1,000-mile road trip. Four students can build a rustic but homey log cabin while blindfolded, handcuffed and ear-muffed, or produce a thesis on dining hall napkins, signed off by a thesis committee.

In Chicago, a Scavenger Hunt Unlike Others

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