This was actually Julian’s item, but my background as a giant nerd gave me a good idea of how it would ideally be completed. The ideal completion was to make the sauce, dry in a thin layer (using a lyopholizer), then pulse the weird solid result with maltodextrin to powder it. Then repeat three times to make the four sauces of Careme – it was Escoffier who had the five sauce breakdown.
Nobody did it my ideal way, but there were definitely teams that got close by doing some parts but not all by using maltodextrin, using all powdered ingredients (powdered eggs exist?), or drying into a solid that could be powdered. In the end, who cares? They were excellent and apparently quite tasty according to my One True Love, Emily Watkins. Sorry I didn’t eat any of your creations – it was all thanks to item 103.
Item 87: A diabetes-themed video game.
This was actually a go-find-it. Quite a few teams delivered the ROM for the old SNES game, Captain Novolin, in which you play a superhero with type-1 diabetes. Snitchcock actually managed to get a ROM for the other SNES game about diabetes that I’ve heard of: Packy and Marlon. You play elephants with diabetes who side-scroll about in their adventures while remembering to maintain their blood glucose levels. There’s actually also another diabetes game that nobody got; it’s for the Nintendo DS – DIDGET! It’s connected to an actual glucose monitor that gives you reward points based on how often you test and how good your blood levels are.
I got a LOT of homemade games, and I totally still gave them many points for being awesome. Please, please, PLEASE upload all of these somewhere so we can get drunk and play as Wilford Brimley. Scampi had an amazing move-laterally-and-dodge-candy-or-syringes game with a realistic glucose level monitor and hilariously weird sound effects. GASH had a lateral-movement game to dodge candy which would cause you to lose your toes in diabetes-driven gangrene. There was an RPG-type game where you played as Wilford Brimley and even more Brimley-related game goodness that I don’t remember as well.
Item 89: Geologists, put down your beers|I am calling you out. You might spend your nights thinking about cleavage, but can you tell your calcite from your saponite? Your ikaite from your montmorillonite? Come to the Bartlett Trophy Room at 2 p.m. on Friday, and get ready to bite the dust.
I don’t know why, but people thought this was fun. Seriously? I made you eat rocks! You all ended up earning a high number of points for an hours worth of work and impressed the shit out of me. It was admittedly a really hard set of rocks to ID because I designed it with Christian, and he’s a PhD graduate with a BS in the geophysical sciences. Be thankful for Christian because I know nothing about rocks, and he pointed out that we shouldn’t make you eat obsidian because every cleavage would just make it sharper and sharper like razorblades in your mouth. My favorite rock was chrysocolla because it’s hygroscopic and your tongue actually sticks to it. The arsenopyrite was supposed to smell like garlic, but didn’t because it was too small of a sample or something, so I just rubbed actual garlic on it.
Item 93: As many dachshunds as you can, each accurately costumed as a regional hot dog. One per DCA geographical region.
I was really sad that I didn’t get more dogs, but still really thankful for what I got. My one dream was that I would end up buried in six dogs per team and literally explode from joy. I really like dogs. Scampi and Blint were actually the only teams to get me real-life dogs which I was basically crapping my pants over. Dogs! Guys! Dogs! I saw a dog! Breckinridge managed to get only photos, but provided more than seven distinct dogs in different outfits, all of which were adorable.
Photos of Scampi's two dogs:
Speaking of dachshunds, doesn’t this dog look so much like Sam Bowman? It’s a long wire-haired dachshund that I set as his picture on my cell phone.
Item 96: Compose a fun party ditty in the lyrical style of Mozart's Leck Mich Im Arsch.
I have never enjoyed being told to lick balls or suck dicks so thoroughly. Snitchcock did an amazing job with a traditional-style song that breaks into a rap interlude that discusses Reagan and how cum will slide down my chin like trickle-down economics. However, the most charming song was definitely MacPierce’s, titled Die Zwei Vater. Emily and I nearly DIED as they serenaded us about our dads “rumping it man-style.” Never in my life have I wanted a recording of a song so much.
Item 98: Saber a champagne bottle at Judgment.
This was incredible all around. I think the most impressive was Snitchcock’s scimitar, mainly for the style points and the fact that the Scavvie had actually done it before. Thanks very much to FIST, who was not equipped to actually complete the item with a plastic lightsaber but let another team use their bottle to replace one that had spontaneously popped. The best part was when the Breck Scavvie (I think) did not cut his thumb off with a sword.
Item 99: Each of us is a brain and an athlete and a basket case and a criminal and a girl who can do her morning makeup routine using nothing more than her cleavage. No modifications of makeup. Lips, mascara, eyeliner, and blush. Points to be awarded based on resultant beauty and preservation of ocular integrity.
Some girls did this SO WELL. It was sick. I can’t put on makeup as quickly or beautifully with my hands. Goddddddddddddamn. Blint, Breck, and BJ provided the best boobs in terms of accuracy and smoothness. Dissapointments? Nobody on Pals tried this item.
Item 101: An ice puppeteer with an ice puppet.
Christian and I both independently came up with this item, identical down to the wording. I realized later that I got it from an episode of Home Movies when it was proposed as a movie idea, but maybe Christian got it from another source. Either way, these were all interesting for different reasons, but BJ definitely stole my heart with their two dinosaur puppets. Their ice sculptures were of two dinosaurs, carved or melted so their parts were dino-like rather than cube-like, and they performed a great skit.
Item 102: Traditional Halloween pumpkin carving marks the summer's end with images of death and terror cut into a hollow carapace. But it's May, so your non-traditional watermelon carvings should instead celebrate new life with the full range of pinks, greens, and whites that the fruit provides.
This item was amazing, and in the end I rewarded fairly traditional carvings because they were just so well-done. Scampi and MaxP should have had their carvers strut around with their watermelons declaring their superiority the whole goddamn time because GODDAMN.
Max P's carving:
Item 103: I don't like most perfumes, colognes and so on, but it occurred to me recently that this might just be because they don't smell like things I like. I mean, sandalwood? When was the last time you saw that? Hint: it's not an erection in a shoe. But what if they smelled like things I actually enjoy, like frying onions or musty books? Adorn yourself with your favorite scent, and bring me a sample for my own collection.
I was sad that everyone did food smells rather than trying to somehow distill the smell of old books, but that might be because they just know that all I want to do is eat. Breckinridge did an amazing job by making a lotion that smelled like Sunday Breakfast. It was exactly like French toast and bacon, and I wanted to smell it all day. GASH made a fried rice perfume that smelled so scallion-y and rice-y, it was incredible. But truly, let me tell you, Scampi made the stand-out perfume that was amazing in its own way. They made Harold’s chicken perfume that smelled EXACTLY like Harold’s. But it was so strong, accurate, and out of context that it made me basically dry heave for an hour and live in fear of every subsequent perfume being that jarring. Congrats, Scampi, on somehow putting me off my appetite enough to completely skip lunch.