The Antics of Team MorallyAmbiguous: Gishwhes 2015

Every year, the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the Would Has Ever Seen (Gishwhes) invades the lives of thousands of people.  For one week, they find time to accomplishing things touching, silly, bizarre, challenging and occasionally moderately embarrassing, with their registration fees going to the Random Acts charity.

This gem is the brainchild of actor Misha Collins, who plays Castiel on Supernatural.  He gets other celebrities involved too, generally willingly.  William Shatner actually plays, for example, and various challenges involve players sending a variety of crafted items to others, who sometimes need to pose with the item, retweet the post, or some such.

One item did, however, require us to tweet a same-sex kiss to @RickSantorum.  I’m guessing he didn’t volunteer to participate.

All teams have 15 people on them, often scattered across the country or even the world.  This year’s team, codenamed MorallyAmbiguous, consisted of friends in Green Bay, cousins in Des Moines, their friends, cousins in Chicago, and a friend in the Lansing, MI area.

With over 200 different challenges, there’s a lot to choose from.  I tend to do more artistic ones.  Last year I made a poster for a sci-fi movie starring Misha Collins and Queen Elizabeth II, for example.  I also built a throne of kale, was pampered as a stormtrooper, and recreated a scene from Stonehenge Apocalypse in 1:87 scale.

Last year, Gishwhes was one of the high points of my year.  This year wasn’t quite as exciting for me.  I didn’t find as many interesting tasks, and at least a couple team members felt similarly.  There was stuff I could certainly do, but they weren’t necessarily fun, and ultimately the point it to have fun.  Granted, they’ve been doing this for several years, and they aren’t repeating tasks (otherwise people would just save stuff from previous years), so I’m sure it’s quite a task generating a fulfilling list.

Still, we came out with a decent haul of tasks, and I’m certainly willing to join next year, time allowing.

Construction Paper Gala

You’ve just received an invitation to the annual Color Me Pretty Construction Paper Gala. Design and wear an elegant gown consisting of only construction paper.

Construction paper dress, gishwhes 2015
This is, incidentally, my first time wearing heels of any sort since I broke my hip in May.
Created by myself and Amber Vergauwen

Robert Downey Jr. in Salt and Pepper

Let’s see a portrait of Robert Downey, Jr. or Ironman made entirely of salt and pepper. Tweet it to him (@robertdowneyjr) with @gishwhes in the tweet.

Robert Downey Jr in salt and pepper, gishwhes 2015

Zombie Croquet

Let’s see a refined game of croquet on a public lawn of a historic site. All participants must be zombies.

Zombie croquet, gishwhes 2015


Victorian Smartphone

When Alexander made the first phone call on 10 March, 1876 he could not have foreseen the birth of the ‘smart phone’ generation… Or could he? Using late 19th century technology and parts, build the smart phone Alexander Graham Bell would have built if only he’d had the time.

Victorian smartphone, gishwhes 2015
No question who was going to do what is essentially a steampunk challenge.

Our smartphone comes complete with a CPU, keyboard, calculator, game app, handset, external speakers, camera, weather app, stock ticker app, power switch, mail feature, output device (currently displaying an ASCII cat), clock, battery meter, accelerometer, music player, and light.


Mustache collection

How do you do it? Everyone on your team has such beautiful mustaches? Do you have some sort of hair growth cream you slather on or pills you all take? Let’s see a grid photo of everyone on your team that features your mustaches prominently.

Mustache collection, gishwhes 2015



A drawing, painting or digital image (no photoshopping of existing images) of Misha and the Queen as 1950 pin-up BFF girls.

Misha and the Queen pin-up, gishwhes 2015
Done by Brittany Benjamin



Yarnbomb something in your town that shouldn’t be yarn bombed.

Yarnbomb, gishwhes 2015
From the Green Bay Team


Hipster Trap

The problem with growing kale is that hipsters are always trying to sneak into my garden to steal it! Show what a trap would look like to catch these pests. Extra points if you capture (alive) a real life hipster.

Hipster Trap, gishwhes 2015
From the Green Bay team


Gardening Tip

Stand in front of your garden holding up a sign with your best unorthodox or hard to believe gardening tip for the First Lady of the United States. Tweet it to @MichelleObama and include “@gishwhes” and “#gardeninghack”

Gardening tip, gishwhes 2015
From Matt Jones


Devil’s Tower

Using food found in your refrigerator or pantry, recreate a national landmark. You may not use gummi bears.

Devil's Tower, gishwhes 2015
From the Des Moines Team


Origami Centerpiece

A stunning origami floral centerpiece.

Origami centerpiece, gishwhes 2015


An Inspiring Book

Tweet a picture of you holding up your most inspiring book or book title with the hashtag #booksnotbullets and @gishwhes.

Inspiring book, gishwhes 2015
I admit, I did not expect this from my cousin. Which just makes it more awesome.


Landmark Pizza

Present an artistic depiction of a famous Italian landmark – on a pizza.

Colliseum on Pizza, gishwhes 2015
Sure helps that Tom works at a pizza place.


Queen Clicker Zombie

Paint a stately, magnificent portrait of world or state leader after they’ve turned into a Clicker zombie.

clicker zombie, gishwhes 2015
“Clicker zombies come from a video game in which people are taken over by a fungus, which is actually a real thing that preys on insects. It’s pretty horrifying.
This image is based on Queen Elizabeth I’s rainbow portrait.
By Amy Williams


Dinomite’s Fluffy Bites

Contribute the recipe for ‘Dinomite’s Fluffy Bites’ to and get at least 20, 5-star reviews from people who enjoyed the recipe.

Fluffy Bites, gishwhes 2015
From the Des Moines team


Legalese Bowling

Translate your favorite slogan into legalese.

Shut Up and Bowl, gishwhes 2015
From the Des Moines team


 Hammock Over a River

Kick back in a hammock that’s suspended from trees on opposite banks of a river. (Make sure it’s a safe section of a river to be suspended over.)

hammock over a river, gishwhes 2015


Conspiracy Theory Party

Throw a conspiracy theorist party complete with tin foil hats and suspicious guests.

Conspiracy Theory Party, gishwhes 2015
[name redacted] and [name redacted]  had a great time misreading tons of things into innocent newspaper articles. And, yes, I am wearing a tin foil top hat.

@RickSantorum tweet

Tweet a photo of two men or women kissing each other (clothed) to @Ricksantorum. We need to see the Tweet with #facerealityRick @gishwhes.

RickSantorum tweet, gishwhes 2015


Changing the World

Do the one thing that you think, if everyone did it, would change the world for the better overnight. Caption the image or video with what you’re doing.

Changing the World, gishwhes 2015
From Des Moines

We also had a handful of video submissions, but I’ll include those in another post.




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