As a participant of gishwhes you agree to abide by the “Rules and Regulations” and the “Consent, Release, Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement.” In addition to these agreements, you must strictly adhere to the following Commandments. If you violate the Rules and Regulations or break a Commandment, you and your team become eligible for immediate disqualification. Also, your children may be forever banned from participating in gishwhes, as well as their children, and their children’s children, and your second-cousin-twice-removed-by-marriage’s children… So listen up:
1. Registration – You are only permitted to compete in Gishwhes and be eligible for the Grand Prize if you register and electronically sign all registration documentation. Homo sapiens, neanderthals, and guppies ages 14 and older may compete, but all participants must read and agree to the Gishwhes Rules and Regulations for details on their eligibility and any minors on the winning team must meet our attendance requirements for the Grand Prize trip.
2. Rights – We intend to share your spectacular Item submissions with the world. Therefore, by competing in the Scavenger Hunt, you agree to the Rights and License stipulations as detailed in the “Rules and Regulations” which you will agree to when you register. In addition to agreeing to these terms, you also agree that we may use your submissions as knitting patterns, merkins, and/or as tapestries in the west wing of Misha-Lago (Misha’s weekend bounce house & mini-golf resort). We may also screen your submissions at our Friday night drive-in screenings without notice.
3. Updates – You shall check the gishwhes Updates Page on a daily basis during the Scavenger Hunt. Items may be added or removed from the list, or rules may be changed mid-Hunt without notice, so stay on it.
4. Nomenclature – For obvious reasons, last year we were forced to ban the product “kale” and any reference to said product for the duration of the Hunt. This led to a small, yet earnest, uprising. In an effort to appease the unruly hoi polloi, this year we are doubling down on this ban. Not only is the use of the word “kale” and the product “kale” banned from the 2017 Hunt, but we are extending this ban to include all use of, or reference to, collard greens (“the kale of the Deep South”) and cilantro (“the kale of the Southwest”), except for use as a dental floss replacement or insofar as it is required by an item. In other words, if Misha changes his mind on this and decides to call for Cilantro Skunks, well, there we are. Violators caught abusing this important Commandment will be publicly humiliated and may be forced to post “Thou shalt not Kale! #gishwhes” on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Tumblr every eight hours for a 72-hour period of the Hunt. (Please note that brassica oleracea, coriander leaves, fresh coriander, dhania, and Chinese parsley are all approved for liberal use and discussion by all participants throughout the 2017 Hunt period.)
5. Behavior during the Hunt – You are not permitted to physically, emotionally, or psychologically hurt, berate, bully, or otherwise attack yourself, another participant, or anyone inside or outside the Scavenger Hunt. We take this rule seriously. Any abuse of other participants during the hunt for whatever reason will not be accepted. If you feel the need to attack someone– including yourself– don’t. We mean it.
6. Breaking the Law – Some of the items in the Scavenger Hunt may be illegal to perform in some corners of the world. It is your responsibility to assess the local legality of your actions during the hunt. If you believe an item requires you to break the law to complete it, DON’T DO THAT ITEM. We neither have the patience nor the skillset to assess the Civil Code that governs all the world’s municipalities and townships, so we leave it to you to know your region’s laws. In other words, (a) you are not permitted to break any law in attempt to scavenge an item and (b) gishwhes will not be responsible if you break any law, and we won’t post bail or visit you behind bars if you do.
7. Scavenging Safety – First rule when scavenging: be safe. Second rule when scavenging: if you think you might hurt yourself or someone else trying to complete the Item, a good general rule of thumb would be to do a different Item.
8. Decency – It’s disgusting. This Hunt has a zero-tolerance policy for decency and/or decorum. If you possess either, discard them or tuck them away in your closet behind your off-season wardrobe (and all those skeletons you keep in there).
9. Item Interpretation – Do not interpret items. Produce the item exactly as we request it. If the item reads “A photo of you standing with the Queen of England,” we don’t want you in front of a picture of the Queen, or you in front of a wax figure of the Queen. It must be a photo of you with the actual Royal Mum in the living, breathing flesh. If you choose to “interpret,” you will have a 99.67% chance of getting 0 points. We are serious about this! So if we ask for a photo of you somewhere, we don’t want a “photoshopped” version of this, we really want you in that location. This commandment was created not to hamper creativity, but rather to keep people from cheating if they find that they cannot complete a task “naturally.” However, because we don’t like to draw lines in the sand, if your interpretation is a TRULY inspired combination of creative genius and hard work, we might award you a few points, but it would have to be outstanding in every way. Otherwise, you will get nothing or perhaps will even be penalized. Many times in the past, teams have been bumped out of first place for too much reinterpreting of items. We are looking for the actual thing we say; we are not asking for a cheeky version of that thing.
9a. Item Interpretation #2 – Yes, sometimes those well done “creatively interpreted” items make it into the Gishwhes Coffee Table Book. No, that does not mean they were granted full, partial, or even any points. If you submit a reinterpreted Item, you do so at your own risk.
10. Submissions Secret Tip #1 – Quality counts! Quantity won’t win this contest alone. Make sure you take in-focus pictures and videos. Nothing makes our judge’s hackles rise faster than a beautifully executed item shot so poorly that we can’t see or hear what you did. Make your submissions beautiful, artistic, and excellent. We award extra points for extra awesome item submissions. The more beautiful and extraordinary your submission, the more bonus points we will assign to it. It’s simple math: If Team A completes 150 items with a face value of 5000 points, but they kick ass and get 50% bonus points on each item, Team A will walk away with 7500 points. If Team B completes 175 items with a face value of 6500 points, but don’t go the extra mile and are not awarded any bonus points, Team A wins. Every past winning team has won with the help of significant bonus points for excellence on their submissions.
11. Submissions Secret Tip #2 – hi mom.
12. Submissions Secret Tip #3 – Have fun. If you’re having fun making or doing an item, odds are the result will be great. In other words, before tackling an item, figure out how to make the process fun. This includes when you capture the picture or video. You will likely receive more points if you are having more fun, too… Most importantly, and we want to be very clear on this, when you’re not having fun, change course immediately so that you ARE having fun. (We must add the small caveat that sometimes gishwhes is miserable… but that’s part of the fun, too.)
13. Submission Secret Tip #4 – Composition counts. Pay attention to the backgrounds of your images and videos. Beautiful images tend to get awarded more bonus points. Think about how your images will look when projected 50 feet high on our drive-in movie screen, on YouTube, or hanging in the Gishwhes Hall of Fame before you shoot them. (And, for video: shoot in landscape orientation whenever possible.)
14. Submission Secret Tip #5 – Make the judges laugh. We didn’t order all of these adult-diapers for nothing! Our Judges love granting points to people with a good sense of humor, so entertain us and you’ll be duly rewarded with points. (Of course, at least one of our judges defines a “good sense of humor” as the ability to craft witty one-liners about cat hairballs, so it’s kind of a moving target. Do your best.)
15. Shatner Clause – Occasionally gishwhes attracts “personalities” with massive social media followings who want to compete. We are delighted by this development– tickled chartreuse! We welcome them to join us in mayhem, but we want ordinary folk to know that they still have a solid chance of winning, so here’s our policy: If a member of a gishwhes team has more than 500,000 social media followers or “likes” on any social media platform and/or the judges deem this individual a widely-recognized celebrity of any ilk, and if that celebrity team wins gishwhes, we will award THE GRAND PRIZE to TWO TEAMS. The highest scoring NON-CELEBRITY team will also be awarded the Grand Prize. If this unlikely event should occur, we will be flying the entire “Celebrity” team and the entire runner-up non-celebrity team on the Grand Prize Trip. Once we arrive in Hawaii, we will likely encourage bickering, drama, and general discord between the two teams. We will also organize a dance-off or synchronized swimming battle, the winner of which will be crowned the “gishwhes GRAND MASTERS.” It is worth noting that major celebrity teams have tried to win gishwhes for the past few years, but extraordinary teams made up of ordinary (non-celebrity) folks have won every single hunt to date.
16. Former Winner Eligibility – No team may win two years in a row. Individuals who were on a winning team may, however, win two years in a row if during the second year they are on a Winning Team with no more than 3 other former winners. As long as the years are not consecutive, former Winning Teams may win again. Is this confusing? Good. It should be. But it nonetheless applies.
17. Runner-Up Eligibility – Teams may be awarded “Runner Up” multiple years in a row without penalty. However, any team winning Runner Up for more than three consecutive years without ever winning the Grand Prize must hold a 24-hour pre-Hunt “virtual silent meditation retreat” to contemplate their second-rate successes and reflect on why they are “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.”
18. Confusion – Confusion is a vital component within the Hunt. If you’re unsure about anything, in the Hunt or in Life, contemplate the problem over a meditative game of solitary ping pong. If the solution is still unclear to you, go with your gut, especially if your gut says, “cookies.”
19. Pacing Protocol – This represents our seventh official year of Gishwhes. In honor of this impressive milestone, on the seventh day of the Hunt for every six steps you take, you must remember to pace yourself by pausing to shout, “LOOK HOW FAR WE’VE COME!” before continuing your journey. (You must also do this throughout the duration of the Hunt if at any point you find yourself standing in a queue.)
20. Submissions Process – Submit Items by clicking on our “Item List” on our website (it will be posted when the Scavenger Hunt begins), and then on the item you want to submit. Then follow instructions. You must submit as instructed or you will not be awarded points for that item. This sounds scary and vague, but it won’t be.
21. Submission Formats – You need to submit your videos by providing links to them at http://www.youtube.com. Photo links must be submitted via http://imgur.com. Be sure to mark your videos “UNLISTED” on Youtube so that we can see them, but no one else can. Unless otherwise specified video submissions can be NO LONGER than 14 seconds.
22. Altering Photos/Videos – THIS IS IMPORTANT! With the exceptions (1) as detailed clearly in Commandment 8 above, and (2) adjusting the exposure (i.e. making the image brighter) of an image, unless an item specifically asks for manipulation of photos or videos, you are NOT permitted to do so. A few years ago, one of the top 3 scoring teams cheated by using Photoshop to make it look like they had completed a high-scoring item. They might otherwise have won gishwhes, but instead, they were disqualified. We have graphic designers and NSA analysts on staff who can spot a digital counterfeit. We also use photoshop-detecting software that identifies pixel manipulations as well as google image search and a logarithmic divining rod of Misha’s own design that can catch all forgeries, so don’t screw with us on this point or you will be screwing yourself and your whole team.
22a. tl;dr: –
23. Scoring – Each item will have a point value associated with it. The judges may assign additional points to items that are most excellently executed. We take artistic merit, precision and creative ingenuity into account here. Each year the winning team has submitted multiple items that have been granted extra points for being absolute awesomesauce. Likewise, we will award partial points for items that demonstrate an extremely good effort, but don’t quite achieve the item task.
24. Complaining – You shall not complain, gripe, whine, whinge, or lobby or bribe Misha Collins, Miss Jean Louis, or any of the gishwhes staff, judges ,or volunteers. Use of our “Support” email must be as a last resort. Please visit our Q&A section prior to asking questions.
25. Understanding Items – If you aren’t exactly quite clear what we’re asking for with an Item, we’re doing our job. You ARE NOT permitted to query our Support staff regarding the eligibility or interpretation of an item. Once they’re posted, it’s up to you to proceed. That’s part of the challenge of the Hunt.
26. Outsourcing – Although we encourage you to reach out to family, friends, neighbors, students, teachers and your social media communities to assist you with gathering props, serving as additional bodies in your multi-person photos and videos, connecting you to people and places, and otherwise assisting you with the completion of the items, we expect YOU and YOUR TEAM to be the primary participants in completing your Items. You are not permitted to crowdsource or purchase multiple Items from third parties. The majority of your items must be sourced, created, and performed by your team – meaning at least one team member must be in the majority of the videos and images. During and after the Hunt we will be checking the Twitter/FB/Tumblr/etc. feeds of potential winning teams to see if team members have outsourced the completion of a mass amount of items. What does this mean? This means if you tweet to a thousand of your followers for individuals to do lots of your items and deliver you the images or videos, all of these submission would be ineligible. On the other hand, if we ask for an item to be completed in the heart of the Amazon jungle and you know a cousin who knows a captain of a canoe who knows an anthropologist living in a tent that is studying the lifespan of the male flagelunting bug, you may have that anthropologist take a picture and submit it. But if we see multiple instances of this and it’s clear you’re just sitting at your computer and outsourcing like a boss, your team may be disqualified. TO BE CLEAR: You MAY outsource props, materials, etc! If you tweet that you’re looking for a Batman costume so you can borrow it to go to a Bingo night at your local rec center, we would enthusiastically accept the completed item – we love when teams borrow versus buy! Use your head on this. If we see a bunch of submissions that have lots of people that aren’t on your team, you’re not following our sacred and fuzzy Commandments and you will be penalized. DO NOT email our support to ask questions regarding this commandment. You be the judge… and then we will.
27. Video/Image Plagiarism – You shall not submit any items that were created by another team. Any team that is caught submitting another team’s Item shall be eligible for disqualification. You may not submit any items that were taken before this year’s Scavenger Hunt. Additionally, anyone caught plagiarizing shall be expelled from the rocket car, so make sure you’re strapped into your parachute before you decide to violate such an important rule.
28. Dietary Restrictions – Gishwhes is strongly committed to the safety and well-being of all Hunt participants (aside from the suffering we intentionally impose upon them, of course). With that in mind, this year will be a utensil-free event. No forks, spoons, sporks, chopsticks, or any other “eating” utensil may be used throughout the Hunt. If you catch another participant in violation of this important safety Commandment, please email iamnotreallysurebutIthinkIsawanotherparticipanteatingwithanunapprovedutensil@gishwhes.com immediately. Participants MAY use drinking straws, but they must be non-plastic, sustainable, and harvested by the participant personally.
29. Mastication – Throughout the duration of the Hunt, all mastication shall only be done on the left side of the participant’s mouths from dawn until noon, and on the right side of the mouth between noon and midnight. The hours of midnight to dawn are considered Free Time, during which no mastication restrictions shall be imposed.
30. Dietary Restrictions #2– Out of an abundance of concern for allergens, all water consumed during the Hunt must be gluten and peanut-free.
31. Imagine – if your entire world existed inside of your cheek. Be sure to have a maid clean the place up a bit before I drop by.
32. Scoring – Team scores shall be compiled by tallying up the total points accumulated and assigned to the team’s item submissions by our judges. In our final judging, an item’s points may be increased or decreased based on the quality of the submission. In past years the winning teams won by not only submitting items worth lots of points, but by accumulating bonus points for excellent submissions.
33. Content Sharing – You may not “share” your images or videos until after the Scavenger Hunt, but you may not password-protect them either (we need to access them for judging). Violators will be attacked by Gishbot. YOU MAY (and we encourage you) share your images and videos 8 minutes and 37 seconds after the Scavenger Hunt is officially over.
34. Possibility – It’s possible that you grew extra olfactory nerves in your armpits overnight. Remember to stop and smell the flowers every day, if just to check.
35. Collaboration – As cold-hearted as this sounds, don’t collaborate with other teams. This is a competition. Each team has to execute each item on their own. If we find out that teams are collaborating you will get either fractional or no credit for the item. However, collaboration with any of the following is strongly encouraged: imaginary friends, your teammates and their respective imaginary friends, enthusiastic pets, and everyone may collaborate with William Shatner’s horse.
37. Personal Hygiene – To improve aerodynamics during the Hunt, all participants must shave a racing stripe into their armpit hair. Any remaining armpit hair must remain ungroomed throughout the week so as not to give dangerous land-speed advantages to participants during the Hunt.
38. Mind Melding/ESP/Nosepicking/Telekinesis – Although not mandatory for Hunt participation, all of them are highly encouraged for a fruitful Hunt experience.
39. Judging – Items shall be judged by Misha Collins and at least 6 official gishwhes Judges appointed by Misha Collins.
40. Teammate or Other Team Cheerleading – Yes. This is encouraged. It is actually the spirit of gishwhes. If you do it, you will be surprised at how things improve for you both in your life and in the Hunt. At the very least it will make you look magnanimous and heartfullnessicity. What’s not to like about that?
41. End of the Hunt – The Scavenger Hunt shall end when the countdown clock on the homepage reaches 00:00 and the Item List is removed from the gishwhes website.
42. Arbitrary Orders and Constraints – May be placed on the “Updates” page during the course of the Scavenger Hunt. Watch it daily. This is a Really Really Important Rule. Pay attention. CHECK THE UPDATES PAGE DAILY. www.gishwhes.com/updates.
43. Grand Prize – There will be one. If you win it, you will likely refer to the events of your life as either pre- or post- gishwhes Grand Prize. Please refer to the Rules and Regulations for further details.
44. Referrer Prize – There will also be one. Again, please refer to the Rules and Regulations for details, but generally speaking, we shall be selecting one “Referrer” individual to join the Winning Team. Refer a friend (you can do so after you register). If they sign up, your name will be placed in a random drawing to join the Winning Team on the Grand Prize trip.
45. Runner Upperers – We will select 10 (or more!) runner-up teams. These teams will receive accolades, prizes and the envy of everyone (except the winning team who will not be envious at all because their prize is better).
46. gishwhes Hall of Fame (GHOF) – Think you have no chance of winning or even being a runner-up? Wrong! If you are convinced you won’t win the grand prize, you can still wow us with a specific item and be drafted into the Hall of Fame for that submission! Select a handful of items to complete and make them the most amazing items the world has ever seen. If your team’s item is chosen as one of the best versions of that item by our judges, it (and your team) will be forever memorialized in the gishwhes Hall of Fame. Your item and team name will be seen forever on our website. These will be submissions that make the stuff of legends.
47. Gishpoints. You want these. They are granted for all of the following: completing gishwhes, volunteering for gishwhes, being part of our FEGVEP program, registering early or at certain times, or eating with your mouth full while at the designated time that Misha indicates privately. What do they get you? Lots. Last year our top Gishpoints holders got automatic upgrades to the next tier of registration and discounts in the shwop. Who knows what they will bring this year… We have other devious plans for these points, but needless to say if you don’t have ‘em, get ‘em, if you got ‘em, get more of ‘em!
48. Advice – Be precise. Be creative. Be courageous. Be shameless. Be gishwhes.