[TGWTDT] Austin Happy Hunter is Well and Alive
No rest for the braves! Mister MacGregor D Greenlee sent me his Austin adventure and I’m sharing it right after the Philadelphia one mainly because I am guessing tomorrow will bring some more action. Enjoy:
The Story of Seventeen (because I couldn’t come up with anything wittier)
My Wednesday started out quite normally. As a student at the University of Texas, I typically wake up, go to German, return to room, fall back asleep, get up and go to lunch. Everything was perfectly normal. And then it got crazy.
On my way to lunch I get a text informing me of the first of what would be three clues sent out by Mouth Taped Shut. I get my food and sit down and I’m quietly looking over the clues trying to make heads or tails of them (with no luck, I should add) when @antovolk tweets:
At the risk of choking on a bite of spicy chicken, I exclaimed: “OH MY GOSH” Based on the curious looks I got from people, I may have said it to loud and/or with too much food in my mouth.
And so it began.
Immediately I follow the link, plug the coordinates into my phone and I’m out the door. According to google maps it’s only 8 minutes of drive time away from me, which I count as lucky considering other hunters having to drive 30 or 45 minutes. I call my friend, one @ajh_rris, convince him to ditch his homework and come get me (I am without a car), he obliges and we are off, flying through traffic headed toward the river.
On the way I filled him in on everything (or most everything) that has happened and what we can expect to happen when we get there.
This is where I have to give my sincerest thanks to @mentorless and all the other treasure hunt victors because by the time the Austin clue came up, I was well versed in exactly what would happen, what to look for and what to expect. I knew to look somewhere obscure for the razor blade cover, I knew we would then have to go to another location to get the package, I even knew that the employees would play dumb or at least make it as difficult as possible.
I was ready.
We get to the location, find the two benches pictured, I tell him to look for something small hidden and out of place. He checks the first bench and before I can get to the second bench he finds a tiny manila envelope taped to the bottom of the bench. Inside is the razor blade cover.
We sprint to Mozart’s, a coffee house he identifies as being not but 200 yards from where we find the clue. We get to the patio, slow down, try not to look like crazed maniacs and walk inside. On the way in, a lady smirked at me, I informed my friend Andrew that she would likely snap a photo of us once we had the package. Then I stand for an agonizingly long time behind a couple ordering drinks. “Um… I think I want a latte, but… Maybe I want a cappuccino… What is a cappuccino anyway?”
Finally they decided on something I didn’t hear because there was adrenaline oozing out of my ears and I got to the counter. I asked for the package for Vanger. Guy #1 says “Uhhh”. I move onto the next lady ask her the same thing and she gives me the same reaction but after a few seconds decides she knows what I’m talking about, walks to the back room and brings out that familiar package, wrapped in butcher paper and addressed to our beloved Henrik Vanger. We have our picture taken as expected and exit the coffee shop, this time looking crazy and satisfied.
What follows is an embarrassing amount of victory dances, some of which were caught on video but will not be shown. Just know they were embarrassing.
I couldn’t help but feel a small (read: large) amount of joy when another hunter pulled up and asked if I had the package to which I got to reply “Yep.” I was deathly afraid that was going to be me. But it wasn’t.
And for that I have to thank all of the code breakers, @antovolk in particular, @mentorless for the coverage and of course @mouthtapedshut for executing the coolest viral marketing campaign I have ever been a part of (and now have a piece of).
P.S. if you get a flower you apparently also become a one of @mentorless’ padawans. Bonus.[Note from self: And becoming a Salandarian Padawan makes you feel very special.]
** If you want to read a recap of everything written about TGWTDT marketing campaign, click here**
**Personal Opinion** (Yes, I’m hacking this Happy Hunter Testimony)
If you have read all the Happy Hunters testimonies shared on mentorless so far, you might have noticed that the Treasure Hunt is a collective game divided in two key moments: when the clue is posted online and has to be deciphered, and when the run starts in a specific location to find clue #2 and win the prize.
Now, none of the Hunters who expressed themselves here have actually deciphered the first clue that lead them to the prize. I’m not saying they were not able to, but often the ones stuck behind their computers are not the ones able to run, and vice versa, so it just happened that they didn’t decipher the first clue.
Do I think it is a problem that the hunters “used” what others have found to score the prize? On the contrary!
This is a game that we all play because, let’s face it, too many days can pass without getting a kick of adrenaline as high as the one we get when we are in the middle of a clue day, having fun as if we were 8 years old all over again. Mouth Taped Shut is promoting The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in an entertaining way, and a community of people from (yes I’ll say it) all over the world has formed thanks to that.
It is fun, and it feels good, and it makes us all forget for a moment that we will all be dead in two months. (boom)
And it’s because of this summer of love spirit that I have decided to report the whole campaign when I really could/should have stopped after day 2 –the day I failed but had great fun.
The reason I am mentioning all this is because I couldn’t help but noticing on MTS comment section that some people felt their chance to win was robbed by the collective effort.
Flash news: this (the Hunt) is business, not a game in a back garden organized by Tom’s parents for his birthday party and monitoring us to make sure everybody wins something. This is not a game created to demonstrate that fairness lies in dry flowers either. (No, I swear.) This is a game created to promote a movie that hopes to be a hit at the box office and tries to build a community of enthusiasts, thanks to a healthy marketing campaign, that will spread the word and compensate the expected NC-17 rating.
Winning a flower shouldn’t be a goal, but only the cherry on a cake of luck (living in the city where a flower is dropped means you are lucky not that you deserve it.)
Embracing the movement and helping others even if it means the precious won’t be yours is actually not a bad feeling, so if you feel frustrated because life sucks and you don’t have a flower, join our AA meetings. (What I mean is, open a Twitter account and hashtag #MOUTHTAPEDSHUT when it feels cold and dark.)
I am sorry if that sounds cheesy and patronizing, and I know that if you are a mentorless reader it probably means that you are living it that way, but I just needed to speak my mind. Now that’s done.