Needless to say I am glad to share this Happy Hunter Testimony with you, a win from the last day, a testimony about a big prize, and a shared win from passionate Padawan Salandarians @christinmapo and @The7Visionary.
Redemption In El Paso, Texas.
Okay, I think we should start from the beginning…
This all started when The7Visionary discovered Mouth Taped Shut, before we knew anything about prizes. We occasionally checked out the website to see what new pictures would pop up. Then the flowers happened. We decided that if it happened in our city, I would send The7Visionary a text with jumbled up letters and we even designated a meeting spot. We both go to school in Albuquerque, and thought that would have to be the one place in NM that Mouth Taped Shut would have to go. We were both at school when MTS would normally post up the clue. The7Visionary was in a class where he couldn’t use his phone, while I was minutes away from having a drawing critique.
On November 10, I get a tweet text saying that there’s a flower in Santa Fe, NM, only half an hour away with The7Visionary’s driving.
The7Visionary was sitting in class when he got my text. With his heart pounding, he had to grab his things, walk past his instructor who was in mid-lecture and mouthed “Sorry”. As soon as he got to the hallway, he sprinted and dropped everything he was carrying. He gets on his bike and tries to ride to the designated meeting spot, with his jacket getting caught in his wheel. At the same time, I failed to stick with the plan, grabbed all my things, left drawings and my critique and sprinted to a computer. The7Visionary gets to the spot and calls me. I tell him it’s in Santa Fe and we both agree to give it a try.
At this point The7Visionary jumps back on his bike and makes the mile ride back to our apartment as fast as possible. He nearly throws up from trying to get over some bridge fast enough. At the same time I’m trying to print out directions on GOOGLE Maps and keep up on what’s happening on Twitter. I grab the freshly printed out directions and run to the “spot”. After what seemed like half an hour, I see The7Visionary down the street. I ran over to the car, jumped in, and we took off. The drive to Santa Fe also felt like forever even though we were pretty much going 90mph the whole way. During the drive I was constantly looking out for police, checking the map/directions and refreshing twitter, you know, usual co-pilot duties. Unfortunately, with so much adrenaline and excitement pumping through both of our bodies, we both neglected to find check the WIHIS website to see what we’ll actually be looking for.
Finally, we arrive to the exact location that I had found in an earlier tweet. Not knowing what we were looking for, we search every possible location while running past the ACTUAL spot of the clue. We didn’t know we had a tail all the way from Albuquerque and, unlike us, they knew exactly what they were looking for. While we were too busy searching in all the wrong places, they just went to that little water drain, grabbed the clue and proceeded to claim their prize. It was after they had just received that brown package that I had spotted them across the street. My heart sank. I called to The7Visionary pointing to the guys in front of me. I asked if I could see it, and the guy politely said, “of course”. He ripped off that brown paper and I began to cry thinking that that could have been ours. The7Visionary said to name his price for it. He said $1000 dollars and we agreed, but he backed off right away. After that The7Visionary gave him a congratulatory handshake and we parted ways. (And yes Mentorless, the7Visionary is “John Smith.” He feels really bad about the comment he made but he didn’t like that they made fun of my tearing up. Especially when we were good sports about losing.)
After the day’s disappointing festivities we wanted a second chance at the grid. We called people we knew around the country, in places we thought an MTS bomb would drop. We sent them links of Mentorless’ stories about the weekly recaps so they could get a sense of what was going on. Our contacts included, San Francisco, Denver, Austin, Indianapolis, and El Paso, our hometown. The very next morning San Fran was hit but our friend was too far. The7Visionary had a cousin in Denver who could have easily got the prize but he lost his phone the day before. And our Indianapolis contact was 10 min too late.
As the grid, as well as the map, kept filling up our hope for redemption was dwindling down.
On December 9, as I’m making my way back home, I get a tweet from MTS with a new clue. At this point, we both pretty much had given up. As I enter the apartment the7Visionary doesn’t even bother looking at the clue. On the final day, he has given up after all of the attempts we have made. I go into the bedroom and refresh Twitter, and see a link to the new WIHIS page. It loads, and I don’t really recognize what the picture is so I look up the coordinates. As it loads I see a name that I know. Wait, these were names that I knew! I zoom out and realize that the MTS Gods answered our prayers. A prize was actually in El Paso, Texas. I make an attempt to yell at The7Visionary to tell him what we’ve been hoping for has happened, but I can barely speak. He describes my reaction as someone who just found out they’re pregnant and I describe his reaction as someone who just found out their girlfriend is pregnant. I try a few times and I finally get it out, “IT’S IN EL PASO!” It took a couple seconds for The7Visionary to realize what I had just said. Soon after he calls his brothers and tells them it’s there. Both of us were jumping between phone calls, street views, Google and Twitter. My phone was buzzing non-stop from all the people on Twitter encouraging me to GO! It was tough to keep up.
The7Visionary’s brothers get to the area, which is in the canyon. As we’re trying to tell them what they need to look for, we lose service with them. Around this time the7Visionary is throwing his phone and cussing at whatever he could. We don’t know if they’re in the right place or if someone else had beaten them to it, we didn’t know anything that was going on. We were blind. The only thing we could do was wait. Finally we get a call from his brother:
“Hey man, someone else beat me to it.”
Our hearts sunk, again. Another loss. The7Visionary curses and kicks the nearest thing, the nightstand. But his brother says after that:
“Just kidding man! Andy got it!”
Wait, so we got it? Yes, we got it!
They explain that the clue was hidden at the window in the picture. His brother that got it was so excited he didn’t even open it but grabbed it and just paced for 5 minutes. When he opened it, it said, “Section C Seat ?” He ran to section C and saw the package leaning against one of the seats. And we finally got one, on the final MTS day.
Me and The7Visionary are now proud owners of the Millennium Magazine prize. At that point, I barely realized that El Paso was a big prize. I still can’t believe that a big prize went to El Paso, TX.
Now how do we split the prize…
**To read a recap of everything written about TGWTDT marketing campaign, click here**