Sunday, 7 August 2016

I Made a Jacket Out of Apples & Other Gishwhes Stories

This past week, I took part in my first Gishwhes. I also managed to charm, bully and blackmail several friends, penpals and acquaintances into taking part in this enormous international scavenger hunt (created and overlord-ed by Misha Collins of Supernatural) with me. Some of them are even still speaking to me. My neighbours, however, are concerned.

It was a taxing week. Physically, emotionally (you'd be amazed what eighteen hours spent making a jacket out of baked apples can do to your feels) and most of all financially. But it was also epic. I made new friends in other countries, was complimented on my swashbuckling prowess (!), and my team - HMS MooseKnuckles being the name we eventually settled on - managed to complete over fifty tasks (of a possible 177) ranging from the simple to the semi-insane.

I got super-lucky with my team - I had cosplayers, mums and au pairs, members of theatre groups, musicians and delightful lady scientists, so we were all set to cover almost anything that was thrown at us (one of my teammates serenaded a barista on his ukulele. I remain delighted by this and would like random ukulele serenades to become more of a thing). My penpal Tessa absolutely pulled it out of the bag with some great cosplays, including turning up at her previous workplace dressed as a zombie and getting a milkshake at a 50s diner with a group of friends whilst dressed as sith lords and Jedi knights. My friends Jade, Rosie and Eve were also awesome, and did some very brave and weird things despite heatwaves, illness, work schedules and general life stuff.

Here are some of the things that happened to me during the past week (with a little help from family and friends):
  • got out of bed at eight a.m. on a Sunday to be sprayed in the face with a hose
  • made my dad talk a biker named Big Pete into being photographed in a jacket made out of fruit leather
  • made said fruit leather jacket. I know I keep going on about this dratted jacket but it took days to make, I can't get the smell of apples out of my hair, and, well... you may think you've done some weird shit in your life, son, but have you made a jacket out of apples? Because I. Fucking. Have.
  • adorned my toenails with a delighful drawing of the potential lovechild of Miley Cyrus and Donald Trump. Posting a pic of Diley Tryrus lost me seven followers on Instagram. Can't imagine why...
  • went for a public jog wearing shoes and a hat carved out of pineapple

  • made rainbow prosthetic teeth
  • learned how to swing an axe to devastating effect (don't worry, those records were not good records)

  • put up a tyre swing for neighbourhood children (and then snuck out in the middle of the night when there were no kids around to have a go myself)
  • defended the perimeter of the ladies' undergarments section in Asda with a shopping basket on my head, Sellotape gauntlets, and a pool noodle as my weapon

  • contacted a friend I hadn't spoken to in about eight years to ask if I could film her pet albino hedgehog in my My Little Pony spa (she said yes)
  • convinced my best friend to dress up as Dean Winchester and hold a pie in front of a Winchester Street sign
  • made a panda out of sanitary pads. His name is Charles. He is a bit saggy but he is doing his best
  • painted a bad portrait of Zachary Levi onto my butt
  • had red wine poured into my mouth out of an upstairs window whilst wearing a white dress
Honestly, I don't know if I will have the fortitude to sign up to Gishwhes for a second year. I may just buy something from the Gishwhes Shwag Shwop and cheerlead from the sidelines. But I'm glad I took part, not least because I definitely wouldn't have had the confidence to do so a year or so ago. To be fair, I would have done it just to receive emails from Misha Collins, but I am a bit of a nerd. If you're considering Gishing next year, please do give it a try. Being a bit weird is important. I have entirely lost the ability to be embarrassed, and have learned some important new skills, such as making snazzy headgear out of tropical fruit.

Listening to: The Root of All Evil by Abney Park


  1. This. sounds. Awesome! I want to see a picture of the apple jacket!

    1. There is a link (second bullet point!). It's a small phone photo and you can't see the jacket too well, but the tabard is covered in fruit leather. I had a delusional hope that it would look like majestic armour but sadly it looks like what it is - dodgy fruit leather stapled onto a tabard!

  2. Wow, crazy times! Glad you had fun! Did you actually get to fight anyone off in Asda?

    1. Only my friend Rosie! And she is well used to my crap by now :-p

  3. OMG O_O I didn't know something like this existed.

    1. Neither did I until this year! I may never be brave enough to do it again... >.<


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