Scavenge of the Nerds

I like to think of myself as a small-time nerd. Not any kind of specialized nerd, but a run-of-the-mill, uncoordinated socks-wearing, NPR-listening nerd.

One of my nerdier activities took place this past Saturday: the annual huge “Metropolitan Odyssey” scavenger hunt organized by the lab coat-wearing nerds at Metro Metro. Each year, 200 or so people gather somewhere in New York City to spend 6 1/2 hours counting the trash cans along a particular avenue, taking photos of themselves dancing with doormen, and looking for peculiar graffiti to copy on their answer sheet.

This year the big hunt took place all over the West Village, which is at once lovely and confusing and strange. Great fun for a scavenger hunt. Unfortunately, two members of our four-person team (my husband and I) set our alarm clock incorrectly and showed up late. Despite losing an hour of hunting, though, we felt we did fairly well.

My biggest personal triumph of the day was spotting a group of firefighters – they were just what I needed for task no. 13 (of 137 tasks): “Get a photo of a teammate defeating a uniformed firefighter in a game of rock-paper-scissors.”


An admittedly embarrassing picture, made worse by my closed eyes (and what’s with the bizarre palm-down rock, Mr. uniformed firefighter?), but I was beyond pleased with myself for being able to cross this one off the list.

Unfortunately, though we had brought a polaroid camera for quick photos, I was alone at that moment and I had to use my digital camera for this shot, even knowing that it would be nearly impossible to get this photo developed in the hour that we had left before our deadline. We ended up taking a very blurry polaroid of the screen of my digital camera. Who knows if they gave us the points for it or not – in any case, we didn’t win.

The real letdown, of course, is knowing that we have to wait another year to implement our new, uber-nerdy strategy for next year’s big hunt.

Update 5/21/07: We came in 9th! Not bad, considering our late start.

5 thoughts on “Scavenge of the Nerds

  1. O. M. G.

    I adore scavenger hunts! When I was small my dad used to hide rhyming clues all over the house and we would have to find a toy or piece of candy. It was so much fun. I really love easter egg hunts as well. I wish I lived near you! I am sure we could have gotton everything!

  2. Yay, a new teammate! Scavenger hunts are also a blast to make – my husband made one for our wedding guests to do the morning of our wedding. Much better, I think, than a boring brunch or whatever it is that people do to entertain their guests before the ceremony.

  3. A wedding scavenger hunt is a great idea! Something really cool to involve the guests in the event and to make sure it is memorable. Sometimes weddings can be a bit boring (though it is special and magical).

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