February 1, 2007
So my friend, Josh, calls me this morning and leaves this voicemail:
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Two weeks prior to the Boston Bomb Scare, Safire calls me up one night and goes, "Check your email! Do you know where this is? It's like a scavenger hunt. ...LED figures of characters from Aqua Teen Hunger Force attached to signposts and bridges using earth magnets ...ATHF...Mooninites: Ignignogt (Iggy) and Err...Cartoon Network...Adult Swim...There's 400 across America and if you can find one and get it down, you get to keep it."
All I really hear is "scavenger hunt" and "LED" (lights...shiny...) and
She sent me a link to a tiny photo on flickr. The LED figure was stuck to the side of a sign with the color scheme of "Western Union" on it. Below it was a store's green awning with Chinese characters on it.
So, it had to be in Chinatown, but which one? San Francisco has three.
"I'm going to finish eating and call you back."
By that time, 10 minutes later, she had figured it out. (How? Read more) "It's two blocks away from you! I hope it's still there!"
I put on clothes and walk over to check.
JVD Global Inc. (map)
658 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118
"It's here!!! I'll guard it until you can get over. It's about 5 to 7 feet above me- do you have a ladder?"
"How about bringing a chair and something to prod it down with?"
"I don't have any folding chairs but my parents have big sticks."
She was not kidding. She brought not one, but two 10 foot sticks, one wooden and one metal.
"So, your parents just have these lying around the house."
"Yeah. Actually I wanted the retractable one but I couldn't find it."
We look around. Nothing to see here. Just two 5 foot girls with 10 foot sticks.
And we commence to hit it like a piñata. I love it. It's difficult. Earth magnets are incredibly strong and each blow only yields about a quarter inch of movement- and that's only if you hit it at the right angle and don't miss.
The LEDs are on black panels with the battery pack on the bottom and the magnets on the back. The trick is to hit it from the side until part of the back panel protrudes out from the sign. Then you can push it out from the back.
and Safire made an amazing catch.
"I want one too!"
2 days later. Friday, January 19, 2007. 1.19.07
I tell Jessica the story on the bus on our way to a concert.
"...and I'm waiting for the guy to post more pictures of the locations."
We get off the bus and- unbelievable!
"There it is!!!"
It's stuck to a metal sign up above and it's not lit
and it's nighttime but somehow... I see it!
Divisadero Farmer's Market (map)
550 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117
"Ok, ok, ok."
Jessica guards it and I run into the mini market next door.
Ladder. Ladder. Back-up. How do I explain this to the shop-keeper?
I stumble over myself, "Um, there's these cartoon characters..."
He comes out to take a look and is pretty disinterested.
I nod vigorously. "Do you have a ladder?"
"No". And he walks back inside.
I run back into the store.
"Can I borrow a broom?"
"I can go behind the counter?"
Then, I spot the mop. It's longer.
Wide smile, "Can I also borrow the mop?"
I start whacking the Mooninite with a mop.
Again and again.
Realign. It's interesting to use a mop to hit something, with that added weight on the bottom.
Focus on aim.
Push out from the back.
Jessica catches it!
It's pretty impressive considering that these things are 14 x 12.5 inches and sharp. We conclude that the adrenaline makes it happen.
We thank the shop-keeper and buy some things to celebrate.
He gives us a brown paper bag to carry the booty.
I definitely need to invest in a retractable stick.