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45 + 298 points

Bigger, Better, or More Bizarre by Lincøln, Jellybean of Thark, Lank, Heatherlynn

June 10th, 2007 11:36 PM / Location: 34.101655,-118.3393

INSTRUCTIONS: A scavenger hunt with a twist...

Team up with another player (or thirty). Each player or team begins with a small, cheap item, such as an unsharpened number 2 pencil or a cotton ball. Offer these items to innocent bystanders in a trade for something bigger, better, or more bizarre. Repeat the process with the next item you acquire, and the one after that, for a set amount of time (1.5 hours is usually enough to produce absurd results), photographically documenting each trade.

At the end of the game, regroup with your fellow players and compare the spoils of your efforts. Whoever ends with the biggest, best, or most bizarre item wins.

Wow. You learn a lot about people doing a task like this.

Lincoln, Lank, Barbapoca and Heatherlynn all got together on a Saturday afternoon to do some trading. We decided to go to a heavily populated area and to dress up in costumes in order to attract more attention. That may have been our downfall, at least at first.

Lank dressed up as Abraham Lincoln. Barbapoca dressed up as a pirate. And Lincoln (don't be confused!) found a hot dog costume to wear. Heatherlynn came along as documentarian and driver for the three goofballs.

We made signs to wear around our necks:

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And a big sign that we could prop up in wherever our base of operations ended up:

Image Hosted by

We decided to first try The Grove, which is an upscale outdoor mall near Fairfax, between Beverly & 3rd. Less than a minute after setting foot inside, however, we were accosted by mall cops, who told us we couldn't stay. They said we might cause a commotion. I guess they don't like anything that looks out-of-the-ordinary in their nice mall.

So we proceeded to the adjacent Farmer's Market, which is an awesome place that has an amazing assortment of little restaurants and food-type shops. Again, we were immediately asked to leave. Okay, we get the picture. We'll go someplace where weird people in outlandish costumes fit right in. We'll go to Hollywood Boulevard!

We decided to start playing on our way back to the car, which was now three or four blocks away. We made several stops along the way, making trades with passers-by and folks at bus stops. Then we headed to Hollywood & Highland.

Again, for those who don't know, Hollywood & Highland is also a mall. Difference is, this one is in Tourist Central and adjacent to Grauman's Chinese Theater:

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Every day the stretch of Hollywood Blvd. that fronts the Hollywood & Highland mall to the Chinese Theater is crammed with tourists from all over the globe. You can also, on a daily basis, find people who dress up in costumes as characters from current (and not-so-current) films, there to make a buck from tourists who will pay to have their picture taken with Spiderman or Batman or Darth Vader or what have you. We opted to shy away from the turf of these hardened professionals and hang out a little closer to Highland. Besides, two of the three Captain Jack Sparrows who were out this day gave Barbapoca the stink eye.

So we traded as furiously as we could for about an hour. There were difficulties. For many of the tourists, there was a language barrier. Frankly, there was a language barrier for some of the locals as well. But mostly we found that people either didn't want to trade or didn't have anything to trade. It turned out that generally the more edgy, economically disenfranchised individuals were more willing to play along and the more posh, hip individuals couldn't ignore us harder if they tried.

Plus, you get some very entertaining reactions when you're dressed up as Abraham Lincoln. One guy cussed me out for starting the IRS. A couple of African-American men thanked me. And while driving, a young person "assassinated" me with a toy gun from a neighboring car. - Lank

But in the end, we made some interesting trades and I think we inserted some wacky into a few people's lives. Thanks goes out to Heatherlynn, who you won't see in the pics below because she was taking them. And she drove us all over town, to boot!

Oh yeah - even though it was a competition between the three of us, we didn't pick a winner of the game. You can decide that for yourselves!

+ larger

Goin' In
The Grove
I feel secure!
Farmers Market
First Stop
Lank Trade #1
Second Stop
Lincoln Trade #1
Lank Trade #2
Photo Op
Third Stop
Lank Trade #3
Barbapoca Trade #1
Fourth Stop
Barbapoca Trade #2
What else?
Lank Trade #4
Fifth Stop
Lank & Barbapoca on the Blvd.
Lincoln as hot dog on Hollywood
Lank Trade #5
Lincoln Trade #2
Lincoln Trade #3 (?)
Shirt Swap
There's a new hot dog in town
Barbapoca Trade #3
Lank Trade #6
Workin' the Blvd.
Lank Trade #7
Lincoln Trade #4 (?)
Barbapoca Trade #4
The Shell
Lincoln, Lincoln, whatcha drinkin'?
Final Items

61 vote(s)

Favorite of:



17 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by YellowBear on June 10th, 2007 11:43 PM

I love that you in no way address the fact that you are walking around as Abe Lincoln, A pirate and a giant hot dog.

posted by Lank on June 10th, 2007 11:53 PM

Somehow this proof got posted before I was done editing. The rest is up there now!

winner? +1
posted by Burn Unit on June 11th, 2007 7:52 AM

everyone wins when you're this awesome!

But in a more specific sense I've decided Lank wins. I don't have any experience with it myself, but a nine year sobriety coin can't be very easy to earn, and kind of amazing to trade away, even if the 10 year coin was coming up. For the stranger to share that with you, I say wow.

Also trading away the hot dog costume, very bold! You didn't necessarily get something better, but you DID something pretty awesome. I bet it felt a lot cooler temperature wise.

(no subject)
posted by rongo rongo on June 11th, 2007 9:10 AM

Great costumes!

(no subject)
posted by Sean Mahan on June 11th, 2007 5:11 PM

This is just all-around fantastic. Everyone needs to click through all the images and ready the accompanying text.

although you could have gotten those raver beads at any warehouse party....
posted by p00n Totenkinder on June 11th, 2007 7:22 PM


Ha! it would have been all too ironic if you had traded the half empty bottle of water for the raver beads... Ive done that more times than I would like to admit.

(no subject)
posted by Ziggy C. on June 11th, 2007 8:43 PM

Such random costumes. I love this.

posted by Jellybean of Thark on June 12th, 2007 9:30 AM

I eavesdropped on people as we went through the crowds.

Two separate people confused Lank with George Washington. A few others thought he and I were Ahab and Ismael. I even caught someone wondering if Lincoln (Hot Dog) was supposed to be the whale.

(no subject)
posted by Jennifer Gergely on February 16th, 2010 5:52 PM

I love the costumes! That was a great idea to get people to pay attention to you (even if some of the attention is unwanted!)

(no subject)
posted by Jellybean of Thark on February 16th, 2010 9:11 PM

Thanks Jennifer.


I'm pretty sure I speak for my collaborators when I say that the attention was not unwanted.

I vomit on the grove blhdjklafs
posted by Mantooth on June 12th, 2007 1:30 PM

I hate the fucking grove. Nice work hassling the squares down there.

Damn boys (and heather) - old Mantooth is in Los Angeles to. We need to get collaboratin' on something!

Latent Votes
posted by Blue on August 29th, 2007 4:36 PM

So many of your completions I loved but never voted for because I didn't want to help you get any further ahead of me… But really, that is not going to stop you… so here you are…

I salute the…

I wish they had a graph that showed how fast players moved up the board.
Yours would be a paramount.

(no subject)
posted by Lank on September 30th, 2007 1:44 PM


John Stewart '08
posted by Agent Fourteen on December 13th, 2007 3:05 PM

I have the same shirt!

(no subject)
posted by Minch on March 31st, 2008 3:27 PM

i love finding awesome old praxis

(no subject)
posted by Jellybean of Thark on March 31st, 2008 9:33 PM

This was a lot of fun.

(no subject)
posted by Dopey on September 12th, 2008 4:38 PM

i work at the farmers market now stop by sometime