The wonderful wizard of Scav


If it's the Thursday before Mother's Day, it must be Scavenger Hunt. The 2008 version of the University tradition got under way at midnight when team captains "ransomed" their Scav Hunt lists. As the May 6 Chicago Maroon reported, "[E]ach team was given a list of demands to be fulfilled, including bringing the judges a black light, a toothpick, and a hula skirt. After each five-minute lapse, the judges burned a page of the list." Not to worry: the first pages contain the standard rules, and the list is online.

As usual, competing teams have until Sunday afternoon to produce as many of the list's 260-plus items, each with its own point value, as they can. They'll also participate in Friday night's Scav party and Saturday's Scav Olympics—where the sporting events range from "1. Finnish style wife-carrying competition. Must provide certified married couple (bonus points if marriage is still on after the race!)" to "11. Knife skills! Bring your Top Chef with a good set of cooking knives, and get ready to slice, dice, mince, and prance."

As usual, there's also a road trip. This year's (Item 23) twisted the Frank Baum classic:

“'Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more.' No, but you will be before the end of the day. At 9:00 AM Thursday in Hutchinson Courtyard, present your team of Wayward Sons: Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and the Bat. They must be ready to travel over the rainbow in a flying house featuring a storm cellar door, chimneyed roof, picket fence, and the legs of that wicked witch you just ran over... ."

In a new twist, Item 20 commanded the teams, "Have your pre-selected Scav Warrior outside the Reynolds Club at 3:30 a.m. Thursday morning. They must be alone and they may not have any extraneous packages, bags or accessories. And, since it will be late into the evening, the attire for this event is evening-wear. Evening-wear with a bathing suit underneath." The solo warriors—who also were asked to come with IDs and $200—were blindfolded and driven to O'Hare, where they were presented with a ticket to Las Vegas—and a 46-item "ScavAir Addendum: Vegas, baby. Vegas."


Photo: With shoes painted red, this Dorothy is ready to follow the Yellow Brick Road, as the Scav Hunt road trip heads to Kansas. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane.

May 9, 2008