Monday, November 19, 2007

The Disco Tent Challenge!

After some reflection, and factoring in some recent events in our world, I've arrived upon the framework of my contest. It's not the sort of contest where you simply throw your name in a hat and draw a winner- I'm rudely insisting on a modicum of effort on your end (yes, what a dick!). My daughter just won a reasonably prestigious local contest (I won't say which, as it'd disrupt the blogger anonymity continuum, but she won a $1000 savings bond, and some other perks), and after channeling the majesty of the long lost Spy Magazine, I'm officially announcing the first Disco Tent Challenge!

This challenge will include many of my favorite things- messing with "The Man", absurdity, and frequently something-for-nothing type treats. There is no actual cost to participate, unless you are old school and prefer letters over email, in which case you are spending a stamp (and keeping Cheesy off the streets- er, no wait- you'd be keeping her ON the streets. Never mind). Here's the contest: write a funny/outrageous/inexplicable/unbelievable letter/email to a business of your choosing, complaining/inquiring/singing praises/whatever- but garnering a completely serious response from a person (not a form reply) that clearly address your initial message. In other words, if you write to GM about why they can't make a car that runs on septic tank pumpings, and they send you a "thank you" note- that does not qualify. If you get a response from someone at GM that addresses your suggestion in (apparent) earnestness, then that counts. So, to restate the rules:

* Write an absurd, alarming, or unbelievable message to a business/organization of your choice (unrelated to you).
* Real names or false names are both acceptable
* Retain a copy of the sent message for submission
* Receive a serious response from an actual person from said business/organization.
* Forward a copy of original message and response as an entry

Entries will be judged on humor and on how unlikely they were to get a reply. One lucky winner will win more than bragging rights, although prizes are to be determined. This clearly will take time, and I'm drawing the line for submissions 12/23 and a winner (or winners) announced 12/25.

Reasons why you should participate:

* It can be really fun and funny
* Many times, companies will send coupons and perks as a response to positive, negative, or confusing feedback.
* There are people who work in consumer relations who need your noodle bending attention. Seriously.
* A prize. Yes, I'll pony up actual winnings.
* You can add this half-assed button to your button collection

The more the merrier in this little endeavor, so please help circulate this contest.

Below is an example I crafted to the S.C. Johnson company (makers of Drano) asking if they have ever considered marketing Drano as a treatment for toenail fungus.

It's impossible to read the comments in their form, but in full, it reads:

"Have you ever considered marketing Drano as a treatment for toenail fungus? It kind of burns if you soak for too long, and you should really be outside for fresh air concerns, but wow is it effective! I never really was impressed with Coca Cola as a rust remover, but your product is more than an "urban legend". They never mentioned that the hair on my feet and toes would go away, but who cares about that? I expect you'd have to clearly state that people shouldn't drink it, because some people will try anything and I'm sure drinking Drano would really mess you up."

Oh- and Leggy Mountbatten is a name from the Rutles.

Now have fun and good luck to all!

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Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

I'm in!

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in!

4:52 AM  
Blogger That Guy said...

ok, for shits and giggles...

12:05 PM  
Blogger Nancy Dancehall said...

Oh yeah.

8:32 PM  
Blogger meno said...

I'll think about it. I might be too lazy.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

If my 2 brain cells happen to bump into each other over the next couple of weeks... I'm in... crap... ANOTHER letter to finger and fondle!

5:05 AM  
Blogger Irrelephant said...

Dood, you are such a freak! I'm so there.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Vulgar Wizard said...

Uhm, does the letter I wrote to the Better Business Bureau regarding the jackoff at the tow yard where my husband's wrecked vehicle was stored, and from which an amplifier and subwoofer were removed and "stored in the office", along with the response from the jackoff, scribbled on notebook paper, defending what an honorable jackoff he would have been had we just asked for the stuff back? - if so, I'm in!

1:53 PM  
Blogger Vulgar Wizard said...

Wait, here, I did one today:

Is this how we submit, or what?

2:35 PM  
Blogger Vulgar Wizard said...

Well, :P

7:42 PM  

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