"St. Pete or Bust! 2000" story # 16

St. Petersburg, Florida           December 7, 2000

For a fitting end to an easy semester of study, I played a board game today in my last class of the year. "Taboo" was the game.
     One of my classmates tried to convince us to guess a word she was describing. She said, "Odysseus..." My ears perked up at mention of my ancient Greek comrade in adventure. She continued, "...had to avoid these creatures that lured people to their island." I proudly shouted out the answer: "Sirens!"
     Taboo is fun, sure, but it's not my preferred game. What is, you ask? Why, the best game of them all: the Florida Hitchhiking Scavenger Hunt. With the long semester over with, this weekend is the perfect time to play. The goal is to collect as many points as possible, by completing the following missions and avoiding the following danger:

1 point - every car I ride in, need names
(-1 point) - every dollar I spend (exception: if used to lure a girl into kissing me)
5 - every 60 miles travelled
5 - every state line I cross
(-50) - if I mention the hitchhiking scavenger hunt
5 - make someone laugh for 5 seconds straight
5 - everyone I coax into saying "the good ol' days"
5 - everyone I coax into saying "I love-" "-Pac-Man," "-ice cream," or "-Guns N' Roses"
10 - everyone I coax into saying "Press On"
5 - sing festively with a driver to a song
5 - convince someone to drive 100 mph
5 - someone lets me drive his car
(-20) - if I'm in a car accident
10 - tell only lies in a car
10 - speak only quotes in a car
5 - don't speak at all in a car
5 - every driver I call "Johnny"
(-5) - every time someone calls hitchhiking "dangerous"
(-50) - I get mugged
15 - hitch a ride on a boat, motorcycle, or horse
(-5) - a policeman hassles me
5 - play baseball
5 - play with a dog
5 - make a baby smile
(-10) - make a baby cry
5 - every Pacman game I get the high score on
25 - sneak into an amusement park
5 - visit the Treasure Museum in Sebastian
10 - find treasure
10 - find Milo
5 - snorkel in an underwater cave
5 - every beach I visit
5 - bodysurf
5 - swim to an island
10 - swim with a dolphin or manatee
5 - see coral or a lobster or barracuda
10 - see a shark
(-20) - get bit by a shark
20 - every octopus I catch
10 - catch an armadillo
5 - catch a snake 10 - a poisonous snake
(-5) - bit by a snake (-20) - bit by a poisonous snake
5 - catch a turtle
5 - get milk from a cow
5 - get wool from a sheep
15 - see a bison
50 - wrestle a crocodilian
5 - get drunk
5 - every famous person I meet
5 - every model I meet
10 - get a Latin girl to Latin-dance two songs with me
5 - every girl's phone number I get
20 - get someone for "Date of the Week" XIV
(-10) - if the "Date of the Week" program dies
30 - make "Date of the Week" XIV be The One Where I Get A Kiss - or get any other kisses
(-10) - get no kiss
(-10) - if a guy hits on me
10 - someone offers me a meal
15 - someone gives me a place to sleep
10 - sleep outside
5 - eat ice cream simultaneously with 3 other people
10 - play an old person in shuffleboard
5 - learn something about Florida's indians
5 - learn something about Florida's space program
(-5) - someone tries to change my religion
(-50) - if I tarnish the adventuristic purity of the Florida Hitchhiking Scavenger Hunt by calling or purposely meeting up with someone I already have an established relationship with

The goal: 400 big points! Unless...someone wants to compete against me? If you're interested, we can start Friday morning - you head north, I'll head south; we'll rendezvous at noon on Monday in Orlando; loser buys lunch!
     I don't know where I'll end up or what's gonna happen, but if I don't die, it should be fun. As Brendan from Trinidad said, "We don't want to see the Modern Oddyseus become a Pre-historic Oddyseus." All I know is I hope I come across some Sirens along the way!
     I think I speak for both myself and my old chum, that wacky Cyclops-blinding crazy nut of a guy Odysseus, when I say:


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