Contestant: 16-year-old male.
Mission: To Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast the family Great Dane while your Parental Units are in Washington DC on a five day “business” trip.
Forage for Food. Open the cupboard and study the three packages of Chicken flavored Ramen noodles. Note the two cans of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup behind them. Close cupboard.
Generate Flame. Try in vain to turn on the front burner. Get the Scripto lighter from that drawer near the silverware. Don’t burn mom’s blue Le Creuset!
Gather Bedding. Pick up the pile of blankets from the dusty floor. Stab at your fitted sheet with two extended fingers. Try to find your second pillow under the mound of dirty laundry.
First Challenge: Walk the 120-pound puppy without a leash because you can’t find the fucking leash. Tuck your hand in her collar and wonder if the red marks around your interphalangeal joints will ever go away.
Initiate Communication with the Outside World. Dial the Parental Units and hear them laughing on the other end of the phone as they drink afternoon Mojitos in a Georgetown cafe. Tell them you did not turn your cell phone off last night but rather left it on the charger so it would be ready when they called. Bite the inside of your cheek to keep from laughing.
Second Challenge: Cut the tall grass in the wet backyard using the old Sears mower with last year’s dull blade and broken roller chain.
Forage for Food. Eat a large bowl of Sugar Corn Pops for dinner. Drink the leftover milk from the bottom of the bowl. For dessert, whip up a nice bowl of Fruit Loops.
Combat Extreme Temperatures. Open all of the windows to different heights to allow for a breeze.
Combat Sudden Weather. Use large turquoise pool towel to wipe the water from all of the windowsills after the unexpected torrential rainfall.
Forage for Food. Heat up your last can of soup. Shake the bag of Doritos and the bag of Cheese Curls into a bowl. Call the Great Dane into the room to Hoover up remaining crumbs and Dorito dust.
Third Challenge. Can you locate the jar of pimento-stuffed olives amidst the other refrigerator condiments?
Receive Communication From the Outside World. Explain to your Parental Units that the reason you didn’t hear your cell phone ringing yesterday was because the lawn mower was super loud – but in no way did you turn your phone off at any point. Pinch your left forearm to keep from giggling.
Forage for Food. Open all of the cupboards. Let your hand skip over the boxes of Couscous and the cans of whole tomatoes. Leave cupboard doors open. Ride your bike to the food co-op and ask the cold cuts lady to prepare you a Corned Beef on Rye. With mustard and cheese. Charge to the family’s account.
Fourth Challenge. Clean Great Dane vomit from the Oriental rug using a roll of paper towels and a bottle of Windex. Move potted palm over permanent stain – they’ll never notice!
Wrestle with Nature. Unwrap a Raid Ant Trap and place it on your bureau top. Marvel at the way hundreds of suckers march in but they don’t come out.
Scavenger Hunt Challenge. Find rope in the basement to act as the new leash. Find a jar of cornichons in the pantry to act as the new olive.
Dramatic Reunion Show. Meet family at the top of the driveway. Try not to act relieved.