From the Magic Circle Jerk - September 22nd, 2005
The Least Interesting Thread Post-Contest Wrap-Up
This isn't as complete as it could be, but I just don't have the time to write up about every thing that went on during the contest so some of my favorite stories and posts are going to be left out. I'll just have to save them for the MCJ book that's coming out which is going to chronicle the life of this site from behind the scenes including full text of all the legal threats and hate-mail that I've received over the last two years. I'm kidding, there is no book. I just said that to freak some people out.
So here then, are some of my own personal highlights of The Least Interesting Thread contest.
The first submission and the first thread to be deleted:
Mattisdx's thread with a title that was something like: Ungimmicked handcuffs for sale, $599.99
It wouldn't have counted anyway because it was in a restricted section.
Words used to describe this contest in e-mails to me (and how many times they were used)
Great (12), pure genius (3), a blast, brilliant (8), glorious, inspired, ingenious(3), awesome, the best, fantastic, sweet, killer, diabolical
A few of the threads people thought were in the contest, but weren't:
Things that I liked the best about the contest.
That people who were in on it and people who weren't in on it were interacting in the same threads and the people who weren't in on it didn't seem to notice that anything was awry.
That threads were started and conversations were had about non-existent people and places.
That a community of saboteurs arose.
Some of my favorite posts because they were so dumb:
The other day, I was walking around in the park when a family asked me to take their picture. I did, and we got to talking, and they found out I'm a magician. I had a deck of cards on me, and ended up giving them an impromptu show. They liked it so much, they bought me lunch at the concession stand. That was a tasty tip!
(Timmy had a lot of dumb posts. This is my favorite of his.)
The Jordan Malfreed Saga
A guy going by the username JordanMalfreed had a pretty good strategy.
First, he made this post in the "Oldies...but goodies" section of the Cafe which was a favorite section for people in this contest. (You'll notice that this post has the only overt reference to the contest during the contest by Tyler Wilson.)
He then went and posted messages on about 50 other threads in the Oldies…but goodies section which pushed his thread off the first page. Very clever. But the Café doesn't like it when you start posting a lot, they get suspicious. So they deleted most of his posts, whether they had reason to or not. I don't know if they knew exactly what was going on, but poor Jordan's strategy was blown.
You can read the PMs between Jordan and the "Chief of Staff" Dave Scribner here.
(I think) This is the only thread in the contest that seemed so legit that it didn't get any replies.
I read somewhere in an old issue of Genii Magazine that there is an early version of the Zombie Ball done by Howard Thurston, in which the gimmick was constructed so that it could be performed using a partly transparent foulard. I don't care so much for the info on the prop or the maker so much as actually possessing it. If anyone owns the gimmick, I am willing to buy it for a high price. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have such a gimmick as soon as possible. Thank you.
Things people wrote to me in e-mail that made me happy:
I'm a simple man. I'm happy when other people are having a good time so I was very happy to receive a lot of e-mails from people saying how much they were enjoying themselves. Here are some of the things that it pleased me to hear during the course of the contest...
"Love the blog, the laughs I've had looking for entries to the latest contest on the cafe made the hours at work fly by."
"Pete Biro is merrily joining in with spoof threads as if they're genuine ... the sad old fool ... or maybe he's one of your agents ... only you know!!!!"
"Congrats on the funniest contest ever. I am laughing so hard from the posts I'm crying."
"What I found most fascinating of all was that I would browse through and find threads which were obviously and blatantly competition entries yet when I looked they were actually started sometime before the competition began, like one in the "thats funny" forum about pulling a worm out of the ground."
Before the winner actually went ahead and did donate his winnings to the Hurricane Katrina fund, I received this idea in an e-mail…
I thought of a way to win the competition, I was going to write a post `Magic Circle Jerk competition, don't read this and I'll donate the $50 to Katrina fund'.
I thought that was a pretty good idea, but it probably wouldn't have worked.
My personal favorite saboteur
There were a lot of people who made me laugh with their follow-up posts to obvious contest entries, but Asper's stuff was really brilliant.
The Most Popular Least Popluar Thread
Of the threads that were registered for the contest, the one that got the highest score (the most popular one) was this idiotic idea by Jon Townsend:
I like that trick. A lot. Late last night it hit me that it might be possible to make the thing MORE mysterious if the coins could appear SILENTLY. So before plunking down a hundred dollars just to get started I figured to ask here if someone has gotten the thing to work with their silver shifter? I have no problem doing a switch our AFTER the appearances, and might even go for a mirror glass in the method somewhere, BUT I still NEED the coins to appear in SILENCE.
An interesting experiment
This a great experiment because it has a control built into it. Here's the exact same thread posted twice.
One reply, not much help.
A whole bunch of replies, still not much help.
Why hasn't Brooks deleted the winning thread?
There are two possibilities here.
1. He's using it as bait to bring out MCJ fans and then ban them all at once.
2. Maybe he realizes that this contest was ultimately harmless and fun and he's not that mad about it. There was a time, when there were only a couple magic blogs, that any reference to a blog on the Cafe would get deleted. I don't know that they can keep up that tactic anymore. So maybe he decided that he's got to pick his battles and not get worked up over every little thing. I hope that's the case. He might think that by not responding to the contest and not banning people or deleting posts that he will be taking ammunition away from me. I don't need ammunition. This site will thrive with or without Brooks acting like a douchebag.