Major League Scavenger Hunt & Pub Crawl
There’s party people and then there’s some that need a little push.
For both kinds of socializers, the California League of Adult Scavenger Hunters (CLASH) offers the prospect of Saturday night adventures, misbehavings and antics that are hard to match.
Every week, the winter social league gathers friend and soon-to-be-friends in a bar and sets them out to the neighborhood to complete challenges that force you to interact with strangers or act out on your own. You may find yourself embracing a bearded stranger, rubbing elbows with a bartender at the Elbo Room, doing the Macarena dance or swapping clothes with a Mariachi band.
Week One was Mission Mayhem and FunCheapSF checked it out firsthand so we’d be sure it was worth it. Simply put: if you want to have good stories to tell and meet tons of people then, yeah, you pretty much have to go.
CLASH: California League of Adult Scavenger Hunters
Saturdays in January and February. 9 pm to midnight. Location changes.
COST: $5.15 if you pre-pay online. $10 if you don’t
It is an adult league. Besides being set in bars, it presupposes having acquired certain, um, skillset. Unclear on the difference between chugging a beer and shotgunning one? Brush up. You should also know how to take a body shot, what a tramp stamp is and how Captain Morgan likes to pose.
HOW IT WORKS:
- You show up by yourself, with a date or with pals and they put you on a team with 5-7 others.
- Bring a camera (there’s usually at least one person who brings one.)
- There’s time for a drink to get to know each other and get psyched up.
- Then the hunt begins: your team has 60 minutes to perform as many of the challenges as possible, scavenging and taking photos along the way as proof.
- When time ends you meet at the rendez-vous and hand in your camera.
- The photos are projected and the judges give points.
- The winning team is determined and awarded a prize.
- There’s often drinking games organized to celebrate. Cheers all around.
What sets this apart from a regular night of bar hopping is purpose. You hop along not because of a planned circuit or to put X number of saloons under your belt (the 12 bars of Christmas were punishing, not to mention hollow and completely unchristian) but because you’re on a mission. As unholy as it might be or as annoyed as other patrons might get, the sense of hurried purpose during the hour-long search is satisfying. So much so that winning the big prize (CLASH t-shirts) isn’t all that important.
However cliched, it’s true: it’s not about reaching the destination, it’s about the journey. You want to win? Be bold, bringing out your sexy, daring-do, daredevil self. It’s not like you’re breaking laws and, who knows, you might get a phone number or two for your troubles.
Let go of your inhibitions
What’s the point of socializing at all? At its most basic, it’s couple-up and copulate.
In fact, the most successful teams at CLASH are undoubtedly not just the boldest (hell, not one team managed to feed a donut to a cop) but the sexiest. Everyone pulled off the sexy pose in front of the
Laundromat mission, but those who showed some skin, even, sadly, their hairy butt cracks, got extra points. Eating a bacon dog, one mouth at each end, is nice but making out at the Make-Out Room (worth 4 points) is hotter.
Word for the wise: pace yourself. You’ll be doing plenty of drinking during and after the hunt so don’t feel obliged to arrive “plastered” (in the immortal words of one attendee.)
A night for all
Unlike, say, Thursday’s NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences, you won’t feel out of place if you come alone, if only because you won’t be alone for long. You can prim up if you want but don’t be surprised if you end up speckled with whip cream (not that CLASH is anything like a hazing). It’s a little physical but nothing you need to be an athlete for.
It’s perfect for newcomers particularly because one of the first questions people ask when meeting you is “what neighborhood are you from?” In a city where locals gauge one another based on geography (and natives by elementary schools attended—apparently a big deal) it makes you feel more SFist to stand tall as a
Mission resident (“I heard that’s where it was at”), an Outer Sunset outcast (“the year-round fog’s depressing but the beach is right there”) or a Marina devotee (“sure, it’s full of pricks but I feel safe there.”) In fact, each season’s CLASH Cup is given out based on the neighborhoods of members of the winning team.
Even though it’s a league in name, there are few of the usual restrictions. You can sign up online at the discount rate of $5.15 until Friday at midnight or else show up and pay ten bucks. You don’t have to go every week, just when you want to. You can do the whole season or show up once. The teams change every week but if you want to be on the same team as your pal that’s cool.
How it began
Captain Joe, the co-founder with pal Courageous Carl, started CLASH because he enjoys a rousing Saturday night out and got tired of stressing out over whether his plans would live up to his expectations or not. So he took a page from sports leagues and created his own Saturday night party fit for the winter months.
As CLASH moves on in its Sophomore season, choice of venue is going to become more and more important. In the first season about 30 people showed up every night; on January 15th there were 70 of us out there. It’s going to get big. There were whispers of complaints that the Week 1 venue Royal Cuckoo was too cramped but, especially on a busy Saturday night, it’s a challenge to find a place that isn’t too crowded to begin with.
Joe and Carl, along with facilitators Kamikaze Kate and Titillating Tom (whom you’ll meet) have a good thing going with CLASH, embracing the bond-making aspects of sports league while stripping away the restrictions and adding enough sexed-up fun and intrigue to please anyone.
CLASH Season II Schedule: (Check the site for updated locations and changes)
JAN 22: The Treacherous Tendernob
Rendez-vous Point: Fly Bar at 1085 Sutter St
JAN 29: North Beach Brouhaha
Rendez-vous Point: Bamboo Hut at 479 Broadway
FEB 5: Mid-season break
FEB 12: Way Downtown
Rendez-vous Point: TBD
FEB 19: Inner Richmond Antics
Rendez-vous Point: Irelands 32, 3920 Geary Blvd.
FEB 26: Marina Madness
Rendez-vous Point: TBD
MAR 5: CLASH Cup
Rendez-vous Point: TBD
About the Cup: Individuals on the team are awarded points towards the neighborhood or suburb they live in. These add up on the CLASH leaderboard and dictate which hood will compete for the CLASH Cup at the end of the season.
Categories: Event, San Francisco