Thursday, September 29, 2005


Giveaway of CRAP (Part 1)

Okay, folks, here it is. Welcome to

MM's First Annual Giveaway of Crap!



The premise is simple, but the rules (such as they are) may get a little complicated, so bear with me.

First, and to make myself perfectly clear: I am giving away a random assortment of (generally) cool items from my incredible basement of crap.

These items will be free for the taking.
Your money is no good here.
There are a few strings attached...
...But absolutely no sexual favors expected.

Shortly, I will be listing the items here--with pictures. If you see something you like, make a claim for it in the comments section. You can also email me, if you prefer, but understand that I may use pertinent parts of your message in a future blog entry (if you don't want people to know your name, tell me and I will make up a suitable alias for you). Items will be up for grabs for about a week or so.

All I'm asking you to do is the following:

1. When you make a claim for an item or cluster of items, tell me what you'd be willing to do in return for the item(s). This is not to prove that you're deserving of free stuff. It's more a matter of paying it forward. Since you will know what it means to feel the unexpected pleasure that comes from getting something cool for free, you will now have a certain responsibility to pass that feeling along to others. Think of it as depositing a little karma in the bank.

(And by the way, if memory serves, that part was Thimbelle's idea, so don't thank me. Thank her. Or blame her. Either one.)

2. You can do anything you desire, so long as it's well-intentioned, is likely to make someone else happy (including me), and won't harm you or anyone else. At intervals, I will post entries detailing who has put a claim on which items and what they're willing to do for those items (hereafter called a bid). In the event that more than one person puts in a claim for the same item, I will be the final judge of who gets the item. My decision will be based on how appropriate and interesting I think someone's bid is. By appropriate I mean in the spirit of the item being offered.

For example, if you want my old Mego Mr. Spock action figure and are willing to give away toys on a street corner in return, that's pretty cool. But giving away Star Trek toys on a street corner may be judged appropriate. Offering to give away Star Trek toys while dressed as an Orion slave girl--and then posting pictures of you doing it--would be both appropriate AND interesting, especially if your name is Naiah or J.Sto, and would be awfully hard to beat.

(Unless you were perhaps dressed as an Orion slave BOY. Shane? AJ?)

3. If you feel someone else has made a bid more interesting than yours, you are free to "up" your bid, to augment whatever it is you'd be willing to do.

4. Remember, this is in good fun and we're all friends here. Don't get carried away competing with one another. And don't worry about whether or not your bid is impressive enough. I'm a weird guy, and there's no telling what will impress me. Walking the dog for a bedridden neighbor might win you your item. Committing to spend the next week letting other drivers into your lane (instead of driving aggressively so they can't cut in) might do it too. Be creative. Have fun.

If you don't get the item you wanted, I promise you'll get something (you did SEE how vast my basement of crap was, right?), so don't fret: everyone who participates will get something.

5. One more thing: once you get the item, you're on your honor to fulfill your bid, to do the thing you promised to do, preferably by the end of the year.

How will I know you've done it? Because you're going to blog about it (obviously, the more creative and interesting your bid is, the better blog material you'll have). If you don't have a blog, you're going to email me a little story about what you did, and then I'm going to post it on my blog so people can see how cool you really are.

Yes, I will email you to remind you of this. And depending on how much your follow-up blog entry or story amuses me, I may send you even cooler free crap. Why? Because I said so.

So look at that: you get free stuff AND you get an instant idea for generating blog content. It's win-win.

6. If there's any requirement, it's that you'll need to email me a mailing address (I will not publish your address on my blog nor anywhere else, nor will I sell it to skeevy marketing people). I will use that address only to mail your item, which I will do from Ohio, the next time I go to visit my in-laws. Items will be sent by regular mail, without delivery confirmation or insurance or even a valid return address. I will pay all postage, including international postage, and will contact you as soon as the item is on the way.

I guess I better have a few disclaimers, so here they are:

--Although most everything I'm giving away is appropriate for all ages, if you are under 18 (Twinkie, Flip, you listening?), please get the permission of a parent or guardian. As in, they will need to contact me to confirm that, yes, it's okay for me to send you, say, the big pile of manga or Harry Potter stuff. In fact, I will insist on sending the items to the attention of your parent or guardian so they can examine the items first to confirm for themselves that I'm not some wacko (or that, at least, I'm a nice wacko).

--Items are not guaranteed to be in mint condition, or even necessarily in working order. If you don't like that, I'll give you your money back.

--In the unlikely event that you receive an item that somehow leads you to uncover my identity, you are permitted to email me with one guess, which I will confirm or deny. If you are correct, you must pinky-swear never to reveal my identity and in return you will be bribed regularly with all manner of signed books and other free stuff. Guesses posted in comments will be promptly deleted, whether accurate or not.

--My dad likes to say that opportunity knocks once, but temptation leans on the doorbell. If after taking advantage of this opportunity you are tempted to sell the item I've given you--say on eBay--know this: I understand the temptation, but I expect you to resist it. Selling items I've freely given for your own personal gain is most definitely NOT in the spirit of this endeavor, and if you think I won't find out, you may have another think coming. Beyond incurring my wrath, though, you have to ask yourself: Do you really want that kind of bad karma hanging over you?

--When in doubt, just email me. Every rule has an exception. If you want to sell the item I gave you and give the money to an animal shelter, that's a pretty good exception.

--If you don't like this whole giveaway idea, or you think it's a big, fat hassle, I won't blame you one bit for choosing not to participate, but don't waste your time telling me about it. The "next blog" button is up there to the right of your screen. Have a nice day. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Oof, that's a lot, isn't it? Okay, here's the quick-start version:

--If you want it, tell me what you'll do for it.

--Want it more than someone else? Counter-bid!

--Everyone gets something.

--As long as you send me an address.

--Once you get it, do what you promised.

--Once you do what you promised, blog about it or email me about it.

--Have fun.

Links to Waves 1 and 2 are posted. Have at it!

From Somewhere on the Masthead

What do you want for the dog?
I'm revving my engines and praying that dried up play-doh is going to be on the list.
Hell yeah!!! THIS is what I've been waiting for. Bring it on.

And yeah, I'm really jealous you wrote Naiah a poem. My heart is broken. Don't even try to make it up to me, cuz you can't. Unless you send me the Millennium Falcon of course *doe eyes*

And in return I'll put my cat on a diet, perhaps elongating his life in order to provide me with blog content for many years to come (although it won't be as funny or cute if he's not as fat) - will that make you happy?
I'm so excited. It's like Christmas and Halloween wrapped up in a noodle.
Bring. It. On. What if I say I'll "let" you put some of my own writing, after editing, in this mysterious magazine? ;) J/K...kind of.

Seriously though, sounds like a LOT of fun. Can't wait!
Amazing. I love it but I'm sure HLS is thrilled that you have managed to turn cleaning out the basement into a freakish internet game show. I also assume that she's not going to want you to exchange any of your wonderful crap for new wondeful crap. That's too bad. I have some really interesting sports collectibles. Hmmm. Must blog about that with some pictures.
I am so all about random crap - particularly someone else's random crap(!) - I'm prepping myself for either self-imposed embarrassment (although in all fairness, I live in San Francisco - people don't stop to stare at much) or...something even more interesting. I'm practically doing the dance with the stirring motion in my chair.
I am so totally in.

(prays for fencing equipment)
I'm in.

But only to restore my good name which has been sullied by this outrageous Orion Slave Boy allegation.

So, I shave my body. What of it?
Ooooo... I'm so excited at the prospect of acquiring someone else's crap! I'm brainstorming now for things I can do to pay it forward.

Don't worry MM, I'm sure thousands will participate... actually, that could be a worry all on its own.
One word: brilliant.
Wow! Anansi Boys signed?!? You've just turned me into that little kid in the store, eyes huge, lips quivering, coveting what she can't have.

What am I willing to do? Well there's the thing called Christmas in October, wherein people build houses for the needy. Two problems: a. I'm not handy, and b. This year my entire family-in-law is participating. Including the dreaded sister-in-law who calls my house a zoo (three rescued furballs), who climbs social ladders faster than Britney Spears drops her pants, who licks her fingers and adjusts her husband's hair in public, has monogrammed EVERYTHING in her home, and yes, who sat me at the reject table at her wedding. But for you, MM, and for my beloved Gaiman (who introduced me to you, after all), I'll not only gladly work my weekend away building houses for the needy, but I'll do it without eye rolls, snarky thoughts, and whispered complaints to my husband about his family and the she-dragon. Whew. That was just exhausting to write.

Please just sign me Kat, as the family STILL hasn't forgiven me for the time when I called her The Puppet an e-mail my husband accidentally forwarded to the entire family.


P.S. Did you attend the big beautiful grad school on the lake in Illinois? As a fellow J-school graduate, I just hadta ask.
An addendum to drive home the appropriateness of this offer: Anansi Boys is about family, even the truly painful members of the clan. I'm prepared to immerse myself in this pain for the good of others. And to up the ante? I'll even wear a shirt to this event with the words "I love Magazine Man" or "I love Neil Gaiman," whichever you prefer. And I'll send pictures to prove it!
Okay MM, I bid for the "Christmas Story" family figurines set... I once worked in a video store where people would come in and ask for something funny to watch - of which I of course offered up the tale of those Bumpass Hounds and a Chinese food thanksgiving... only drawback? 75 percent of the viewers wanted their accounts credited for a really bad suggestion by "that guy who only works weekends...yeah the one with the earrings...".
To secure my bid I will: either recite the "Fragile.... it's Ital-ian" monologue at my family Christmas gathering this year... I'm sure much to the amusement of my family and in-laws who havent seen me in a long time... just burst out of nowhere and do it..... heheheh or; I could donate another pic to the Boobie Thon so that Shane will pony up another 15.00 to charity? your choice, Doug.
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