In 2008, my bachelor party (planned by Gina and four of my other closest friends) was an 80s Prom entitled “Like a Virgin.” It came complete with DJ, decorations, catering, and friends dressed in period fashions – with hair to match. Plus, the DJ was actually a karaoke emcee, and all of the 80s tunes were sung by my friends and I.
Now, I am more than a little competitive. Not in the playing sports, head-to-head, high score kinda of way. I could care less, but not by much.
No, my style of competitive is “anything you can do I can do better.” Like, my blog is the longest running in Philadelphia, or I have the most expansive guide to collecting X-Men on the internet, or when Bruno Mars tracks came out for Rock Band 3 I wouldn’t let bro go to bed until we had 100% and were ranked in the top 30 internationally of all harmony vocalists.
Thus, when I was charged with planning Gina’s bachelorette party along with her best friends Kelly (a chemist in Belgium) and Mikki (an architecht & non-profit organizer in Seattle), I had something to prove. I had to conceive of the most memorable, most epic, and most fitting Bachelorette Adventure possible without actually having Gina go on tour with Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.
My first impulse was to plan something with music and the 80s, but… surprise! Gina had already won the “Best Party Ever” designation in that category.
As Kelly, Mikki, and I talked about it over the course of several months, we kept coming back to a “this is your life” tour through Philadelphia landmarks. It was a cool idea, but didn’t sound fun. There’s your house! There’s your high school! Isn’t this awesome!?
We kept talking. What if it was a City Chase version, with special clues and teams racing the city? Cooler, but not the best format for celebrating around a single person. But, what if each location held a special challenge for the team – half Amazing Race, half Double Dare?
Now we were getting somewhere. We picked some locations and made up a few challenges. It was sounding somewhat entertaining, but not EPIC. It was lacking a grand scale and a clear theme, other than walking around Philly for eight hours.
Then, I had a not-rare-but-not-nearly-common-enough stroke of mad genius while idly humming one of Gina’s Arcati Crisis songs, “Fisher Price,” which goes a bit like this…
There comes a time when you realize
That you don’t get anymore chances
There’s no extra lives
You don’t get big from a magic mushroom
And you don’t find coins in an underground room.
My epiphany? Gina’s Bachelorette Adventure would be a video game. A real life video game that was part Super Mario Brothers, part Grand Theft Auto, and part live-action role playing game – all with Gina’s favorite parts of Philadelphia as its world map.
It sounded suitably epic, but would it make any sense to Kelly and Mikki… or to Gina and the 20 friends she asked us to invite?
Tune in for the next installment to hear how our motley trio planned to turn Philadelphia into a massive game board, and how having crafty and artist co-conspirators elevated my insanity to a whole new level.