What Is GISH to a Random Acts Staffer?

Random Acts Writing Manager Becky goes “couch surfing” for GISH 2017

GISH is the unlikely marriage of chaos and kindness.

GISH is that feeling when you are standing at the end of a tall diving board, your toes wrapping around it’s sandpaper edge, fear and excitement curling in your belly.

GISH is a time traveler. Suddenly ten minutes is just long enough to accomplish an improbable task that leaves you covered in glitter and recounting “…it seemed like a good idea at the time!”

GISH is that encouraging yet esoteric friend that whispers in your ear, “This is sure to cause unreasonable pain and suffering, but the glory will be worth it.”

Simply put, GISH is total nonsense. But as Willy Wonka once said, “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”

(And then he turned a girl into a blueberry, which is not unlike an item you would see on the GISH hunt list.)

But mostly, GISH is a way for thousands of people, including two separate teams composed of Random Acts staff, to take a week to celebrate the absurdity of life. From August 1-8, 2020 GISHers from every corner of the globe compete (or play for the fun of it) in an enormous scavenger hunt. (Some may even say, the greatest.)

Items include ways to challenge your personal fears, and fantastical crafts made of garbage and food. Some may require you to know someone who knows someone who knows someone with a chunk of meteor. Or to tap into some quiet place inside of you, underutilized but full of creativity. And then there are the personal favorite items of the Random Acts staff – ways to make the world a better, kinder place.

There are many things that GISH is. The one thing it is not? Predictable.

By Becky Houseman

[Author’s note: This short essay was written to complete GISH 2020 Hunt item #43.]