Not for the faint of stomach.

You may remember my blog post from last year about Monster Mash, a Halloween tradition five years running. Monster Mash is an alley cat bike race around the city which lasts three hours and ends with an after party and a lot of smelly, dirty people.

Last year, I only had the pleasure of attending the after party at the Amber Room, but this year, I was able to observe the alley cat race, too. Let me tell you – I had NO idea what I’d been missing.

Here’s essentially how the race works, from a laywoman’s perspective. It’s like a game of Monopoly. Riders (about 60 this year) gather together at a starting point. They are handed a manifest with eight (or so) locations on it, scattered throughout the city, and they must check in at each location at least once before the end of the race. A rider rolls dice, and the number that comes up determines to which checkpoint he/she needs to ride. Once the rider reaches the checkpoint, he/she checks in, and then has the option to complete challenges to receive extra “money.” Then, the rider rolls dice again before leaving the checkpoint, determining to which location the rider will travel next. There are multiple ways to “win” the race, including having the fastest time and having the most Monopoly money.

Those who are desperate for money will inevitably end up doing things they’ll regret in the harsh light of the following day.

I was stationed at checkpoint 6, somewhere off of Capitol St., with Bryan and a few of his friends.

Bryan and Oreo

A couple of Bryan’s friends, experts after running checkpoints for the previous four Monster Mashes, arrived at our checkpoint with bags of equipment for rider challenges.

Canned fish. Cottage cheese + pickle juice. Shaving cream. Peanut butter. Eggs. Various condiments. Hot sauce. Clams. Mouse traps.

The race started, and so did the challenges. I’ll spare you the disgusting details, for as gross as the challenges were at the time, they seem 1,000 times grosser out of context. You’d probably lock me in a room somewhere for the entire month of October next year, just so I didn’t participate in something like this ever again.

Let’s just say, lots of people got lots of stuff smashed into their faces. Someone got slapped with a handful of peanut butter. Hot sauce was poured in places it should never go. Part of some guy’s beard was shaved off, and the other part was soaked in fish juice. Someone got $10,000 for completing a challenge involving his own feces.

Tom got antiqued with flour.

At the end of the three-hour race, the parking lot that housed checkpoint 6 was coated with… well, everything.

Poor oblivious Bryan, who always found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, was also coated with stuff. And he lost his ketchup cap.

After the race, everyone met at Joe’s Cycles in Fountain Square for awards and the after party. The after-after party happened at Bryan’s house, where his roommates and their friends happened upon glow sticks and confetti. At one point, Bryan’s skin was completely glowing in the dark.

(Should he be concerned about glow stick toxins?)

Unfortunately (maybe fortunately) no pictures exist from the after-after party, as far as I know. We were left the next morning with only our memories. And confetti. So much confetti.

Am I getting too old for this?

Regardless, it was a very fun, very messy weekend. Wow.

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