The First HasPro Contest. Teams were given an insanely difficult challenge: hanging upside down, using a gun that requires two hands to use (the Nerf N-Strike Maverick, a popular foam dart gun based off of single-action revolvers), and given no more than three seconds before shots to reload, acquire a new target, and fire at a 9"x12" target some 10 - 15 feet away -- sometimes through obstructing playground equipment.
This was so challenging that many contestants failed to hit a single target -- good contestants, who could wow you on a more conventional test of their skill. Mad props to Daniel from Max Palevsky, who nailed four out of five possible targets!
The Chili Pepper Taste Test. Judge Julian and I worked together to create this item. Contestants had five minutes, a pile of wings, and plenty of whole milk with which to distinguish six mystery chili pepper sauces from each other. The burn got so intense that they mistook bell peppers (0 Scovilles) for habañeros (100,000 - 200,000 Scovilles), but they bravely soldiered on, even enjoying the sauces. Shout out to Julian for making the sauces, and GASH's Zach Binney for convincing me he was ready for the fabled Ghost Jolokia pepper.
The Murder Mystery. This item was being written up to the very last minute. At the end, I decided to use the confusion somewhat to my advantage. Rather than scripting everything, I gathered some of our best actors (Judge Joel is actually a professional actor in New York film, theater, and voicework!), gave them character sketches, some basic attitudes toward the others, wound them up, and let them go.
The results were fantastic. My players wove fantastic stories, dropping tons of details both relevant and irrelevant, truth and lies. Only very rarely did they actually wander so far off message that I had to issue some corrections -- and then only because I hadn't prepared them. We've got one correct solution already (Mad props to Blintstone!)
The Die Hard Improv Skits. By popular demand, I enclose the complete list:
1 Hollywood veteran John McClane must sing his way through a back lot full of terrorists in...
Dyin' Hard in the Rain
2 Wrongly accused cop John McClane double cross-dresses a bus full of terrorists in...
Some Like It Die Hard
3 Free-spirited mental patient John McClane out-crazies a hospital full of terrorists in...
One Died Hard Over the Cuckoos Nest (pass)
4 Earnest scout leader John McClane navigates a bill past a Senate full of terrorists in...
Mr. Smith Goes to Die Hard (S/H)
5 Headstrong everyman John McClane deals with his wife's family full of terrorists in...
A Streetcar Named Die Hard (pass)
6 Beleaguered prince John McClane protects eight hostages from a castle full of terrorists in...
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Die Hard
7 Young German soldier John McClane loses faith in a war full of terrorists in...
All Die Hard on the Western Front
8 Lakota blood-brother John McClane finds his allegiances split in an Old West full of terrorists in...
Die Hard with Wolves (Breck)
9 Star-crossed lover John McClane endures anti-Irish prejudice from his fiancee's family full of terrorists in...
Guess Whos Coming to Die Hard
10 Alien visitor John McClane looks for a reason not to kill an Earth full of terrorists in...
The Day the Earth Died Hard (Blintstone)
13 Likable high schooler John McClane takes the day off in a Chicago full of terrorists in...
Ferris Bueller Dies Hard (MacPierce)
12 Dying Latin teacher John McClane reflects on a career teaching generations full of terrorists in...
Die Hard, Mr. Chips (pass)
11 Jaded lawyer John McClane finds the holiday spirit in defending Kris Kringle in a show trial full of terrorists in...
Die Hard on 34th Street (B-J)
14 Antique dealer John McClane runs afoul of hoodoo forces at a Savannah graveyard full of terrorists in...
Midnight in the Garden of Die Hard
15 Retired British spymaster John McClane is called back to ferret out the moles in an MI6 full of terrorists in...
Tinker Tailor Soldier Die Hard (Max P)
16 Shadowy crime lord John McClane spins a tall tale about plan gone awry aboard a ship full of terrorists in...
The Usual Die Hard (GASH)
17 Faithful collie John McClane escapes his new Scottish manor home and braves the long trek back to his young master through a Highlands full of terrorists in...
Die Hard Come Home! (pass)
18 English lord and near-feral savage John McClane readjusts to European society after living on an island full of terrorists in...
Die Hard the Ape Man (pass)
11 12 Angry Die Hards (pass)
2 No Country for Die Hard (pass)
3 The Good the Bad and Die Hard (pass)
4 Die Hard of the Opera (B-J)
5 Romeo and Die Hard (Blintstone)
6 Die Hard with the Wind (pass)
7 A Streetcar named Die Hard (pass)
8 The Silence of the Die Hard (S/H)
9 Citizen Die Hard (MacPierce)
10 Little Miss Die Hard (GASH)
1 Die Hard on the Moon
12 Good Night and Die Hard
13 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Die Hard (pass)
14 Saving Private Die Hard (pass)
15 My Dinner with Die Hard (pass)
16 O Die Hard, Where art Thou? (I-House)
17 An Inconvenient Die Hard
18 Eat. Pray. Die Hard. (pass)
19 Crazy. Stupid. Die Hard. (pass)
20 Die Hard and the Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked (pass)
21 The Seven Die Hard Itch (pass)
22 2001: A Die Hard (pass)
23 The Die Hard Clause (Breck)
24 The Great Muppet Die Hard (pass)
25 A Die Hard to Remember (pass)
26 There Will Be Die Hard
27 The Princess Die Hard (Max P)