Schemes active/complete: 32
Money made: £23.78
So it transpires my plot to hustle the Double Dog app (Scheme #125) isn’t as infallible as I’d hoped. If you’ll recall the way to make money from this game is to dare users to perform challenges, be they dangerous, embarrassing or nauseating, staking cash on the odds that they’ll chicken out. They can ‘double dare’ the task back to you, but complete it yourself and you earn double the funds in the pot, usually the head-spinning fortune of $2. I’ve had an unpleasant time with this app thus far between eating banana peel and being embezzled by a one-eyebrowed man, but in my last post reported that I’ve reached the stage whereabouts I can concoct my own dares rather than relying on the pre-written challenges in the Double Dog arsenal. I instantly pitched a dare incredibly specific to myself, namely to skateboard while wearing a sombrero and playing a ukulele, assuming this was a guaranteed win.
Unfortunately what I didn’t realize is that all these custom dares are screened by the app beforehand, and if they seem too impossible they can be flagged. This is precisely what happened to my Mexican-Hawaiian skater submission, and the exact same happened when I replaced ‘sombrero’ with ‘fez’ thinking I could simply switch the ethnicity to Moroccan-Hawaiian.
Frustrated, I settled on more of an inclusive dare which I thought still wouldn’t cause me too much harm, namely to skateboard down a playground slide. I own a skateboard and live a stone’s throw from a children’s playground, not that I ever have thrown stones even when those kids are squealing at a cochlea-shattering pitch just because there’s a set of fucking swings, so it would be an easy enough exercise if it landed back in my lap but not so easy for anyone who doesn’t have a board or who’s blessed with living a decent distance away from a deafening infant meeting point.
The dare was accepted by Double Dog, I sent it out with a $1 wager to test the water, and it promptly befell another player who suddenly found themselves in the sort of quandary I was in when I had an afternoon to make two guitars materialize back in January. Rather than showing my level of resourcefulness and commitment however, they literally sent back a photo of their anus and decried the task done. I can’t believe I worried that my ukulele would be discerned as not guitar-like enough when I completed Robert’s task, while there are players like this just content to moon at the rulebook!
I took this to the Double Dog ‘trial’ which lets public vote determine the outcome of dare disagreements, not that any lawyer in the world could successfully argue that a still image of their client’s backside was actually a video of them skateboarding, and rightly it was settled in my favour. It was my thinking that once a trial went your way the money was yours, but actually it just counts as a ‘double dare’ and so I still had to skateboard down a slide. No matter, I used to skateboard with some success as a teenager, falling down often enough in the process to build up a resistance to smashing my hips and coccyx into tarmac and wood, so the local children’s slide onto astroturf posed no big concern. I told Rowe to follow me to the playground at 9 in the evening and was soon poised at the slide’s summit ready to drop in. Rowe began filming, told me to “go!”, and down I went.
It’s with genuine surprise I report that, two days later, I’m still struggling to walk. I went predictably hurtling down the slide, the board stuck at the bottom and I was bodily flung several feet forward. Years ago this wouldn’t have been an issue; I’d have landed on my hip, rolled a couple times, made a few pantomime moans for the awe-struck audience, brushed myself off, and headed back for a second attempt. But times have changed, parts of my body which used to resemble Playdough have now calcified to be more like K’NEX, and as soon as I landed I knew something was wrong. I instinctively tried to halt my sudden progress with my left foot which couldn’t withstand the momentum of the portly moron behind it, causing my whole left leg to twist unnaturally. Whilst I was expecting a soft thump and a dull ache what I felt was an insanely painful jolt which penetrated right down to the bone.
Rowena’s seen my crude imitations of Jackass before, I lose count of how many shopping trolleys I’ve flown out of in her company, but not for many years and she, like me, thought I was still a lot more malleable. It was only when I couldn’t stop swearing and hopping about that the penny dropped for her too that I’m now 27 not 17 and can’t take a fall like I used to. I hobbled home, clamped a bag of frozen parsnips to my rapidly swelling knee and cursed getting older.
I used this period of immobility to check my emails and see how other schemes were faring. Among the messages came the belated news that I hadn’t won Quora’s $250 Knowledge Prize for answering what ad trends we were likely to see in 2017, an early shot at Scheme #31 which eventually begat Weegy and was performed on the very first day of the project back when I had two working knees and a soul. Despite utterly not expecting to win or indeed hear anything back I still felt a slight flutter of rage at the winner Archie D’Cruz, now quarter of a grand better off just for answering one question when I solved many hundreds for £15.30.
Another surprising contact to hear from – Envisage Promotions whom I signed up with alongside Rent A Mourner for the chance to generate a turnover on low turnout interments (Scheme #27). They didn’t have any funeral seats I’d be paid to fill but instead the opportunity to dress as a jockey and hand out scratchcards and rosettes to strangers in Cheltenham for £10 an hour midweek in March. Whilst obviously that opportunity was massively untempting it was still nice to know they were keeping me in the loop and did actually exist. In a similar vein only much more encouraging was a mail from People for Research with a suspiciously easy proposition – I was anticipating Scheme #13: Endure clinical trials to involve studies on eating nothing but copper for a week or how long I could live without a pancreas, so it was with pleasant intrigue I found they wanted nothing more than a phone call in regards to my credit card use which they were willing to reimburse me £40 for, perfect for paying off the little I owe on that credit card I never use!
Obviously while online I undertook a cheeky Google search for Tesco to nab my daily five pence from Qmee; I have no idea whether I’m exploiting a loophole of this toolbar extension or if this is genuinely the way it’s supposed to work but I’m going to keep expressing a quick interest in Tesco every day until this charity halts.
Bored and trying to distract myself from the pain in my leg I got cracking on a new enterprise as well, Scheme #73: Turn into a quality control agent, or as it’s known on this site, a “looker”. As the wording of the scheme suggests this is specific to one website alone, WeGoLook, which is used to “verify the existence and validate online claims… of classified items on eBay/Craigslist or similar websites”. Essentially you sign up to be a “looker”, and then if someone’s considering buying a car on Gumtree and decides to check out the motor first via WeGoLook you’d be summoned to get to that car and report back with any scratches or imperfections, the state of the tyres, the distance in mm from the road to the bumper, etc. You’re effectively composing a small report to placate the naturally wary before a sale. What I find in equal measures hilarious and fascinating is that as well as automobiles, property and heavy equipment that WeGoLook might send you to photograph and assess, you may also have to scout ahead to check the quality of singletons met on online dating sites; I guess much like noting scuffs on car bodyworks you’d be tasked with counting moles, measuring nose width and so forth, grimly reporting your findings to the client by phone as you evaluated.
There’s a surprisingly stringent sign-up process involving a test, a background check, and just like TaskRabbit (Scheme #77), an ordinance video to sit through followed by questions to ensure you don’t try to skip through like everyone obviously tries to do first time round. Unlike TaskRabbit’s exasperatingly spirited narrator James who thought everything was cool and awesome, WeGoLook utilize this nameless smug pleb to talk at you for three quarters of an hour:
Much like the condescending dickhead pictured above I am now a #looker, and await my first #looking assignment. Whilst better than TaskRabbit in that WeGoLook seems to spread itself over more of the UK than just London, I have the nasty feeling that both apps are going to sit impotently on my already overcrowded phone shrugging their shoulders and announcing “no jobs near you!” until the day I decry this project over. That said I didn’t think an extras agency I signed up for to pretend to cry at a stranger’s casket would be asking me to visit the Cotswolds dressed as a jockey, and I also thought I could skateboard down a slide, so what do I know?
By now the parsnips on my knee had reached room temperature so I retired to bed with an aim to sleep, couldn’t due to the pain, devoured some ibuprofen and co-codamol and eventually fell into fever dreams tortured by visions of finding £20 notes on the street and growing over 6 inches of hair to sell. I was late to work because I didn’t account for my limping to the bus stop being one tenth the speed of my regular no-nonsense march, and at the insistence of my coworkers who were pained at the sight of me lamely tottering to and from the pub at lunch I actually checked into A&E come afternoon.
Although this doesn’t yet feel like the most mental project I’ve ever done I believe this is the first ever hospitalization by a project, so that’s quite exciting. After an eternal wait I was diagnosed with a torn meniscus, bandaged up over my work trousers for bizarre reasons, and then discharged to wait for the bus home, the ticket of which came to more than the $2 I earned from the dare.
Scheme #125 is administering a thoroughly proper hiding at the moment, but I have found a profitable dare I can do which doesn’t involve a hospital trip. I created the custom dare ‘Throw a cactus into the air and catch it’, it was rapidly double dared back to me by a clearly cactus-less Frederik, and with the help of some gloves I performed this challenge swiftly and safely for a 2 buck reward.
This, then, may be the dare I use to rinse Double Dog and finally generate some well-earned revenue from this scheme, although knowing my luck I’ll probably be back to Bournemouth hospital in a week with a cactus spine skewering my bollocks.