Tagged: cactus

How dare they

Day 50
Schemes active/complete: 32
Money made: £23.84

Good news and bad news since my last injurious blog post, plus the usual smattering of anodyne admin news.

The bad news is unshockingly related to what has definitely become my least favourite of the money making schemes so far, the Double Dog dare app for Scheme #125. For one, I’m still slithering up and down stairs at a pensioner’s pace thanks to the torn left knee my skateboard dare resulted in – admittedly the aftercare I’m administering is a little lax, as I stopped bandaging it up after the first day because the dressings were too itchy, and it’s doubtful I’ll go to my scan on Tuesday because the hospital’s miles away and the coffee machine there is terrible. Usually when I sustain damage I exhibit the healing speed of Deadpool so I’m sure if I ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist my tattered meniscus will put itself back together shortly, it’s just an irritating thing to accidentally bang on the desk at work or have your mates buckle for a laugh.

However what has really pushed me over the edge with said app is that I left things last time with a plan which seemed to be working well. I would cast out the custom dare to throw a cactus into the air and catch it, secure in the knowledge that a cactus isn’t necessarily a common household object yet is something I have in my flat. The common reaction for most upon receiving that would be to double dare it back to myself, and as proven last time I can perform this task quickly and safely, bagging a few dollars each time. With my first patsy Frederik this worked like a charm, and I assumed that after a month of falling over and eating emetic amounts of salt I had finally discovered the way to easily milk this app for moolah.

After Frederik the cactus dare next landed upon a girl with the user name ‘scapone’. Within a minute Scapone declared the challenge done; I was concerned that of all the people in the Double Dog database it had just happened to be picked up by a botanist at a cactus nursery, but was immediately reassured when I saw her proof:

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It was obvious Scapone did not own a cactus or indeed any succulent, and must be terribly ignorant to think I would accept that blurred snapshot of her sweaty palm as adequate proof of a monetary bet. I rejected her submission and it was taken to trial, where she lost, and rightly so. My belief was that once the Double Dog jury found you unfit to carry out a task it would be double dared back to the creator and so I was getting ready to pull my spine-resistant gloves on and win me some money, but instead Scapone was given another chance. This time her proof was even more pathetic, an equally nebulous video of her catching not a cactus, but a banana.

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I thought this was all getting a bit embarrassing now. Chow down on that banana peel and you might be Double Dog material love, but this is a cactus-orientated dare and if you don’t own a cactus and aren’t prepared to obtain a cactus then it’s time to give up! Obviously I took Scapone’s proof to trial once again and look, what, fucking, happened, next:

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You may be unsure what’s occurring in that image. I had to read it a few times over too, for I could not believe my very own eyes. I’d sent Scapone’s video to trial and the jury had sided with the tricksy banana juggler! There’d been no doubt in my mind I was about to take home another easy $2 windfall, and yet utterly unjustly I’d lost a dollar!!

This latest mockery of justice was the final straw. I instantly withdrew what money I had in my Double Dog account and deleted the app. For all the dares I’d successfully gained from (scouting out a pair of guitars, chewing on a garlic clove, etc) there were others I’d lost on (shoving a cotton bud up your nose, shaving off an eyebrow, etc) so the amount I came away from Scheme #125 with was exactly the same as that I initially deposited. I’d made a grand total of nothing, but at least I hadn’t lost anything either, besides dignity, time, leg muscle and taste buds.

If you’re intelligent enough to read words you should also be sufficiently astute to correctly predict whether or not I’m going to recommend this scheme as a money making method. For the everyday pleb like you or me you’d be better off catching pigeons, plucking them and stuffing pillowcases to sell than relying on this, or indeed any dare app/website, for financial gain. That said and as mentioned in my Pie-rate treasure post, if you’re a spunky and free-spirited young girl you can cash in on the plethora of guys who use the app as a way of getting that terrifying and elusive opposite sex to interact with them. Out of the stock dares Double Dog allows you to choose from there’s a whole category dedicated to flirting with examples such as ‘Belly dance’ and ‘Use a pickup line on me’, and I’ve seen ladies receiving $5 a time for a 2-second video of them blowing a kiss or waggling their toes. I do believe the only reason Scapone got away with the ol’ cactus-banana-switcheroo is that the nervously excited men in the jury thought “m-maybe if I vote that she did the dare she’ll maybe like me and k-kiss me..”

So that’s the bad news. Bad for me as it’s another scheme crossed off the list which has proven to be absolutely fruitless, bad for you as that scheme was one which caused me great pain and discomfort which obviously makes for pleasurable reading and has now been halted.

Before we reach the good news a few tiny insignificant updates. I’m 6p up thanks to Scheme #61, finding a penny at work and on the same day a 5p dropped by my friend Simon in the pub. He watched it fall to the ground from the lofty heights of his barstool and nestle among the detritus of fag ends and broken glass, and said if I was prepared to army crawl under the table across the soaking beer-garden ground to reach it then it was mine. So yes, 6p up there.

People for Research (Scheme #13) are being more loquacious than I expected which is a nice surprise, and nicer still the trials don’t seem egregious in the slightest. Most recently I’ve been told I could stand to earn £120 for just a 90 minute chat about “my aim”; it’s unlikely I’ll even be chosen as I participate in no such sports as archery or clay pigeon shooting and the only occasion on which I even think about aiming is when lazily trying to minimize the amount of piss which ends up on the toilet seat, but it’s still promising that these opportunities are presenting themselves at such regular intervals.

I’ve had no enquirers biting my hand off for the AK37 serial number £5 note (Scheme #144), but it’s here we sneak into the good news. Firstly, thanks to a different bus driver this time, I now have a £5 with a code commencing AK22, and this is an actual gun type!

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Like its AK37 brother this went straight on sale via Gumtree and swiftly garnered interest, namely from a Liam who asked if I would trade it for an AK47 note. The AK47s seem to be the most valuable of the artillery-themed £5 note clan so I eagerly took him up on his offer and await to hear back.

Liam’s email was gratefully received if anything to reassure myself I wasn’t completely mad and alone in still believing that some fivers are collectible due to their serial numbers. I guarantee you when the batch number reaches BJ69 we’ll see some more plastic fives going for more than face value, that’s a bonafide Matt Rose financial forecast. Until then, with our new dodecagon £1 coins entering circulation next month for the purpose of winding up counterfeiters, it’s worth keeping an eye on your old-school circular nuggets as some will be much more valuable than others when they’re antiques. Here’s a handy reference chart:

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Actual monetary advice supported by charts! I bet you weren’t expecting that from a project blog of mine. It’s certainly surprised me.

But the main piece of good fortune to float my way was on Friday night. I’d already procured 6p as mentioned previously plus my Receipthog had gorged well all day (Scheme #71) so I was in a fairly chipper mood. I was at the bar drunkenly ordering a round of San Miguels and saw the bar staff approaching with my change, genuinely thinking to myself ‘I hope I don’t get an uncommon £5 note, I’ll probably get pissed and spend it on tequila!’, when what gets slapped down in front of me:

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Boom!! An AA01! The holy grail! One of the first million to be circulated! Some clumsy eBaying whilst pissed had me believe for a while that I could sell this baby for several thousands before some more precise eBaying while hungover the next day informed me it might fetch £20 if I was lucky.

I popped it onto Gumtree instantly; I know eBay is going to be a simpler method of shifting these but I’m sticking with Gumtree for the time being as I’m keen to meet the buyer in person and find out exactly why they’re willing to spend over £5 on £5. As well as offering it to the public I also let a trade professional know in the shape of Pam West, British banknote buyer & seller. It was Pam whose dispiriting quote I used in a previous post “AK47 notes… do not actually sell,” and she continued to resolutely crush my spirit as when I fervently emailed her with news of my AA01 acquisition she told me “unfortunately a folded note may only be worth face value”. Of course my fiver was folded, it had been passed between Wetherspoon till, punter and fruit machine for Lord knows how long, so I decided to ignore Pam’s professional advice. As the Devil as my witness I will get that AA01 note sold!

Eeny Meeny “MY KNEE!!” Mo

Day 46
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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.