Editor's Note: Once a year in July at the
SSQQ Hoedown Party we have a goofy event where the girls chase the
boys and try to pop balloons tied to their ankles. Here is the
thrilling account of the year yours truly actually won the
event. I know, big deal, but here's the story anyway.
At the July 29th Hoedown Western Party (2000), we held our Annual Sadie
The Legend of Sadie Hawkins was the creation of the famous comic strip
artist Al Capp from his "Li'l Abner" series. The Sadie
Hawkins Chase took place in the legendary Hillbilly community of
Dogpatch. Once a year all the bachelors in Dogpatch were turned loose
in the woods and hunted by the single Gals. If a Gal manages to catch
a Guy during the Chase, she got to keep him!! If memory serves, this
is how Daisy Mae eventually landed Li'l Abner.
However in the Sick and Twisted SSQQ Version of the Sadie Hawkins Manhunt we have found that our women enjoy catching their men more than they enjoy keeping them. So like any good fishing trip, once you catch a fish, after a little while you just throw him back in the water. Same for our girls - first they hunted us down and then they ignored us to go chase someone else. Sigh.
The Rules of the Game are fairly simple. We attach 2 balloons to each man's ankle, one per ankle. Pop one balloon and he is wounded, but pop both balloons and he is out of the game. The music lasts for 10 minutes. If the man can make it past that point, he gets to live. But no one has ever made it to 10 minutes. The realistic object of the Game is simply for the men to try and survive as long as possible.
The women have two goals:
1. The total annihilation of the men
2. To collect as many name tags as possible of the men put out of the game.
For this event, we had three videotape cameras. Jeff Tucker and Gary Richardson generously brought their cameras to the event and captured wonderful footage. Anita Williams was also kind enough to film the event.
I counted 24 men lined up at that start of the Manhunt. Unfortunately I only know most of their first names, but not their last names. (Please email me if you wish your name to be included accurately!! email@example.com).
Michael Stephens (a former winner of this event!), two Davids, Bill, Robert, Ralph Harp,
Jeff Perry, Brad Stiles, Mikhail, Marty Shea, Robert, Hector, Joe
Pikas, Bruce, Anton Solovyov, Jerry Boldra, Chris Holmes, Bobby Bell, Eric Watson, and myself were running from the ladies. There were about 5 other men in the Chase as well including the Fallen Hero. (Again, please email me if you wish to have your name included correctly!)
The women had been driven to frenzy watching the legendary Monica perform her reckless
feets/feats of abandon on the SSQQ Network earlier in the week. Inspired by Monica's desperate lunges at men with no regard to personal safety, our women attacked the men with a fury not equaled by previous events. Included in the Banshee Bomb Squad were Michael's daughter Jessica, my own daughter Sam, as well as Martha
Pikas, Mary Wenzel,
Laura Carmin, Ann Bush, Kathy, Kathleen LaBounty, Janice Tessier (?), Shawn Kirkpatrick, Debra, Tracy King, Carol Holmes, Peggy Sue Got Married, Kari, Ella O'Neal, Ann, Gloria, Karen, Sylvia Tucker, and several more ladies whose names I do not know.
The numbers were pretty equal at the start, but the women cut quite a few men right at the start before they could get much maneuvering room. It was pretty obvious to me right from the start who the most dangerous women were - Kathleen
Labounty, Janice Tessier, Ella O'Neal, Jessica Stephens, Ann Bush, and Shawn Kirkpatrick were relentless! Janice Tessier was especially lethal. I believe she finished in second place for the most "kills" with 4. Honorable Mention goes to Sylvia Tucker who didn't "chase", but instead "obstructed". Most "kills" are made from behind, but Sylvia was willing to stand in front of the men on the run to slow them down. I know she drove me crazy!
Jessica Stephens had too much fun. In addition to catching her own Dad Michael and putting him out of the game, she also is credited with catching the elusive Brad Stiles and knocking him out too! I think Brad had more women chasing him than the average guy and it is to his credit that he lasted as long as he did.
My daughter Sam helped put poor Marty Shea away. Sam had a good shot at Marty's remaining balloon. As Sam raised her foot to take aim, Marty turned a quick 180 to avoid Sam only to see Ella O'Neal coming in fast on his exposed balloon. Instantly he took another spin jump in the air only to land on his own balloon! The look of grief that crossed his face was immense…
We had only one mishap. One gentleman (unfortunately I don't know his name) got his feet tangled up with Janice as she accurately popped his balloon, but also managed to trip him in the process. Talk about adding insult to injury!! Fortunately our Fallen Hero didn't appear hurt, but he did seem rattled. He took a pretty good fall. Although I wasn't happy to see him down, it turned out to be a good break for me since all the women chasing me at that moment stopped to make sure he was okay. While ten women surrounded him to check on him, I was able to sneak away from their hot pursuit. At least in my opinion some good came of the fall. Our Hero put up the good fight. Hanging in there for over 5 minutes, our Fallen Hero finished 6th out of 24 men. Not bad!!
Next to go was Ralph Harp. He was trapped in the corner. No one actually ever popped his balloon, but they did manage to knock it loose. Ralph finished in 5th place at 5 minutes, 20 seconds. Not bad for a rookie!
Jeff Perry was the next to go. He was quite elusive, somehow managing to elude Tracy King's repeated efforts to track him down. With only 4 men left, Jeff still had both balloons intact, but then he got a crowd of admirers after him and they make short work of him after that. Jeff finished in 4th place at 5 minutes, 50 seconds.
Bruce was the Mystery Man. He simply disappeared from the cameras for long stretches of the time. I have decided he must have been hiding under one of the ladders in the far corner where Anita was filming. It is the only place that the cameras were not focusing on!! At any rate, men were getting put out of action when suddenly Bruce reappears out of nowhere with a pack of women on his tail. Finally the Wolf Pack cornered him near the mirror and put him to rest. Bruce finished in 3rd with an impressive time of 6 minutes, 50 seconds.
Anton Solovyov gets my vote as the most elusive man for the 2000 Chase. He had women on his tail all night long, but successfully dodged every one of them until the end. He had one move where there were 5 women who anticipated where he was headed. The 5 women blocked his exit and cornered him on 3 sides. Anton stopped his forward progress on a dime and suddenly started backpedaling blindly through the only opening left to him. He was so graceful it looked like he had eyes in the back of his head. Anton should be very proud of his performance. Not only did he make some open-field moves that a football running back would be proud of, he made those moves with anywhere from 6 to 12 women after him. What makes it more impressive is he never used force to get free, just quickness. Anton finished 2nd with a time of 7 minutes.
And who was the last to fall? You are not going to believe this, but I was the last Surviving Man for this year's race! Am I proud of this accomplishment? Yes, I am!! I am very pleased to be the Jim Bowie of Manhunt 2000. Jim Bowie of course is famous for being the last minute to go down defending the Alamo. However as my daughter Samantha was so happy to point out, I was not a winner, but simply the last guy to lose. Thanks a lot, Sam.
The reason I admire Anton so much is both of his balloons were full size. I was fortunate to be given one normal balloon and one small balloon. Now I am fully aware that small balloon gave me a big advantage. However in my defense, the women were in charge of assigning the balloons to the men. I simply tied on what was handed to me. Still, that small balloon was tough to pop. Ann Bush and Kathleen LaBounty were my two biggest nemeses. I lost my first balloon when I slowed down to avoid my daughter Sam. Ann Bush took advantage of that opportunity to get me from behind. I never saw her coming.
Sylvia Tucker drove me crazy by constantly blocking my escape routes when I knew there were pursuers close behind. Kathleen LaBounty missed putting me out of action 3 different times with 3 stomps that just barely missed.
Still I have to admit I gave those ladies a good run for their money. I managed to stay in the game a full 30 seconds after Anton went down. But after one terrific escape, I turned the corner only to suddenly realize I was surrounded by a dozen women. At this point I became aware that it made more sense to surrender than to take a chance of hurting someone, so I stopped running and waited for the inevitable. It is only fitting that Ann Bush quickly dashed in and got my last balloon.
Ann Bush is this year's recipient of the Monica Award. This exalted honor is given annually to the most predatory woman in the Manhunt. Ann had 5 nametags to her credit, meaning she single-handedly eliminated over 20% of all the men in the Chase. Not bad! Plus I think she deserved my nametag too.
Earlier I had a premonition this would be Ann's night. Right before I started the Chase music, I heard a big pop behind me. I turned to see Ann with a balloon under her foot. She smiled an evil grin and said she was just warming up. Terror flashed through my body!
Somewhere out there I am sure that Monica, the infamous Devil Woman, is smiling content with the knowledge that a woman as dangerous as herself roams the studio terrifying men everywhere. I know I was certainly afraid of Ann!!
I want to say I appreciate very much how decently everyone "played the game" this year. The men were not rough and accepted their fate graciously. The ladies for the most part did not use their hands, a remarkable show of restraint considering how hard it is to get a clean shot on those balloons. With the exception of the one tripping incident, no one ran into each other. This fact alone is pretty amazing considering how many bodies went flying around. As a result, everyone I have spoken to since commented on just much fun they had. Even the viewers said it was fun to watch everyone racing around! Thank you very much to everyone for their participation! And start preparing for next year… some of you looked a little out of breath!