CNN.com is conducting a contest of sorts. It requires people to submit photos (or videos) and text describing what they can purchase this weekend with only $10. For more info click here.
There aren't a lot of guidelines, nor are there any prizes, which is why, to me, it only qualifies as a contest "of sorts."
Note: I just re-read the guidelines, CNN is actually handing out an "assignment," not conducting a contest. We all probably thought that we were done with assignments when we finished school, but what the heck, this one is kinda fun.
Speaking of which, I'm shooting for maximum fun during my $10 weekend. Forget buying food staples and discounted toilet paper; I say let the good times roll with fake snot and rubber roaches!
Here's how I'd blow the ten spot:
I'd start the weekend by fueling up for fun. Nothing fits the bill better than licking and gnawing your way through a hard ball of sugar -- Blow Pops! But the best is yet to come. After you work your way through the outer shell, you'll hit paydirt: A nice, fat hunk of sugary bubble gum! Your blood type will immediately be transformed to "Sucrose." The red Blow Pop is called the "Heather Mills" model for some reason.
Blow Pops: the way to get a weekend rolling!
Cost: Four Blow Pops will set you back $1.00 at Dollar Tree. They're about 40 cents apiece elsewhere, but we're going with the fun four-pack for maximum value. Everyone has a friend who can use a Blow Pop.
Now let's move into non-food items. Granted, I may be the only one on Earth to classify Blow Pops as "food items," but if ketchup can be a vegetable, why not?
Pictured above is a classic: the Pull-Back Roach. It's available at Five Below, a discount chain of over 100 stores in eight states, from West Virginia to New Hampshire. If you've never been, each location carries an extensive inventory of fun items.
When you pull back this roach (it has hidden wheels) on a dinner table and let it go, it scrambles along at a realistically fast pace. Shrieks are sure to ensue...followed by deep laughter (mostly your own, but that's all we care about.) Endless fun at family gatherings -- especially holiday meals. Buy a bunch; you can re-sell them to friends at a nice profit, guaranteed! And look at the face of that kid on the package, he's not kidding!
Cost: $2.00 at Five Below, and various prices elsewhere. I don't have time to comparison shop for Pull-Back Roaches, sorry.
This is a "shock pen." It provides a stinging jolt when someone pushes the top to extend the point. It's almost like sticking your finger in an electrical socket, but not quite as bad. I've gotten close to 100 people with this gag (no exaggeration.) My typical line: "I just finished reading a book on handwriting analysis, sign your name with this pen and I'll tell you all about yourself."
When people get the jolt and scream, you won't be able to contain your laughter. It's quite a juxtaposition: they're tears of anger, yours of joy.
I've had reactions run the gamut from "You could've given me a heart attack!" to someone throwing the pen across the room and screaming like a small child caught in a bear trap.
This is certainly among the best purchases you'll ever make.
Cost: As low as three dollars at some novelty stores, but as high as nine dollars at others. We'll say six dollars as an average. Well worth every penny.
I've used this baby at NCAA basketball games, Little League Baseball games, and other sporting events, with great success. Every single time, fellow spectators have asked me where I purchased it. This is another item which you could re-sell for well beyond actual cost.
It's also great for inducing near-heart attacks by sneaking up behind people and blowing loudly. Or, better yet, wait in a dark room for someone to come in searching for the lighswitch and let loose with a good one. If the shock pen doesn't kill them, this might do the job!
Cost: One measly dollar at dollar stores everywhere. Get yourself one immediately, it's awesome!
PS: Also good for fending off would-be muggers. And, in case you're wondering, the author has no financial stake in any of the fine products mentioned herein.
I once made a five-year old throw up with this (honest; I'm not proud but it's true.) Shortly thereafter, however, he was loving the fake snot and asking me to do it over and over. My friend Jimmy's mother almost had a stroke at his engagement party when I unleashed a fake snot sneeze, and I don't think either she or her son has forgiven me to this day (but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, they say, and she's healthier than ever!)
Cost: Two dollars, weren't you paying attention above?! This is a great product. It's available at novelty shops and select dollar stores all over the country. You'll wonder how you ever enjoyed a social situation without it.
So that's it, for a mere $10 we have five great ingredients for a funtastic weekend. Now get out there and enjoy it (but please don't use any of these items on me...)