Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Winner! Round 4 Grand Prize and Short List

Round 4 What Is in the Box Revealed: It is a Daytona Beach, FLA Abalone Shell Trivet (Hotplate). It is difficult to read in the picture, but there is gold text on the surface that says "DAYTONA BEACH FLA." There are some (apparently) original stickers on the back that give some information about this object. One sticker reads

Handmade With Abalone Shells
Taken By Divers from the Ocean

The other sticker reads

Made by Craftsmen of

If I am doing my Roman numeral decipherment correctly, this Trivet (Hotplate) is from 1969.

@thewesterly: It's a relic of some ancient unspeakable evil, or at least a pewter reproduction of same (3 easy payments of $19.95)
[This was a difficult call. All of the guesses on the short list for the Grand Prize are so close, but then something marvelous happened. I thought of evil creatures in the ocean what might become enraged and take vengeance upon humanity for violently robbing the ocean of its beauty. I thought of the Kraken, in that scene from Clash of the Titans and towards the end of Good Omens, and I thought of Cthulu, who waits in the cold darkness. It made me so happy to consider this the winning guess for an Abalone Shell Trivet (Hotplate) on that argument that it is now the winning guess.]

As always, the shortlist guesses are listed in the order they were made -

@The_No_Show: New guess: The box contains the charred remains of my fundamentally well-rounded childhood.
[This item invokes memories of childhood vacations, possibly, but this souvenir is not destroyed – it is preserved. Many well-rounded childhoods involve trips to the beach and souvenirs thereof, but it seems unlikely that this trivet (hotplate) would be a child’s souvenir. Children are rarely cautious about preserving fine surfaces and are usually more interested in sand dollars.]

@toldorknown: The shadow of a dream, captured in a substrate of collective desire and cast by the blinding light of a future that is yet to be.
[This trivet (hotplate) is indeed a captured dream, dreamy things captured by divers and then enclosed in acrylic by craftsmen, designed to fulfill our collective desire for connection to the mystic deep. If there is a shadow here, though, it is cast by the past. The future that is yet to be can only hope to return to the abundance and arrogance embodied in this trivet (hotplate)].

@AndrewGent: A black hole hidden by clouds (in other words, something precious but opaque, wrapped in something temporal)
[Beautiful abalone shells enclosed in acrylic, become a bit cloudy with time, with sense of timelessness conveyed by the old stickers on the back. However, this item has an essential oneness – that acrylic will not be decaying or blowing away anytime soon.

@fistsoffolly: It is something that I'd want to leave behind to mark my triumph after summiting Everest? (Something cooler than a flag.)
@fistsoffolly: It is something that I'd want to leave behind to mark my triumph after summiting Everest. (Something cooler than a flag.)
[Both forms of this guess have valid arguments. Someone might. There are fads for Florida-style glamor just as there are fads for summiting Everest. I can theoretically postulate someone who might very well wish to leave this behind on the sumit to mark his or her triumph. I don’t know if it is cooler than a flag. I would need to know more about the flag.]


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