Certificate for FIRST GUESS: @LidMo !!
Certificate: What Might Ought to Have Been in the Box and Shortlist
@icecolbeveridge: It's a 1970s West German typewriter secretly smuggled into the East but never used for political purposes.
[It is not a typewriter or anything related to offices or Germany or politics or secret smuggling. It would, however, be incredibly cool if that were the prize. Expensive postage, but still. This guess edges out the others due to its reference to travel, a concept connoted by the item in the box.]
As always, the shortlist guesses are listed in the order they were made -
@The_No_Show: It's a stimulus package.
[This guess made me giggle. It is in this category because it would be an awfully nice thing to be able to award to someone. Many of our problems could be solved! Unfortunately, the item is not particularly stimulating to any economy and I am too prudish to make the really good dirty jokes that go with the term “stimulus package,” which allows this guess to be edged out for the certificate in this category.]
@BrianPike: Lord, will I never know peace? It's a Tempest Prognosticator (Pocket Size Model).
[The item is not a Tempest Prognosticator, unless there is a whole lot more than I had realized I did not know about prognosticating tempests. That is to say, as far as I know this is not one. However, that would be an excellent prize to give away. Quite useful, especially for sailors.]
Certificate: What Some Might Think Is Closest to What Is in the Box and Shortlist
@CeeBee: my guess for this week's installment of #gwiitb is some sort of crocheted article. possibly a small shawl or a giant doilie
[This guess edges out the win against a field of strong contenders in this category. There are two essential elements here: protection of surfaces (giant doilie) and hand crafting. The item in the box is not crocheted, nor is it precisely a doilie, but it serves a similar function.]
@LidMo: Breakfast at Tiffany's coaster
[The item in the box is an item of commemoration, and also serves as a sort of protection to surfaces, and is thus unarguably similar to a Breakfast at Tiffany’s coaster, but this guess lacks the additional connotations of craftsmanship and I cannot judge it the winner in this category.]
@d_g_: What is in the box? An accident waiting to happen.
[The item in the box is something that is connected with possible accidents involving scorchmarks or burns, but its purpose is essentially preventative. Without more detail as to exactly what sort of accident the guess is postulating, I cannot judge this the winning guess in this category.]
@J1: a lovely homemade banana bread, either with or without nuts. I guess this is two guesses.
[Although the item in the box is not a comestible of any sort, there is a reasonable argument for the “with nuts” guess, conceiving lovely homemade banana bread as something lovely and made by hand with natural things in it. Without the other element, protection of surfaces, however, I cannot judge this the winning guess in this category.
@TheStepster: A relatively hefty hearty center display of affection.
[There is a fairly strong argument that the item in the box could have been a display of affection – a gift. It is not, however, relatively hefty. While somewhat hearty (read “eyecatching”), it is not exactly the kind of thing one gets for others but only for oneself. That is a kind of affection, but this guess lacks the key elements cited for the winning guess.]
@arcangeld: .....little porcelain mantle pieces?
[This guess is in this category because I see a strong connection between porcelain and the substance that comprises much of the item in the box. Furthermore, mantle pieces and this item are both functional and decorative. This is a single item, though, and without more detail about the origin and appearance of the little mantle pieces, I cannot judge this the winning guess.]
Certificate: Best Otherwise Inaccurate Guess and Shortlist
@jonathaneunice: Something so cool and sophisticated, it could only have been crafted with captured alien technology. Or magic. Eldritch magic.
[This item is obvious, unsophisticated, and clearly labeled as having been made by humans. Wouldn’t it be interesting, though, if I made awesome prizes with eldritch magic? It would be awfully interesting. So this guess is the winner!]
@rodti: Could it be a sporran made entirely out of meat?
[The item in the box is totally not a sporran made out of meat to any degree. It is not a sporran, and it is not at all made out of meat. As discussed on Twitter, before the prize is revealed, it could theoretically be anything, but the prize is revealed below, and it is not a sporran made entirely out of meat.]
@Tony_D: I wouldn't want to take it with me on an international flight.
[This object is harmless, and would be ignored by TSA employees. There is a connection to travel, but too tenuous to nudge this guess into a more specific category. Like many guesses in this category, this one reminds me of past prizes that this guess would be a shoo-in or strong contender for, but the lightning, she don’t strike every time.]
@KT30003k: It's a small version of a regular-sized thing; the regular-sized thing would float, but this version does not float.
[see next guess -]
@KT30003k: Alternately, this version floats and the original would not. Either way there is a size/buoyancy differential.
[I am treating this guess with #8. The item in the box is “to scale” – one could even say it is in a 1:1 ratio to itself. It is quite diverting to imagine what item could be in the box that one of these guesses would win, but this item is not one of those things.]
@1sjcorbett: An assortment of match box cars. The metal kind with doors that really open!!
[The item in the box is non-interactive and not a toy. I can imagine it being held out as a toy or an object of some interest to a child, but it doesn’t do anything very interesting. If bragged about at school, none of the other children would know what the bragging was about, and that seems to me an essential quality of Match Box cars not shared by the item in the box.]
@J1 : a bar of dark chocolate.
[The item in the box is totally not a bar of dark chocolate. It is not a comestible of any kind, although there is a tenuous connection to a source of nourishment. A bar of dark chocolate I would keep and eat, and would also be worried about sending in the mail. The nature of chocolate is to be eaten, and that does not connect with this item.]
@cawcaw: A representation of a deity or spiritual leader (for example Buddha, who isn't a diety.)
[It is not a representational image. Now, I happen to have little statues of the Infant of Prague, a Chinese monkey spirit, Don Quixote made of shellacked breadfruit, and a Chipper Jones bobble-head, but these are all things I intend to keep and not to give away as prizes.]
@jnobianchi: There is actually another box inside this box. Though I don't know its contents, I know they're *not* cherry raisins
[I have considered putting a box inside the box. Seems a little cheap, though, and not much of a prize, although that might depend on nature of the box inside the other box. If the object were hollow, I could make an argument for this guess qualifying in another category, but it is not hollow.]
@toddadamson: Limbaugh Jerky. Please let it be Limbaugh Jerky.
[The object is not a comestible of any sort. The item in the box does have some tenuous connection with food, but only of the freshly cooked sort, not preserved. I am unfamiliar with that particular brand of jerky, and I think they must not sell it around here.]
@suelyn: a place for what once was,or what may be, where dreams become reality, reality dreams, an empty journal.
[The item in the box is a souvenir, not mine, someone else’s. The item is itself an intersection of dreams and reality already – a solid object, set in itself. Along the lines of the “another box inside this box” guess above, if the item in the box were hollow, I could make an argument for this guess qualifying in another category.]
@1sjcorbett: A string of Christmas lights. It's never too early to anticipate the future.
[The item in the box is moderately decorative, but it is too totally of the past to be an investment in decorating for any specific holiday. I recall that I did once have a string of Christmas lights as a prize, but I cannot remember what the winning guess was.]
@1sjcorbett: An egg timer. I am obsessed with time. It goes by too fast, there's not enough, sometimes there is even too much.
[The item in the box is a vintage object that remains the same as time passes it by. If anything, it is a reminder of the cyclical nature of our societal fads and fancies, that what may seem gone will always come around again in one form or another.]
@epicdeer: Hold on. Yes, I WILL make Electric Bugaloo my guess!
[This guess was made past close of guessing and is therefor ineligible. If it had been entered before the close, I would regretfully pass it by, given the non-underdog, non-dancing nature of this object.]