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 V.16 No.33 | August 16 - 22, 2007 
Robert Graff makes some change on the Fourth Street Mall
Robert Graff makes some change on the Fourth Street Mall


Staying Alive

The Alibi Scavenger Hunt II

You've got to be tough to survive this place. Between the dust devils and drunk drivers, Albuquerque sometimes feels more like an obstacle course than the laid-back little city we know it to be. It's a frontier town, after all. For all the modern conveniences that come with living in our state's metropolitan center, there's still something wild in the water. Most of us prefer it that way.

Zombie Alberto Gutierrez with braille
Zombie Alberto Gutierrez with braille

Whether you were born and raised in Burque or just moved to town, orienting yourself here can be a challenge. That's why, last year, we created the Alibi Scavenger Hunt. Our inaugural photo hunt sent scores of people scrambling to every corner of the city, all in search of necessitous items for la vida Burque—cholla cacti, paleta carts and public libraries among them. Everyone learned something about their hometown and, by all accounts, had a blast doing it.

Zombie Elizabeth “Makeup Rage” Hatton with City Councilor Debbie O’Malley
Zombie Elizabeth “Makeup Rage” Hatton with City Councilor Debbie O’Malley

This year, we let zombies be our guide. In addition to a revamped list of Burque treasures (see "The List" below), we awarded extra points to people in creepy zombie outfits. "What better allegory for survival than the undead?" we reasoned. They’re the supernatural equivalent of cockroaches.

The photos you sent us were hilarious. At the end of the day, though, the winners were obvious. One rogue mob scored 6,020 points—nearly double those of their closest competitors.

Robert Fox and son
Robert Fox and son

The victorious team was headed by Elizabeth "Makeup Rage" Hatton, who appears in every picture slathered in gruesome zombie face paint. She had plenty of help from her undead teammates, too: Vicki "Rainbow Chaser" Vinson, Omar "Tri-Hawk Tire Change" Contreras Corona, Sandra "King" Melman, Daniel "Best Vacation Ever" Melman and Kelly "Goat Seeker" Fitzpatrick.

Zombies with news chopper
Zombies with news chopper

The group managed to find and photograph all but five items on our exhaustive list. How did they pull off such a superhuman feat in just 48 hours?

"We started with the hardest things first, and kind of divided things by interests," Elizabeth says. "We did the timely stuff first—like the D-Ride only runs Monday through Friday—and then we saved the stuff that we thought we kind of didn’t have a chance at for last, like the politicians."

Elizabeth with Mayor Martin Chavez—which one’s the zombie? (Just joking, Marty.)
Elizabeth with Mayor Martin Chavez—which one’s the zombie? (Just joking, Marty.)

They found many items—a live goat (50 points) hiding in a horse pen at the Albuquerque Downs, followed by a double rainbow (500 points)—through pure luck. Tracking down Lt. Gov Diane Denish (750 points), Mayor Martin Chavez (500 points) and two city councilors (200 points each) took nerves of steel. Lest we remind you, Elizabeth and her crew were dressed like zombies.

"They were all so friendly it was hilarious. Like Diane Denish, we were like, 'has anybody else asked you for your photo?'—because we were trying to figure out if we were going to win. She said 'no,' so we knew we had it."

All in all, they put more than 350 miles on the odometer, made more than 50 U-turns and performed an emergency flat tire repair. And they say had a lot of fun. "And," Elizabeth says, "I think we have a real taste for brains now."

Robert Fox with tiny picture of Val Kilmer. Hey, that’s cheating, buddy!
Robert Fox with tiny picture of Val Kilmer. Hey, that’s cheating, buddy!

Team Rainbow Chaser earns a prize package worth more than $200, including gourmet meals from Gold Street Caffè, their pick of goodies from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, a box set of classic Pedro Infante films, and a dozen free passes to the Guild Cinema. We offered to throw in a lifetime supply of rejected science experiment brains, but they said they were only kidding about the brains thing. Too bad.

Zombies with la Virgen de Guadalupe
Zombies with la Virgen de Guadalupe
Kate Kraft with   Whipped Cream and Other Delights  . Mercy!
Kate Kraft with Whipped Cream and Other Delights . Mercy!
Zombie Christopher Montano with parrot
Zombie Christopher Montano with parrot
Robert Fox and son
Robert Fox and son
Elizabeth “Makeup Rage” Hatton with Lt. Gov. Diane Denish.
Elizabeth “Makeup Rage” Hatton with Lt. Gov. Diane Denish.

The List

The rocket outside the Atomic Museum in Old Town (10)

Cockroach (10)

Any portrait of John Wayne (15)

The Tingley Beach train (20)

A doggie doo bag dispenser (20)

Reading a book by a New Mexico author at a public library (20)

Fry bread (20)

Bosque bike trail (20)

Inside a Rapid Ride bus (20)

A police substation (20, 100 with police officer)

A fire station (20, 100 with firefighter)

Post office (20, 100 with postal employee)

A Railrunner train (25)

A lowrider car (25)

A parrot (30)

Fanny pack (30)

Roosevelt Park (30)

View from top of Sandias (35)

A local vineyard (40)

Virgin Mary (40)

Red-light camera (40)

A public pool (40)

A New Mexico flag (40)

Poison ivy (40)

An art bicycle (50)

A motel leftover from Route 66's glory days (50)

A police officer on a Segway (50)

A live goat (50)

Cover of Whipped Cream and Other Delights (50)

Hispanic Cultural Center's torreón (50)

A hot air balloon (50)

City Hall (with signage) (50)

Animal in one of the city's animal shelters (50)

A local band (in concert) (50)

A drag queen (50)

A drag king (50)

Kid with braces (50)

Pot hole (50)

Recycling bin (50)

A pit bull (50)

D-ride (50)

Gertrude Zachary castle (50)

A dinosaur statue (50)

Kiwanis house on crest (50)

Braille (50)

Local radio station van (50)

Lobster tank (50)

Climbing a tree (50)

Portable school room (50)

A xeriscaped lawn (60)

Giant Paul Bunyon statue (60)

Handlebar mustache (60)

Bouncy castle (60)

Hybrid car (60)

A paleta salesperson with cart (70)

A person with butt-length hair (70)

Jonson Gallery (70)

Pedicab (70)

A yard sale (80)

Ride at Cliff's (80)

Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial (80)

Mariachi (80)

A local business owner (give name of owner and business (80)

A person with a tattoo on their head (100)

A trihawk (100)

Local news chopper (100)

A three-legged dog (120)

An Albuquerque city councilor (200 each, collect all nine!)

Yourself playing an instrument on the Fourth Street Mall (300)

A double rainbow (500)

Mayor Martin Chavez (500)

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (750)

Gov. Bill Richardson (1,000)

Val Kilmer (2,000)


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