The Evil Overlord Has Fallen!

On a brighter note, the Camp Quest fundraising contest pitting the atheist blogosphere against PZ Myers has come to a close… and as the smoke clears, a tattered flag is waving defiantly among the heaps of squid. Yes, the once unthinkable has happened: Barad-dur has fallen, the Death Star has been destroyed, and our motley coalition of underdog bloggers has toppled the evil overlord himself!

The awesome Stiefel Freethought Foundation jumped in in the last few hours of the competition with a matching offer, which helped both sides boost their totals, but it helped us more. As reported by Amanda Metskas, executive director of Camp Quest, these are the final tallies:

Team Awesome: $13,550.06
Team PZ: $13,016.01

Matched amounts:
Team Awesome: $1,868.73
Team PZ: $1,640.00
Total Match: $3,508.73

Team Totals (with matches included):
Team Awesome: $15,418.79
Team PZ: $14,656.01

Grand Total Raised: $30,074.80

OK, now I know what some of you are saying: in the last few days, PZ switched tactics and started urging people to donate to our team so we’d have to do the forfeits we had on the table. I responded by commanding everyone to donate to his team, so as not to reward this skulduggery. And since our team raised the higher total in the end, PZ technically got what he wanted, so shouldn’t he be considered the winner?

But you know what? I’m just going to forget about all that. Frankly, there were so many schemes and counterschemes running at once, I’m no longer sure who was rooting for whom. Since everyone’s real intentions are unknowable, I’m just going to go by one simple principle: Big numbers are good. Bigger numbers are better. And since our numbers are the biggest of all, that means we’re the winners! And (as the band winds down and the confetti slowly settles), we can exult forever in our glorious victory, and that’s the last I ever need to say about….

Oh. Right. I, um, sort of offered to do something too, didn’t I?

Well, you see, it’s like this: Earlier this month, PZ made a crack about us in the opposition lacking “manly facial hair“. Not one to let such a jibe go unanswered, I vowed to grow a beard in the event of our victory, so as to prove that we of Team Awesome were no slouches in the testosterone department.

True, at least I’m not publicly humiliating myself by singing karaoke like Greta, or videotaping myself falling off a bike like Jen… but it’s hot here in NYC, damn it. The last thing I need is more insulation. But I gave my word, and I suppose I have no choice but to keep it.

So, here’s how it’s going to be. I’ll mow my face tonight, and then after that, no more shaving till the end of June. I figure a month ought to be more than enough to prove the point. I will, of course, post before-and-after pictures so you nosy people can see the results for yourself.

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About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, City of Light, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Nathaniel

    By this point in your life you should know your body pretty well. What kind of hair shrubbery can we expect?

  • ArtyB

    Oh Ebon, I bet you will look handsome. Maybe you can style your beard like the way PZ has got his… You will rock in it….lol….

  • SuperHappyJen

    The excess facial hair could provide extra protection against skin cancer. You can’t sunburn through a beard right?

  • Dark Jaguar

    What is “hot” in NYC? According to, today was 76, and tomorrow will be more of the same. You know what we call that in Tulsa? Comfortable!

    You know what it was today here? 90. Tomorrow will be 94. My car doesn’t have air conditioning, so a hot breeze is what I look forward to as cooling (I think it’s more of a placebo effect at this point). In other words, you don’t GET to complain about the heat. Grow a beard and tell people it’s to keep warm.

  • Ebonmuse

    I have no idea where is getting their info. These last few days it’s been at least in the high 80s/low 90s, and close to 100% humidity. When I left work yesterday, walking out the door was like stepping into a warm kettle of soup.

    @Nathaniel: I have to admit, I’m not sure – I’ve never really let it grow before. Is there a chart of facial hair styles somewhere I can use to compare?

  • CzarGarrett

    If you need any tips on creating a well-groomed beard, just ask.

    Small pointer to begin with: Occasionally use conditioner in the beard to keep it softer and less itchy.

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with your approach – I saw that scheme that PZ cooked up at the last minute so he could declare victory whether he won OR lost…
    We collected the most money, ergo we win, bottom line.

    I’m sure you’ll look very handsome in the beard :-)

  • Peter

    I watched the whole race unfold along with all the back-room schemes. It was one of the more entertaining events I have witnessed. I have to commend everyone involved for their great good humor and PZ especially for his brilliant coup in “losing” the race. Now I am eagerly awaiting the most entertaining part of all.

  • RipleyP

    I think the most fun has been seeing the amount of fun people seem to have gleaned from trying to win this game. The tricks and maneuvering to ensure a victory, the side bets and the general skullduggery have been brilliant fun to watch.

    The one thing I have not seen is the most famous comment heard at every grand final, premiership or whatever final game is called. The big winner today is “insert sport here”

    Did I miss it or is the ultimate winner actually Camp Quest?

    regardless congrats to all

  • Dark Jaguar

    *spins around* No you see that would be me. For you see whilst I had these two fools fighting amongst each other, neither suspected that Camp Quest was just a front.

    The beauty of it all is by the time everyone realizes the money in the case is missing, I’ll be half way to New Guinea.