Among the strange and silly stories currently bouncing around the internet, this is perhaps one of the most bizarre. The popular board game Cards Against Humanity has decided to kick off the holiday shopping season by digging a giant hole in the ground for no good reason.
Over the weekend, the company live streamed the dig on the internet, and you could watch as a giant John Deere back-hoe repeatedly scooped mounds of earth into a nearby dump-truck. The website just said: “As long as money keeps coming in, we’ll keep digging.”
That’s right. Cards Against Humanity collected $100,573 in donations to fund a giant, pointless, hole in the ground. Live-cam viewers watched as small donations come pouring in—$5 from Thomas in Raleigh, $15 from Arthur in Peabody, $2 from Connor in Jacksonville—but a quick scroll down shows top donors who have supported the project with gifts of over $1,000 each. In an FAQ section of the site, Cards Against Humanity asks itself, “Is there some sort of deeper meaning or purpose to the hole?” (Answer: “No.”); “What do I get for contributing money to the hole?” (Answer: “A deeper hole. What else are you going to buy, an iPod?”); and “Why aren’t you giving all this money to charity?” (Answer: “Why aren’t YOU giving all this money to charity? It’s your money.”).
The whimsical and irreverent board game company has pulled similar pranks in the past. Last year on Black Friday they solicited $5 from “customers” in exchange for, well, nothing. They raised $71,145 doing this, which seven employees split evenly between themselves. That’s not to say the company hasn’t made philanthropy a part of its overall corporate strategy. It generously supports charities like the Sunlight Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and has even established a full-tuition four-year scholarship for women seeking undergraduate degrees in science, engineering, or math.
But on Black Friday—when America’s strongest inclinations towards consumerism are on full display—Cards Against Humanity likes to poke fun at our spending obsession. Perhaps in another country it would seem strange that hundreds of people have thrown tens of thousands of dollars into a hole in the ground of their own making, but in America, over Black Friday weekend, the absurdity of it all feels somehow fitting.