Non Scrungible Tokens

Every year my friends and I hold "kid on christmas" - our own wee alternate christmas dinner/party before we all split up and go off to our families for the real thing. Over the years we've developed loads of daft wee traditions, but the one constant is the kid on christmas present. It's like what I think Americans call "white elephant" - you have to get a present for everyone in attendance and you can't spend more than £5 in total. It started off as wee bits of festive tat, but as the years went on and the budget got stretched by inflated attendance figures (up to a dizzying seven people sometimes) the presents got worse and the race to the bottom got more serious. There's even rules written in blood - no body parts (moustache hair in a kebab salad bag, 2015), no dangerous food (a loose, unpackaged, sausage found on the footwell of a car, 2013), nothing liable to cause immediate physical harm (literally just fire, 2020). This year I left it until half an hour before the party to get the presents together, which is very much in the spirit of the thing, so I had to get a bit creative.

Enter... Non Scrungible Tokens

Just try to scrunge them, honestly mate on you go, I dare you, scrunge them, scrunge just one of them???? YE CANNAE CAN YE??? NAW YE CANNAE SO SIT DOWN!!!!

I started off by thinking about the £5 rule - I've always viewed it as more of a limit than a target, so £0 was theoretically the ideal. The criteria were:

  1. must have perceived value but actually be worthless
  2. must annoy my friends but be funny
  3. must be the worst gift possible at the party
Naturally, the first thing to come to mind when I went through that list was NFTs. I drew a stupid wee guy, copy and pasted him six times then drew goofy wee cartoons of the folk who were coming to the party on the templates. I used black, white, and grey because printing them in colour would, of course, incur costs well into double figure pence and the very THOUGHT of that is antithetical to the whole affair. The printouts weren't the real present though, because to capture the true spirit of NFTs I need to make some sort of asinine online web 3 blockchain technology head ass nonsense.

By this point the first guests had arrived so I had to hurry things along. First, I gave every drawing a random 4 digit number. I knocked up a very uggo page template which showed the NST itself, then beneath that the current value in FyonaCoin®©™ (my fictional crypto currency which can only be bought with Deutschmarks, and which can only be used to purchase my very cool and valuable NSTs). The value for each page was randomly generated every time the page was refreshed using a tiny bit of javascript - here's an example:

The current value of this utterly unscrungable wee face is
ur javascript is broke lol
(exchangable at your local West German Embassy)

When it came to be my turn to give out my presents (if you're interested - the worst gift I personally got was an install disc for ubuntu 5.04, missing the live disc) I handed out the print outs and told them that these were just mere TOKENISTIC REPRESENTATIONS of their real presents, which they would have to access on my super useful portal. If I had had more time I would have actually made one, but tbh I think it's more appropriate to the whole crypto bullshit vibe that they had to type in their numbers manually at the end of a url. I was properly amazed at how much fun everyone got out of it. It took them a wee while to realise the value changed when you refreshed the page, which was really funny because they had already started with the "HAHA YOU IDIOT MY ONE IS WORTH 76 AND YOURS IS ONLY WORTH 32" patter. They were given out randomly and it just so happened that nobody got the NST with their own likeness, which led to them sharing the stupid little drawings around to laugh at. At one point one of my pals asked to see the drawing of him, immediately took a photo of it and then claimed to own it, which really made me laugh. I didn't expect the rightclicking meme to happen but there it was.

The theme of this edition is "alt", and my (tenuous) connection to that has a couple of angles. It all came about because of our alternate christmas, which is cool, but I think the main point for me is that I accidentally created an alternate reality for a few hours in which there was actually a POINT to these stupid tokens. In the real world they are VERY OBVIOUSLY a scam for tech bro babythinks, but for my wee gang of pals, refreshing static webpages until Math.random() gave them a bigger number, they had actual value. They were a giggle, which is way more than you can say for the toxic realm of boggin apes or whatever grifters are clinging to now. I don't know what a blockchain is or what it means to funge something - and I hope to die ignorant of both of those things, aged 250 in an outer space hot tub threesome accident - but I DO know that there is something telling about the fact that I was able to make a reasonably compelling parody of their idiotic model with 40 minutes and one line of javascript. It was a really fun experience, and I imagine it could be fun for other folk too. Try pitching it to your friends as pictionary but you're all kidding on you're in a pyramid scheme for some reason. Let me know how you get on.

Thanks a lot for reading my wee story, I hope it was interesting. Below is the blank template for my NST - if you feel like drawing one I would REALLY!!! love to see it! I think it would be cool to use them as very ugly adoptables :) Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

This article was created by Fiona Ruthbo