Extended Thoughts on a New Season of Whiskerino

((This isn’t going to interest you at all unless you 1) are a Whiskerooni or 2) enjoy watching me systematize things.)) Early last month, I wrote “On the Future of Whiskerino”, in which I argued for Whiskerino becoming a college-style system: you get four cycles and then you’re done. Here’s the key bit:

This will take some awesome talent from us right away, but the thing is this: we already have their great body of work to inspire us. Mackle himself pulls off some killer stuff, but he would be an alumnus this time around, as would (I’m going to miss people, don’t get mad): Ben Frank, Christopher Wood, Chad Pugh, David Bean, Jeremy Okai Davis, KC Jones, Ryan Hale, Stephen Major Chisholm. I got teary-eyed typing that list, because man, I love those guys. They’d be gone but not forgotten.

I was, of course, counting Beard Contest 2K3 in this; the first named-as-Whiskerino didn’t start until 2005. So we’ve had 05-07-09 with no 11; anyone who had participated in all three years would be a “senior”. This would give us a bigger senior class as well: “This gives you a final ‘senior year’ by names like Paragone, jandrewtaylor, damnweather, rnnbrwn, Paul Armstrong, Bobby Marko, and Falfa.” What a group that would be, no?

The question of people who’ve participated sporadically—say 05 and 09 but not 07—should be counted. I’ve come to the following thinking: they’re “juniors”, but they don’t get priority registration, but they would get help in finishing out the pool.

So let’s consider getting new people into the system. Say we have 137 returning people with unbroken progression through Whiskerino, and say Mackle wants to cap Whiskerino at 250 people. ((Both of those numbers are made-up, but I bet that the latter is closer to true than the former.)) To get a spot in the next Whiskerino—which seems destined to be 13 at this rate unless Mackle either 1) starts later or 2) goes on a mad coding spree in the next two weeks—you would apply. Everyone who applies gets a chip into the pool: wayfaring former members and newbies alike.

But.

If you’ve been a part of Whiskerino before but do not have an unbroken chain, you get an extra chip in the pool. People who have 05-07-!09 or 05-!07-09 have broken chains but two years in the system, so they get three chips and junior status if selected. One-year people—those who participated only in 05 or 07—get two chips.

Mackle would then set an application period of, say, seven days. Going back to my pool example earlier, there’d be 113 slots to be filled. Once the application period is over, Mackle would use a random number generator to select 113 applicants. Those who have more Whiskerino seniority have a better chance of being selected, but they have no guarantee.

Mackle could pick these people in advance of November 1st so that people could know who was going to be a part of the next Whiskerino. Old friendships could be re-kindled, and maybe there’s even a program to match old hands with the new students, sort of a mentoring program.

Or maybe this is an overly-wrought solution. But dammit, I want Whiskerino 13—better, 12, but I have no expectation of it.