If you wanna win big in Greenpoint Wednesday night, you’re gonna need a secret weapon in your back pocket: Visine. And no, put away your stash– the Cannabis Cup hasn’t moved to North Brooklyn. It’s the second biannual staring contest at The Diamond!
This beloved neighborhood bar will host their second staring contest of the year, with the famous bust of Michael Landon watching over to ensure fair play. “It’s pretty much like what it sounds, and it’s really fun,” said Dave Pollack, owner of The Diamond in Greenpoint.
For just three bones, or less than a bottle of eyedrops, participants willing to risk accidentally falling in love with some rando at the bar can enter the competition. And winner takes all, so to speak. The staring champion will be rewarded with a deathly hangover tomorrow (aka a free bar tab) and bragging rights that your boss will absolutely write you up for.
The rules are simple (duh): sit down and stare. There will be no touching allowed — c’mon this isn’t a Tinder date gone creepy — but heckling and distraction are encouraged by contestants and the audience alike. There will be none of this whoever-laughs-first nonsense, sorry. However, if you blink, you’re done-zo.
Sound silly? Pollack says some contestants take the childhood game real, real serious. Could this be owed to the fact that there are a bunch of adult babies lurking around North Brooklyn? Perhaps.
“One thing that surprised me was that people were actually, really trying to screw with each other and that was really fun to watch,” he said. If distraction tactics once again include some contestants resorting to partially disrobing (which the owner recalled happening at the last staring contest) things could get downright steamy. Or just surreal: “In one of the final matches this spring, this one guy had a fake tooth and he pulled it out to spook the other guy,” recalled Pollack. But it was the Visine-user who prevailed with nothing but medicinally-aided sheer endurance and took home the win.
Be warned, a stare sesh may last so long that your eyes will feel like they’re about to fall out your head by the end. And this ain’t no laughing matter– WebMD classifies eye fatigue as a potentially “serious condition,” that can result in double vision and, heaven forbid, discomfort. (Though the site admits that it’s “rarely” the case that you should be alarmed. Really makes you think.)
Pollack reckons that, at the last staring contest, some people managed to lock eyes sans blinking for almost 10 minutes (!) which is an utterly ridiculous amount of time to keep your eyes open. But hey, if you’re always complaining that karaoke and trivia require too much brain power, then this just might be your ticket to show your pals that you have a different sort of intelligence. Crush them.
And what of mysterious Michael Landon, the 70’s star of Little House on the Prairie, whose bust presides over the competition and is plastered on the poster? What would he think of such silliness? Well, he’s a regular fixture at the bar, but there’s no good reason for his presence except that Pollack just loves him. We’re guessing the same goes for this staring contest. So embrace the absurdity and start peeling those lids back for practice.