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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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DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...