Step 1: Come up with random cheeky surprises to mail to people.
Step 2: Get people to pay $15 for said surprises.
Step 3: Profit.
Cards Against Humanity, the popular and unfailingly profane game that never fails to liven up the party, has used some variation of this formula every holiday season over the past several years, with great success.
This year is no different — but the stakes are higher, if the game’s creators are to be believed.
On Tuesday, it kicked off its 2017 holiday mail campaign with the dramatic title: “Cards Against Humanity Saves America.”
Its clear target? President Trump.
“Donald Trump is a preposterous golem who is afraid of Mexicans,” Cards Against Humanity wrote on a website for the promotion. “He is so afraid that he wants to build a twenty-billion dollar wall that everyone knows will accomplish nothing.”
That’s right, Cards Against Humanity wants to kill Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
How, you ask? The company claims it has purchased some vacant land along the border that it will apportion into plots and give away to all who signed up for this year’s holiday promotion.
Sometime in December, those customers will receive in the mail “an illustrated map of the land, a certificate of our promise to fight the wall, some new cards and a few other surprises,” it said.
The company has pledged to work with a law firm specializing in eminent domain “to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built.”
The campaign sold out in hours.
It’s unclear what other surprise items will be included this year — “the nature of a surprise is that it surprises you when it occurs,” the website’s wry FAQ section states — but it’s a safe bet that none would earn The Donald Trump Seal of Approval™.
The campaign kicked off with a faux-video retrospective that seemed to link Trump’s election with the inevitable heat death of the universe.
“In the early part of the 21st century, Donald Trump had just been elected president of the United States,” a narrator intones over footage showing a sea of troubles: the KKK. Global warming. Explosions. Racism. The violation of our most basic human rights.
“The American Empire was in decline . . . The country seemed to be hanging by a thread.”
Only with the intervention of “Cards Against Humanity Saves America” was the country rescued, the video explains.
Of course, anyone surprised that Cards Against Humanity has taken such an anti-Trump stance hasn’t been paying attention to its cards. (One reads: “Glenn Beck being harried by a swarm of buzzards.” The others on Beck, a political commentator, are probably too graphic to reprint.)
And for those who are disappointed that Cards Against Humanity is “getting political,” well, the FAQ addresses that, too, in no uncertain (and basically unprintable) terms.
This isn’t the first time that Cards Against Humanity has given away land to its fans.
In 2014, the company purchased a tiny island in Maine, dubbed it “Hawaii 2” and gave away one-square-foot plots to those who signed up for its “Ten Days of Whatever of Kwanzaa” holiday campaign.
That year, it also sent real poop to people who paid $6 for its Black Friday mail campaign.
Its promotions aren’t always so irreverent. In 2015, Cards Against Humanity released a science-themed expansion pack to benefit women in STEM fields. And for a holiday campaign that year, “Eight Sensible Gifts of Hannukah,” people received several pairs of socks and a year-long membership to WBEZ, Chicago’s public radio station. The company also paid for workers at its printing factory in China to go on a week of vacation.
Last year, weeks after the presidential election, Cards Against Humanity skipped the mail surprises and instead dug a “holiday hole” with people’s contributions.
“Where is the hole?” the website for that campaign asked. “America. And in our hearts.”
On its website, the company explained its decision to resurrect the mail surprises for 2017, despite previously declaring that 2015 would be the last year for such a promotion.
“We’re liars,” the FAQ read, “just like the president.”