22 was my number when I worked for Transerv Messenger Service of Portland, Oregon back in 1995-1996. Our dispatcher Elwood coming over the radio, “22,22, dos-dos, 105 on Alder, 10th floor, Schwab & Wiseman, Superrush. Pick it up and call me.” Those were good times, rolling around the city, Elwood conducting an orchestra of 40 riders.
Imagine my simple pleasure when I received my registration card for the Fool’s Errand (rally? race? extravaganza? ) on Saturday. Here you go Patrick says, you’re all set #22. Good luck!
This race was organized around the messenger/courier concept as we were issued a manifest, given a map, and the whole course had to be completed within a certain time window. I won’t go into the minutiae, because there is a lot that. For the curious, here are some of the tasks we had to accomplish…
Write a sentence, the next person drew a picture of that sentence, the next person wrote a sentence about that picture-ad nauseum.
Paint or draw something on a mural that negated something else on the mural. For instance, my fish ate a snowman who was melting a fire that was burning a truck that was…
Tow a rollerderby girl through an obstacle course on a kid’s BMX bike.
Do the electric slide. If you fail you go upstairs and arm wrestle Eddie, who beat 75 people in a row that day.
Sign a petition at a student/farmworker boycott of McDonald’s. The cops were called to that one.
Propose to a girl dressed as a man in the food court of the mall. Cops intervened there too.
Ride “The difficult bike” and sign a post card to President Bush. I have no idea what it said, but I don’t think it was a “Keep up the good work!” card.
Chase down some drunken idiots roaming a field in their BVD’s and pelt them with water balloons. This was by far my favorite event. Those guys were deranged and hilarious.
Go by the organizer’s (Patrick) mom’s house and have your picture taken with his little sister. Receive your after ride beverage cup celebrating little Eli’s bar mitzvah, Mazel Tov!
Shoot the adult size slip and slide at the end of the race ( I was gouged by a tent stake on that one).
And you’re done.
Bushy and I skipped the stupid haircut stop and the “commemorative tattoo” stop. No regrets there.
The finish line party at Tom Brown Park featured 5 bands, snow come margaritas, veggie or meat burgers, and Patrick’s Mom ( A real nice woman with an obviously huge sense of humor).
Following that was a continued celebration at a local residence called the “Charles Mansion” that attracted around 500 people. The music was provided by a a collection of boomboxes pumping out funky dance music for this exact party, broadcast over V-89 the local college radio station.
The logistics are enough to make me swoon. This Patrick fella is a regular General Patton. He gets things done. As a Tom Sawyer myself, I know when I have been out Tom Sawyered.
What I take away from this event is the important reminder that the best fun of all is the fun you make yourself.