The Art Site

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Cake Tin

"beepbeepbeepbeep"

Oh no.
I shut my eyes and tried not to believe what the beeping meant. With an almost super - human effort, I reached down to the floor where my cell phone was lying, beeping away. Pressing the middle button, I looked at the time. 6:30 am. The enthusiasm and excitement I had felt last night, only a few hours ago, had completely disappeared. All that was left was disbelief that I could be getting up out of my cosy bed in the middle of the night to go petitioning, again.
Besides, I'd only just fallen asleep, at 1:00 am. We had spent the rest of the night before getting ready for today, making peanut and jam sandwiches, and packing things for a day out with the tables and boards. And... watching the end of the super 14 finals, and talking to our friend Emily who had come to help.

I began to feel, not for the first time, that we must all be slightly cracked. We were on our way to
the SBS Marathon to hit the crowds with the petition. Excuse the pun. We were there to "bring this puppy home." But was it worth it, to miss church lunch and go petitioning?

We were all set up on the lawn by the race track, with about four tables. The loudspeaker blared away, occasionally playing some decent music (like the Crusader's song) and a couple of people were coming over to sign at our tables.

I wanderd from table to table, not feeling particularly needed, until I found Em and a guy called Andrew at a table by a little old fashioned shop called "The Cake Tin."
That signified something good.

It was cold. We stuck our hands into our pockets, or put them on our face and nose, to warm them up. Slowly, our legs started to get stiff, and Emily and I jumped up and down to get warm, stamped our feet and stretched. I'm making it sound like we were getting tortured or something, but I guess it wasn't all that bad. After a while, Andrew asked us if we wanted a coffee or a hot chocolate. That was the best thing anyone said to me all day. There is something so comforting about drinking a hot chocolate on a cold day. It warms you from the inside out. Anyway, anything with the word 'chocolate' in it gets me hooked. We got tired of petitioning, so we waved to the people going past on buses, and a couple gave the thumbs - up sign, with a half puzzled, half amused look.

I went over to a crowd of people who were all waiting for the race to start. They were leaning eagerly over the road from the pavement, watching the thousands of people who were tensing to start the race. The loud speaker was counting down the seconds, and I stopped petitioning to watch. Suddenly, the red ribbon that held everyone back was cut, and the people sprang forward. The fastest came first, really strong looking, wiry guys that were really running. Then the joggers, then the walkers.

I had a good excuse not to be doing that marathon: Petitioning is so much more important.
Anyway, I wouldn't have managed it. But when I saw them all running, I really wanted to join in.

Our total count for the seven hours we put in on Sunday was: 1,200 sigs. We beat Auckland hollow.

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