when i was younger, i used to get my national honor society volunteering credits by volunteering at a fun run benefiting a hospital in my hometown...i gave out apples and shit as the runners came through the finish line. i always liked it. the brisk fall air, the early morning buzz, the free long-sleeved t-shirts, the not having to actually run.
so this year i worked the god's love we deliver race to deliver. (they make meals for people with aids and other really shitty diseases and deliver them to their homes.) it was gonna be fun! sure! then i realized that to be in central park by 730, i'd definitely have to wake up at 6...not a preferred time for me to be up, unless it's polishing off the night before. luckily, i'd exhausted myself enough from friday night's and saturday's activities to put me to bed at 8, yes 8pm saturday night, without even finding out how north by northwest ends.
the subways are dead at 615 on a sunday morning. and slow. really fucking slow. and also not running. under normal circumstances, i would've taken the f to the c, but since the f was all fucked and the c wasn't running, i re-routed myself on the r to the 4 to the 6. i was late.
it was lovely when i got to the park, though. the last bits of fall colors were falling off the trees, and it was clear and bright and quiet. and cold.
there was coffee and krispy kremes, which did a little to ease my early morning crankiness, but then the organizer came over and asked if i wouldn't mind switching jobs. i said, in all honesty, "of course not". then she directed me to the nickelodeon tent. i loved nickelodeon when i was a kid, but i am, how shall i put this, not very good with children. i do not pander to them, i do not think they're all adorable and i do not think it's cute when they act all spazzy and their parents do nothing but act proud that their little festering pile of snot has just sneezed on someone or is screeching on the subway or is just standing in the middle of the freaking sidewalk like a midwestern tourist. i don't hate kids, some of them can be extremely entertaining. i just don't care that they're children.
either way, i downed my coffee and headed over to the tent. turns out, i would not be babysitting the kids of adults in the race, but handing out lazy town paraphernalia to the kids who ran the kids races. we had t shirts and bags, pretty nice bags, at that. the t shirts were a little different, the smallest size was a kids' L, and they went up to adult L. most of these kids were under 5 feet, and wouldn't grow into these t shirts for a good three years, at which point i hope they are not still watching lazy town.
anyway, it was fairly uneventful for an hour or so, until the swarm of kids and their parents came to the tents. for some reason it surprised (and pleased) me to see so many parents leaning down and say, "what do you say?" to their little ones after we'd presented them with their prizes. most of them did say "thank you". i wonder if i could go around saying that to adults. i'm super-aware of saying "please" and "thank you" and i have no idea why. i don't think my parents did anything special to make me so partial to these words. but there is that small electric shock i get if i don't say it.
then there were the "parents" who had lots of "plastic surgery" and "fur" and came up and asked for the teeniest t-shirt we had, "oh, and the bag, too", without so much as a race number, let alone an actual offspring. this led us to instate the "produce the child" rule. there were only enough t shirts for the number of children who'd registered, so we decided to run guilt trips on parents "well, we just don't want any children to be disappointed if we run out of t shirts". this part, i was extremely good at.
i left early because i had to get to the studio to work on pinter, but by the end, i was saying sweet things to the sweet little children, just like everyone else.