Tag Archives: kindness of strangers

I didn’t Finish with GISH

gish

Thank you, all my sweet friends who helped me get GISH (Great International Scavenger Hunt) tasks done last week. (If you are unfamiliar with GISH, there is a good Wikipedia article linked at the bottom of this post.)

Many whose names I fear leaving off here did amazing things. Sylvia went to Niagara Falls with her husband on a date just so she could play “Carry On My Wayward Son” on a recorder at sunset. Adrienne organized a barbershop quartet BY COMPUTER to sing protest songs outside the Rayburn Building in DC. Lynn made Beyonce out of stained glass and enshrined her in the Temple of Arts and Sciences, while Lisa and Beth helped me hoist a “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” banner over an immigrant detention center hidden two hours from my happy home. There were others, too; thank you.

I didn’t finish out the hunt; events overtook and some quirks of conscience sent me back into rethinking why I’d wanted to do it. (Because for the past two years I had.) The team I was on were super-capable and had been together a long time, so communication between them was a kind of incredible shorthand this newbie never learned. Add in my confusion over some of the tasks being meaningful, others treating animals or people in vulnerable situations like props, and it just wasn’t for me.

For instance: dress a team member as a bull and have them brandish a GISH flag with a real matador in a real bullfight ring? No, nyet, never set foot in such a place, for shame GISH; fight BS not bulls. But actions sung to a children’s song, showing how to know when someone is having a stroke? Yes please. Taking day-old produce begged from a local shop to a homeless family out by the viaduct? Yeah, okay, but then let’s not worry about the quality of the photographs documenting the event. In fact, photographs are kinda rude. Saggy banner over the detention center? That’s because we thought we were going to get arrested. Someone was coming toward us and he was NOT happy.

The dynamics of the whole large hunt were weird. It was almost like being a wind-up toy set in motion for the amusement of some rich people who had nothing better to do than think up faux adventures. They would have had to be rich, because one of the tasks was to get en pointe ballerinas in tutus to paintball each other. If you REALLLLLLLLY want to piss off a dancer, ask her to dance en pointe for free. You don’t even have to add, “and by the way your shoes are going to get ruined” for good measure.

Life holds many real adventures. It’s a rich thing to know them for themselves. And yet, the hunt showed me new things. I now know where my local women’s shelter is (had to donate toys there, and we’ve been back since.) I know which of my online never-met-in-person friends are romantics, who the pragmatists are, and which outright quirky souls who will do anything for a laugh. It is very gratifying to have friends who will do anything (safe and legal) for you–or with you. The nice couple running Mason wing-walking school totally did us a huge favor for no other reason than being kind.

So it was a mixed blessing, participating in GISH. I won’t do it again, but it was a check on the bucket list that will never be matched. And I will cherish the feeling of lifting that banner for the rest of my life.

Read about the hunt’s origins here.

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Filed under home improvements, humor, Hunger Games, Life reflections, Uncategorized

Me an’ My Brother Got No Fixed Plans

ray and richieHi – I’m Raymond. (I’m the one lyin’ down in the picture here.) People here call me Ray-Ray, an’ I’m down with that. I’m down with anything so long as we get to stay in a warm, friendly place!

Richie and me – that’s my twin brother – we were just mindin’ our own business with our sister one day, an’ all of a sudden our humans put everythin’ in boxes, pushed us out the door, an’ drove off. We waited under the trailer awhile, but they never came back, so we huddled together tryin’ ta stay warm. But we got hungry. And then, I dunno, maybe two, three days later, we tried hunting. Didn’t go so well. Sis went out inta the road an’ there was a car coming, an’ we yelled, but…. well, may she rest in peace.

So Richie an’ me, we were cold and scared ’cause we’d been inside cats, an’ then these people from up the end of the road came an’ the guy spoke real nice an’ soft, an’ he came back awhile later an’ brought us FOOD! From a bag, like we were useta gettin’. Well, we just about tore his hands off in gratitude, rubbing against him an’ all.Raymond and Richie

So he kept coming an’ we weren’t so scared of starvin’ any more, but it got REALLY REALLY cold. An’ then he came with a lady one day an’ he asked us to get inta this box with wire sides. Richie wasn’t all that excited about it, but I just said, “Hey, remember what happened to Sissy?” an’ he followed me. We trusted this guy.

The guy’s wife took us to this place called an Animal Hospital, an’ she left us. At first I thought maybe I’d made a big mistake, ’cause they gave us shots an’ then we got sleepy an’, well, I’ve heard stories about places like that. But when we woke up we could have all the food we wanted an’ there were all these pretty girls workin’ there an’ they were cuddlin’ us an’ callin’ us brave an’ everything. That was nice.

That’s how we got our names. One of ’em named us Raymond and Richie Martin, after some guy who wrote a book humans go nuts over called Game of Thrones?

Richie an’ me, we prefer games with jingle balls. Not long after we had Third Lunch, another lady came with another one of those wire boxes an’ she took us ta this nice place FULL of books – an’ other cats. The other cats told us we’d be safe there, an’ we’d get adopted. An’ the guy cat asked if we were a little sore down there, like -yeah, now you mention it, we were….

Again, Richie got worried ’cause we’ve always been together, an’ I can’t imagine settin’ up house without him, but the lady who runs this place brought us Second Breakfast this mornin’, an’ she promised not ta split us up. She said we should rest an’ eat an’ let people see us, an’ she’d work on gettin’ us a place together.

I sure hope she can. Richie, he’s a nice guy, but without me, he’d fall apart. That’s Richie on the chair. His fur is a lot darker than mine, plus he’s smaller. I look out for him.Raymond

So that’s our story, an’ we’re just waitin’ to see what life brings. I’d like to thank that family who brought us to the hospital, an’ all the people who helped us there, an’ the bookstore people here. Me an’ Richie, we intend to pull our weight, y’know? We’re good mousers, an’ we can help keep the dogs in line- not scared of ’em, knew some nice ones back there at the trailer park. Plus we’re good cuddlers. If I do say so myself, I’ve got really soft fur, an’ Richie is a big purr kinda guy. Fur therapy? We can deliver.

So maybe you need some mouse protection, or just a coupla bachelor brother cats to liven things up around your place. We’re not interested in girls – not since that hospital visit anyway – so we’d be real happy to just hang at your place an’ watch pro wrestling. Or Masterpiece Theatre. We ain’t fussy.

Come visit, an’ let’s have a beer an’ talk things over.

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, Downton Abbey, humor, Hunger Games, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA