Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday in the park

It's been a tough week... it must be true, it even says so in The Press! But it really has been one of those weird, exhausting weeks in which so much happened & life got put on hold again. Just 7 days ago I was in Hagley Park taking part in a strange little competition with a small bunch of hopeful locals. There wasn't much pre-promotion of the Grabaseat Standby event - I saw a mention in a tiny online news story via The Press, and others heard something on the radio.
 The optimistically worded press release urged everyone to get there early, as only the first 300 people could register to take part...

Christchurch people are well known for their love of free stuff... hundreds of thousands of residents turn up to events in Hagley Park as part of the annual Summertimes festival and it will soon become our alt-CBD entertainment venue with temporary bars & theatres - and a grandstand for the RWC! On this day however, it was rather empty - certainly not the numbers they were hoping for.

They'd even organised a band to entertain the waiting masses... still got no idea what they were called but they drove up from Dunedin...
The guy in the middle of the shot, carrying the guitar, ended up standing (balancing?) next to me a little later on.

With over an hour to kill, I went for another random wander... the pics of the Arts Centre & inner city I'll share another day. I ended up back at Hagley Park looking at Lake Victoria which, until the recent series of quakes, was the home of the model yacht club. Since the earth started shaking in September, the water has disappeared... it's like someone took the plug out...
The event start time was drawing near so I headed back towards the inflatable bouncy plane and the waiting hopefuls - at least there were a few more of them now. Photographers & a TV3 cameraman were also in attendance, trying to make the crowd look bigger than it was... estimates of 100 people taking part are rather on the high side - I'd say 50 at the most!

Here are the rules for the event... anyone else spot the contradiction between rules 2 & 3? Doesn't anybody proof-read these things? Sheesh...
Confusing rules aside, the premise really was rather simple. Stand on one leg for as long as you can, last person still on one leg wins a world trip. Definitely worth a crack, Nigel!
One of my radio students from last year was there, working for The Edge, who'd been contacted just 2 1/2 days prior to help with promotion... the best part about them being there was the BBQ and the hot bacon butties they were handing out! I told him if he'd given me bacon butties last year, I might have given him As :)
^^Here he is (far right) helping to shepherd the contestants into the right area

It was a rather cold day, with the weather threatening to get worse as the dark clouds gathered. In the end it didn't really matter to me - 5 minutes in, my weight-bearing foot started to cramp and I got a fatal case of the wobbles. Oh well, I wasn't first out (quite a few went within the first 2 mins) and at least I wasn't runner-up... the competition ended up going on for hours.

Check out this TV3 coverage of the event - my legs got a starring role as the lead-in image... and you get to see me doing an early wobble too (@ 59sec). Kudos to the winner & bad luck to the totally dejected runner-up... it must suck to stay in the competition for that long only to be the person who almost won a world trip.
Think it's easy? You try standing on one leg, following the rules above, and see how long you last... there's no prize up for grabs though, just a feeling of superiority if you make it past 5 minutes :)

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