The Star Wars Challenge

Community Highlights Travel Philosophy The Star Wars Challenge

The guy who stopped to offer me a lift the next day said that he couldn’t turn down a man with a fishing rod. The ensuing conversation was a continuation of and expansion on the ideas discussed the day before in relation to travelling with items conveying intention and purpose. The driver claimed that, at one time he had picked up a man with a petrol container that had been converted into a suitcase to carry his personal effects. It was the second time I had heard such a story and what I liked about the “ruse” was that the humour inherent in the ingenuity would probably be enough to disarm peoples feelings they had been “tricked” into stopping.

Although my main project was the list my deeply questioning disposition left me with a never ending backlog of “what if” side projects I would delve into when the occasion permitted. The twenty four hour period that was my sabbath rolled over around lunchtime and represented the perfect opportunity to satiate both my hunger and curiosity. As the astute observer may have noticed during my recent experimentation asking for beds people were very likely to offer me a meal of my choice to fulfil the meal component of
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The repeated occurrence and high probability of this happening left me wondering if, the same would hold true independent of the inclusion of the other requests (a bed and a shower). Previously when not asking for specific meals I had mostly used the sign:
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I had noticed people were more likely to bring any old food item in response (technically anything edible fulfilled the parameters). I wondered if the more passive expression of desire with its implicit rather that interrogative request invited more empathy. With this in mind I stood at the same spot I had been two nights ago with the sign.
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It took ten minutes for a lady to respond by giving me a twenty dollar gift card for a nearby café.
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Except to say that she had empowered me to enjoy a meal of my choice the results were inconclusive. Repetition and more results would be required before I could say for certain if any meaningful insights into subconscious motivators could be derived.

Back in Greenhithe that evening I realised that the residents lack of receptivity providing me with beds the week before had seriously cut into the time I had invested in asking for list items. If the trend was to continue and I was going to spend more nights sleeping on the streets I might as well accept it and use at least some of the time working on the list. Once again I decided to spend two hours asking for list items and two hours asking for a bed. This time however, I would stay in the same suburb. The first “shift” was supposed to be spent working on the list but, as I was setting up I couldn’t seem to shake of the recurring idea of asking for a bottle of cold beer
I put the request out there for someone to offer me one and, less than three minutes later Chris walked past, opened his box and handed me one.
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I leaned the list, the current request and the item progress sign against the wall and sat down beside them to enjoy the beer.
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A quarter of an hour later, just as I was finishing the beer Jackie and Darcy turned up with not one but two T-Shirts with Star Wars characters on them.
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They didn’t leave a piece of wisdom but I was happy to have finally broken the item drought. In the process I also decided that a heirloom tomato plant would not feature on any subsequent lists. I adjusted all my signs to reflect the change and changed the current item to the carrot cake (the bakers challenge)
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To celebrate I decided another beer was in order which was again provided less than three minutes later by a gentleman who was also called Chris.
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As a piece of wisdom he offered this tip:

“Don’t wear your boots in bed”

I was sitting on the pavement sinking my second beer reflecting on just how easy they were to come by and seriously contemplating chopping down beers all night when I realised just how stupid an idea it was. There seemed to be a lot of people who drank a lot of booze in Greenhithe but, it was neither a good look nor very professional sitting on the pavement, sipping back a beer. I risked alienating a good portion of my audience by, quite literally “taking the piss”. Having reached this conclusion I finished my beer, disposed of the container, stood up and shifted my focus Back to the list.
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And the new “current” item

Half an hour later it was time to start fishing for a bed. I waited for an hour with the bed meal and a hot shower sign with no significant engagements. Just before the superette closed one of the staff brought me out one of the leftover pies and I moved out near the roadside where, the only engagement I had in an hour was with Wendy who wanted to take me home and offer me a mattress and a space on their floor but her husband wasn’t keen. At around nine Ian came down and brought me some of their leftover dinner. He sat down with me and we chatted as I ate. After a forty five minute discussion Ian left and I faced another night sleeping rough in Greenhithe. The mattress which had been my safety net was no longer there so, once again I was back to cardboxes as my makeshift mattress. It was the fourth night out of five I had slept rough in Greenhithe.

This featured blog entry was written by miricleman from the blog The great hobsonville scavenger hunt.
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By miricleman

Posted Sat, Mar 16, 2019 | Comments