“….Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…” So sang Janis Joplin in the classic ‘Me and Bobby Magee’. Equally, this could be the catch cry of another classic Ashton adventure the Poker Run held last Sunday.
Gary has a bit of a reputation for thinking outside the square when it comes to our Club runs and he certainly did not disappoint this time. We wondered where he was sending us when we received our first instruction. “Go to Auckland International Airport…….” However, we were not being sent on an Air New Zealand Mystery flight, just to the top of the Terminal to find out who officially opened the Skydeck and when. He must have planned this well, because the only place to park was in the car park, so had to get the ticket and then go through the normal payment procedure to get out again. However, we were in and out under the ‘free’ time limit, so no shekels were lost in exiting the airport.
The big difference now was instead of going to the next venue it was back to Base Camp to check in. If we had the wrong answer, it was either back to the Airport or forfeit the question. This was the routine for the run, find the answer and then back to check in. Complete as many as you could before 4:30pm, as anything after that was to be null and void.
Putting the Base Camp right next to McDonalds was another master stroke from the ‘Joker Playing Poker’ as one clue began “Go to the Golden Arches…” Immediate thoughts were of a quick Big Mac while finding the answer and as I was in for a comfort stop, at least one team was seen navigating between the burgers and fries for the answer no names mentioned Matthew! A quick check of the map book revealed a ‘Golden Arch Place’ not too far away and so it was I’ll never look at chicken again in the same light.
And so to the inspiration for the quote at the top of this article. Go to Barry Curtis Park and discover something special about the Festival Lawn. During regular trips from home to Howick we have watched the development of this brand new park, hoping it would not suffer the same fate as the house its namesake owns / owned, so at least we knew where to go to start looking. We found an information board that had a little about the lawn after spending a fair bit of time looking for it and wrote down everything as we know how precise our ringmaster likes answers to be. When we got back we received the dreaded news wrong! We immediately forfeited the question and continued gathering the rest of the required answers. Finishing with plenty of time to spare, we opted to go back to the *&^%*! Festival Lawn and get the correct answer. Second Trip, same result. The famous Toyota ad came to mind. As it turns out, only 2 teams returned with the correct answer for this question. ‘Freedom’. What…….where was that to be found. I hear that one of the 2 teams stumbled on the answer literally. Blue and White tiles with the word freedom. That Toyota ad became more relevant. You would think that after all these years of participating in Gary’ s events, we would have learned that not all is as it seems and that there would be no easy road to follow.
This is what makes our runs so enjoyable. You have to use your head, not just tear round the streets in a completely random way. The tortoise and the hare should have taught me about this maybe it’s time to go back to the children’s books section of the library and read! Or maybe I should have read the next line in the song ….”Nothing don't mean nothing honey if it ain't free…” and realized this would not be a ‘walk in the (Barry Curtis) park’.
Still, we completed 5 out of the 6, so at least we had a poker hand to play. But….looking at our 5 cards, we had nothing, not a single combination we could use to bluff our way to the prize we had 10, 9, 8 ,7 and a King! So close, but so far.
Another cracker of an event thank you Gary and Catherine, keep mowing those lawns!
1. Sandra & George Layton
2. Jeena Monk & Sheryn Taylor-Nye
3. Mathew oliver & Amy Kuek
4. Joanne & Anita Clark
5. Rex & Susan Coubray
6. Leigh Shaw & Brad Hall
7. Viv Taylor & Bronwyn Thompson
8. Lloyd & Fiona Clark
9. Vic / Joy Hayes & Les Gubb / William Henry
11. Andrew Carter & Dave Henry,
Craig & Jo Baylis,
Kevin Taylor & Paul Thompson,
Alan & Shelagh Murie,
Gavin & Stephanie Agnew.