April 19, 2007

The 3rd Annual LUNGevity Lung Cancer Walk

And lo, three days later, the camera loosed its lamprey-grip on my pickies.

Since I like to do a thing as over-the-top as possible, I decided that our team needed a theme. The problem being that none of us owned the same clothing or costumes, and it was too late to build or buy them. Many ideas were dismissed for weather, others for impracticality, still more for questionable taste. We finally went with a Village People look—no, not a cheesy essential of gay culture (fingers crossed!), but each person dressed as a different occupation.

My sister was a pirate; I was a punk schoolgirl. My mother was a nurse, as she came right from work, and my Aunt wore pigtails and Michigan pride. [Sadly, they opted not to be photographed.] Thus, we were off!

Sunday turned out to be a pretty nice day. Chilly, yes, and windy like a mofo, but since rain/snow was forecasted we could hardly complain—at least, the rest of my team could hardly complain; bitching about being cold is like breathing to me (but I clammed up quick when I saw the memorial teams, like, why don’t you whine some more, CharmedLife McGee). There was quite the turnout in the Diag; lots of students, adults, parents, and children—many children, in fact. My mother suggested we start the walk slightly ahead of schedule—whether to avoid treading on the little tykes or just avoid them generally was not specified. The rest of the party tacitly agreed. The wind is fairly evident in this picture, as we set off:

I’m pointing to our legs, to show that we’re walking.
I… thought that was necessary for some reason.

You know what’s hard? Trying to be eccentric in Ann Arbor. You practically have to tie a chicken to your head and light yourself on fire.

We did get looks on the power walking, though.

And when your family takes too long in the bathroom? It’s photoessay time. To properly demonstrate the windiness of the day, I recreated Buster Keaton’s “walking against the wind” bit. And what happened? The wind died. Comedy! So I’m actually “facing a slight breeze.”

I was going to crop this picture, but it would have left out two important elements: the dog, curiously unmoved by the gale, and the crowd of people staring at me, torn between heckling and throwing change in my (absent) hat. Eventually we were rejoined, picked up a few coffees (thanks for the ‘press, Main & Liberty!) and swung around to Kerrytown. We resisted the urge to stop at the Farmer’s Market because we were on the job, which is just as well, seeing as how my mother would be hard pressed to walk the remaining three miles laden with a bushel each of squash and peppers. As she surely would be.

Even so, enthusiasm began to lag. How much father could we be expected to walk on a sunny April morning? The leisurely trot down State street left us weary, dehydrated, weak.

We felt we simply could not go on. Until...


I love how the punk / pirate dichotomy makes this shot all ABBA / Pet Shop Boys. Lamer than a two-legged dog, I am.

According to first tallies, the walk raised $34,000 for Lung Cancer Research, which, damn. [I cabbage-patched in celebration, but I look really constipated in the shot, so… not posting it.] I would definitely do this walk again; we basically trotted around downtown for three hours—and I’m up for that any day of the week—so it was nice to raise some much-needed fundage at the same time.

Next year—Team Skyclad!*

*Because if anything beats a day in jail, it’s a naked day in jail.

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