Journey to the End of the Night, Now Volunteering

This year, rather than being a runner in the annual game of Journey to the End of the Night, I helped out. I registered the runners exchanging their waiver for two ribbons and a map. Then later, I helped out at checkpoint 3c, letting players arrive, handing them a juice box, giving them a crayon, asking them to draw what they wanted to be when they grew up, and marking their map for a completed checkpoint.

There was something amazing about being a volunteer. I could participate, but not really participate. I could see the fear, the excitement, and the happiness of the runners. I saw the disappointment of those that were tagged—their eyes drooped down, falling to be part of the majority of runners.

There was so much to be seen. For new players, returning players, and other volunteers.

Some ideas for what people wanted to be when they grew up:

  • Lots of t-rexes
  • Many astronauts
  • Great answers of simply “happy”
  • Best answer #1: space wizard
  • Best answer #2: t-rex firefighter
  • Best answer #3: Tony Stark
  • Best answer #4: Sir Mix-a-Lot from the 80s
  • Several cats, because people didn’t know how to draw anything else
  • Several stars, because it was the quickest thing to draw
  • A picture of poo and the word “shit”—we couldn’t figure out whether it meant that the person wanted to be the shit or a shit
  • Several unicorns, obviously from females, which I thought was too feminine
  • My answer: ice cream maker
  • Good answer: chaser killer (a special staff role during the game)
  • Some boring answers: doctor, engineer (note that I never heard lawyer
  • Confusing answer: Warren Beatty’s fingertips
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