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Journey To The End Of The Night London by Geronimo

May 30th, 2007 12:00 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: A pursuit across London in 6 parts.

The city spreads out before you. Rushing from point to point, lit by the slow strobe of fluorescent buses and dark streets. Stumbling into situations for a stranger's signature. Fleeing unknown pursuers, breathing hard, admiring the landscape and the multitude of worlds hidden in it.

For one night, drop your relations, your work and leisure activities, and all your usual motives for movement and action, and let yourself be drawn by the attractions of the chase and the encounters you find there.

No bikes, no cars, just feet and public transportation.

Document your experience.

My experience of Journey to the end of the night began the day after my return to London from foreign climates. Mouse invited me to be a part of the group organizing the game. So, I meet Mouse in London, by the BFI and off we go, trekking around London scouting out possible locations for the checkpoints. This took us nearly 4 hours but it was great fun trying to double guess potential players and trying to find where we should place chasers or routes that would create bottlenecks and killing fields. And that was that until the day of the game.
The game came round and we, the chasers, were briefed and put in our positions ready to start. The highlight of this part was marching past the queuing players trying to look as menacing as possible. I have a feeling we failed miserably seen as many giggles came our way. And then I waited and waited and waited. The players were taking it slow and many weren’t taking their decisions that seriously yet thus were not going down the triple guess root. They were in fact going in the most obvious route possible which naturally we weren’t prepared for. I did see a few players though.

I waited, peeking at them from around a pillar until they got closer. And then I pounced! And they froze! Shit … here I am running full pelt at a group of frozen players who, if im being honest, I didnt want to catch yet. That would have just spoilt the game for them. What the hell do I do!?! Luckily a bit of shouting managed to get rid of their ‘caught in the headlights syndrome’. They scattered and I fulfilled my task of splitting up friends, spouses or whatever they were. So, back to waiting. A few more minutes and I got another small group my way. Guess what. The same thing happened! I think I might have to work on my scary face or something. After this I moved onto The Third checkpoint and yet again waited. What was reassuring about this place though was that it seemed like every designated chaser was there and no one had passed through the checkpoint yet. So an ambush was guarantied no mater how long we had to wait.

And was it an ambush and a half!! I aloud myself to start the ‘killing’ now and my god was it fun!!! I did get some very dodgy looks from the general public though. Especially when I chased a teenage girl around the block (She was playing… I don’t actually belong in prison). Even better expressions came about when we started to have a civilized conversation after I managed to catch her. We began to debate whether she could legitimately go for a drink with her friends even though she was now a catcher (note that we are in England and drink is a part of everything we do, even city wide tag). I thought that the game has good heartedness at its core and therefore couldn’t see the problem with her joining her friends. All that was needed was a gentleman’s agreement and that was it.
The ambush continued and I caught another two players, I did let one of them go though seen as he was SOOOO close to the safe zone. Hey, it’s not about my tally is it, it’s about the punters having fun.

I then decided to move on to the second to last check point, which was Hyde Park. The mother of all killing fields, made even scarier by the fact that it was pitch-black!! This was great, a bit inactive at parts, but truly outstanding in others. Highlights included:
• Running into a tree.
• Discovering a ‘cruising’ ground.
• Avoiding said ‘cruising ground’ like the plague.
• Not being able to tell if people were players or public until the very last moment.
o This caused one great moment when three of us realised when we were about a foot away from each other and ended up in a pile. But a pile involves contact, so by my book they were caught.

The game started to wind down here, so we chilled out at the checkpoint and staged the chaser/player handshake.

And then I went for a drink!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- smaller

The chasers before the game.

The chasers before the game.

9 vote(s)


(none yet)

14 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by Sean Mahan on May 30th, 2007 1:51 PM

That sounds fantastic - and a good write-up by a chaser! Wish I coulda been there...

(no subject)
posted by Burn Unit on May 30th, 2007 2:13 PM

whaa? I've stared at them a long time. Left of the photo, are those crutches? stilts? Some kind of modified "action crutch"? Pardon my ignorance but they make that dude look like a superbadass gazelle cyborg.

(no subject)
posted by Lizard Boy on May 30th, 2007 2:56 PM

I suspect you're closest to the money with that last one, and that they're designed to let you move really flipping fast under your own power.

At least, I hope that's what they are.

(no subject)
posted by Geronimo on May 30th, 2007 3:29 PM

I have it on good authority that they are called power raisers and do indeed propel you into the air at remarkable speed. Imagine that jumping out of a phone box and chasing you down the street!!!

posted by Galán de noche on May 30th, 2007 4:13 PM

I saw this foto posted before and the gentleman on the left brought a movie to mind... Return to Oz.

That's not the 'original' film with Judy Garland and the happy-go-lucky anthropomorphs, but a relatively unrelated one from 1985. According to a random survey of internet postings and bloggers it's "more authentic" to the spirit of old L.F. Baum, whatever that means.

There's a scene that always makes my heart skip a beat, posted here on youtube. I remember bad dreams as a young one, being pursued by such creatures..

I know they move differently but the posture and the general attitude seem to be the same.....

posted by Burn Unit on May 31st, 2007 8:12 AM

Their brand name appears to be PoweriZers and they look pretty awesome.

(no subject)
posted by anna one on May 31st, 2007 12:04 PM

Hooray for the London contingent!

(I'm totally adding the Return to Oz to my rental list. It looks awesome!)

(no subject)
posted by Lizard Boy on May 31st, 2007 3:53 PM

Man, I'm not sure whether to wish they sold those things in the US or not. If I had known about them before I got a bike I would have been sorely tempted to try to get them instead of a bike, and that might have ended in disaster.

(no subject)
posted by Ink Tea on May 31st, 2007 4:14 PM

They're not an uncommon sight in Black Rock City.

I lust after them.

posted by Orion on May 31st, 2007 9:43 PM

I want PoweriZers and Return to Oz. And to have been in London to participate in what sounds like an awesome, awesome night.

(no subject)
posted by Galán de noche on June 1st, 2007 12:21 AM

wheelers show up to burningman, too? jeezus h. ch-rist i'm glad i never went out to that godforsaken playa in august....

that's kinky, inky

(no subject) +1
posted by Ink Tea on June 1st, 2007 11:54 AM

It was hard for me to find a photo of them showing, because I guess the fashion is to wear lonnnnnng pants, but this guy is on powerizers, and is OBVIOUSLY a wheeler:


And in the background on this picture you can see the bouncy ass stilts in the background.

(no subject) -1
posted by Burn Unit on May 10th, 2008 9:09 PM

Negative comment vote until Inky gets her grammar together (!)

(no subject)
posted by Fonne Tayne on May 2nd, 2008 7:41 PM

now that's a powerizer.