I am sitting in an elegantly appointed club car on an antique train, rocking gently around the Puget Sound at the foot of the Cascade mountains. The sun is setting over the water. It has been 3 years since I’ve been able to afford to leave Chicago to travel, and am presently in the midst of an economy-is-the-mother-of-luxury vacation, in which I am determinedly visiting as many of my west-coast relatives as I can while I can afford to be out here near them. This means I get to see eyes and touch hands with my loves in Washington, Northern and Southern Oregon, the California Bay Area and Los Angeles, and Tucson, Arizona. And the many stops mean that I am taking the train, which in turn means that I get to experience the peace and exhilaration of taking the time it takes to move from one place to another, and to see the distance in between.
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I want you to close your eyes. No wait, I want you to read this first and then close your eyes. I want you to imagine fun. I want you to imagine childlike fun. I want you to remember the most epic game of hide and go seek you ever played. The best game of capture the flag. The first time you were declared it, and you thirsted for vengeance.
You will meet at a park crowded with people. There you will be handed a map and two ribbons. One will be yellow. One will be blue. The blue one will be placed on your arm. The yellow one will go in your pocket. When the gun goes off you will follow the map across the city trying to make it to 6 checkpoints as quickly as you can. All the while you’ll be chased by those wearing yellow ribbons. If you get caught you will hand over your blue ribbon as a prize to the chaser. You will take the yellow ribbon out of your pocket and place it around your arm. You are now a chaser. The object of the game is to get to checkpoint 6 without getting tagged or to catch as many runners as you can.
1. Chasers may only catch one person at a time.
2. You must take the blue ribbon before you tag another runner.
3. Checkpoints are safe zones. No one can be tagged in a safe zone.
4. Safe zones will be noted on the map you receive in the beginning.
5. Public transportation is always a safe zone. The only thing that counts as public transit are buses and trains.
6. If there is an argument about who got caught, you settle it like adults in the dark of night between each other remembering the game is meant to be fun.
7. Everyone who makes it to the finish line is a winner and will receive a prize.
8. The runner who reaches the finish line first wins a trophy.
9. The chaser who captures the most runners wins a trophy.
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