Update 3

Day two, I gotta say, began far too early. At five-fifteen in the morning, no less, with a telephone call from the diabolical front desk. “…Heh, heh, heh. This is your wake-up call, boys. So rise-and-shine, time to face the day. Don’t care how little sleep you got. You just get those sorry asses… up.”

A radio interview, for starters. Then, while still creaky-eyed and yawning, the press conference… But despite any misgivings, doubtings, second-guessings; it went as smooth as silk. The journalists gaping in awe, the camera-people blown away, the big-wigged audience (sponsors, CEOs, GMs, producers – pretty intimidating stuff, I tellya) smiles and chuckles and reaching for check-books… Well, perhaps that might be stretching it a bit. But you get the idea. Well-pleased with the effort, we certainly were.

The day, itself, then. For the first few hours, cleaning the streets. With dust-pan, broom, Windex in hand, a choice few blocks of Vancouver soon dazzled the eye. Lunchtime arrived, and we treated mid-day drivers to coffee and donuts, and a nearby construction crew to the peanut butter-banana sandwiches that Erik was whipping up. “Come and get ‘em!” he yelled. “Pee bee and bees, right here! Drop the concrete, hands off the hammer, give the crane a break!”

Following hard upon those heels was a trip to the Union Gospel Mission, where a truck-load of hospital beds had arrived, and was begging to be unloaded. “We’re setting up a second place,” the mission coordinator said, grunting as Brad tossed a mattress at him. “Low-income housing. Drug/alcohol-free. Get them off the streets, give them a place to sleep.” He staggered off, and we followed. Bed after bed after bed. Until a few hours later and… “…98…99…and…100! That’s it, then! The last one.”

And with that, the day was almost done. A quick rally for kindness at the concrete beach, where Moka Only came for a quick freestyle on the microphone, and a nip over to Playland, where Val and Chris whooped and screamed into the Vancouver night as their guts were fried and brains were fizzled by the death-defying REVELATION (for those not familiar, read astronaut-puke-machine). “You gotta do it,” Chris gushed, eyes-alight, limbs a-jittering. “Life-changing experience, I swear!”

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