Friday, July 19, 2013

Relay For Life: After the Walk

By Bixyl Shuftan

Following the Relay For Life Weekend, in which the Relayers walk the track, the sims remain open for some days afterward. This is to allow those who missed the walk to see the exhibits, but it also allows those whom had lag troubles to see the camps and builds without trouble. And yours truly was among those taking some time to sightsee.

Most people walked. But I saw a few people in vehicles, even Sageway two-wheelers. Once I saw some pedal-powered contraption manned by several residents from Loligagger Lane. Getting on it however, I was knocked off as soon as it hit a sim crossing.

Much of the time, inspired by the "Stinky the Skunk" cheers and jokes, I went down the track in my skunk avatar. This included one time at a water build in which the stinker got a dolphin ride.

I wasn't the only one, though. Stopping by the "Bog of Eternal Stench," there was the Relayer whom was playing the part of "Stinky." Who was it? Well, I never heard him admit it, so keeping Stinky's secret identity a secret, for now.

And while going down the track, people would sometimes meet up to talk, or have impromptu parties. Listening to the Relay chatter on Monday July 15, Fuzzball had a challenge to live up to. Since a fundraising goal had been met, he had to go bald, purple, and dress in modern wear. And so he appeared that way on the track, looking like something from "Blue Man Group," but purplish. "Lavender was too girly," his partner Genie spoke amusingly.

As a few more dropped in, a dance animator called "PSY Gentleman" was passed around. And then we were soon having our own little dance party. This included one dancer in an "ent," or tree spirit avatar. She had some "tree"mendous moves.

One of the Relay traditions is the "flood party." It began one year when the water level in one sim was raised before the camps were cleared, and everyone had such a great time, people kept on doing it. This year, it took place Wednesday July 17. There was no need for life preservers this time, though. There was only a foot of water covering the path and much of the ground at RFL Spirit where the flood took place.

At RFL Reflections, a yacht had been parked at the docks, with a skunk figurehead. Aboard were dancing a number of Relayers, with Aryon Dagger acting as DJ behind a booth and spinning tunes. She was soon followed by DJ Madonna as clouds formed overhead, and rained on the people and land down below. Later on, Stingray would show up in pirate regalia and a couple ships with Gorean flags appeared. People laughed rather than shivered, though, and a few were donning pirate outfits of their own. This might have been the last of the big parties, and people were taking advantage of the chance to have fun.

By Thursday July 18, there were a few empty camp areas as their builders had for whatever reason to pack up early. But most of the exhibits were still up, and people explored. In RFL Give, there was one gathering of human and furred avatars, some of both in Steampunk outfits. We enjoyed the music, dancing a little, and swapped a few jokes.

As usual, people were joking around in the Relay Volunteer Group chat, but there were also expressions of sadness. The empty spaces were the sign that the sims would soon be gone, "I'm going to miss the Relay." One woman commented there would be an emptiness in her heart filled only by the planning for next year.

Friday is probably the last chance to see the sims with some number of exhibits. You may also get a chance to see a "demolition party," as the build goes out as part of an event. In two or three days, the sims will fade back into the virtual nether, and The Walk will be over for another year.

Bixyl Shuftan

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