Most cities care by making some attempt to help the homeless, or by making sure their waiting staff are paid at least minimum wage. New York cares by painting fences.
On Saturday a group of particularly public-spirited/in-possession-of-nothing-better-to-do Mountbattens got up at stupid o’clock to drag themselves out to the Bronx to take part in New York Cares day. Admittedly, we are poor, and most of us were there for the free t-shirt because it would delay having to wash any clothes for a little while longer (saving both money and time, and therefore spreading happiness. And who doesn’t want a pyjama top that screams ‘I’m a good person!’). But New York Cares day happens twice a year and the idea is that the people of this great city stop “accidentally” kicking you with their stilettos and muscling each other out of the way for cabs, and do something to help someone else. But I suppose a few people are getting a small amount of shit done, and that counts for a lot in what is quite a self-absorbed city.
The day quickly became massively over-exciting when we realised we were going to get to go on an actual yellow school bus. Of course, the day probably became drastically less exciting to the US residents also on the bus who had probably spent the best part of half their lives on actual yellow school buses, and were going to have to sit for an hour and listen to a group of Brits talk in awed tones about ‘actual yellow school buses’. But we did not worry about such things, for we were passengers of an actual yellow school bus now, and we lived up to everything that implies. So we acted like five year olds, spilled our drinks, and squealed every time the bus went fast over a bump.
The random hand merely proves that I was not the only person sad enough to take a photo.
As an out-and-proud Brown Thumb I nearly bit the hand off the woman who was handing out work assignments for the morning. I mean, it’s not that I would have minded doing something to do with plants (I’m not being non-specific here, I just genuinely didn’t know what on earth people were talking about), but I just decided that peoples’ lives are hard enough, without me “helping”. So I ended up on a special painting mission with a few select others who were also greenery impaired and/or in the toilet when the people for gardening were chosen.
But the secret prize for being crap at gardening was…
The dismembered hand of a Sesame Street character!