The scout rally was some sort of car racing thing. I'm not sure how to classify it - they weren't hot rods, they weren't sleek or expensive-looking... They were just shells of cars covered in a ton of dirt and making lots of noise. Rally cars, I guess. It was being held at Gawler, which is a town about an hour north of Adelaide and full of bogans, rednecks and chavs, depending on which country you're from.
When I found the stand, it was being looked after by Hayley, one of the few actual staff members the station has, Inga, a single mum who works on a few shows, and her young son Andrew. It became apparent very quickly that our humble little merch stand wasn't going to get much interest throughout the night, so we got bored. Very bored. Hayley walked around rearranging things just for something to do. Then she'd move on to something else, come back and rearrange them again. Inga and Andrew chatted about all manner of things in the corner of the marquee. I just busied myself in my phone and ate some of the leftover chocolate I hadn't used at work. After a while, I thought I might explore the place - see what I could find.
There were food stalls around the place and a Disney Princess bouncy castle in the distance. Bogans were lining up around the edge of the oval, watching cars rev past one at a time while an announcer gave statistics about each one. There were a few display cars lined up along a wall which inexplicably seemed to be surrounded by cans of Monster energy drink.
I got back to the merch stand and reported on what I saw. Then Andrew had an idea.
'What if we go around and sign people up as Fresh Mates?' He was talking about the station's subscriber service, where you pay $30 a year and get a bunch of stuff in return like discounts, DJ mixes and access to competitions. This kid's idea was to go up to strangers who were there to see the rally cars and ask them for $30 to join a club they might never have heard of. Pretty bad idea, but I was sure I could get some material out of it. So I said I'd supervise him as he went on his way.
We meandered to where the food stalls were and sussed out a small group of people.
'How about those people?' said Andrew. 'Do you think they'd sign up?'
'I don't know. You'll have to find out.'
'Ok. Go on and ask them.'
'What? This was your idea, I'm just looking after you.'
'Yeah, but you can do the first one.'
'No, you do it!'
'Fine!' and I stalked over in a huff.
'Hey mate, we're from Fresh 92.7. We're signing people up as Fresh Mates if you're interested.'
'Oh um... Nah mate, I'm alright.'
'Do you listen to the station?'
'Yeah, all the time. I love it.'
'Oh that's great. Well... thanks for your time.'
'Are you happy?' I asked Andrew.
'No, you didn't push him hard enough,' he declared. 'He listens all the time, you could have convinced him to sign up.'
'Oh, so I'm getting ribbed on my sales technique by a ten-year-old? Let's see what you've got then.'
'Fine.' We walked off in search of another target and came across a group of men standing around drinking beer.
'Do you think these guys would sign up?' asked Andrew.
'Probably not, but we could give it a go,' I said.
'Ok. Go on, then.'
'Hey, you said you'd do the next one!'
'Just do this one for me, and then I'll do the next one.'
'Uh-uh, I'm not falling for that again,' and I turned and walked back to the tent.
Later I took another wander and discovered a building that housed some classic cars. I'm not that much into cars, but even I knew the collection they had wasn't that impressive. I did like one old truck they had that had a story about its history taped to it. And there seemed to be another car with a band-aid on its bonnet. Okay...
Back outside, there were costumed characters walking around. I had to grab a photo. Of course I did.
|This friendly guy was named Archie.|
|What a time to find out I can't do duck-face.|
Back at the merch stand, there still wasn't much happening. Hayley was still busy rearranging things and Inga was checking to see if anyone had messaged her. The only excitement happened when one of the racers came up to us and bought a couple of bumper stickers for his car. I loved the idea of one of these cars flying the flag for Fresh while he was out there.
Hayley eventually gave up on rearranging things. She blew up one of the Fresh-branded beach balls and handed it to Andrew to play with. He decided he wanted a new one because he didn't want saliva on his new beach ball. So I grabbed a new one and handed it to him, but not before dabbing the mouthpiece on my tongue to mess with him. He caught me and demanded I put it back, so now one lucky person will get a little bit more than what they paid for when they buy it.
I rounded out the night playing volleyball and soccer with Andrew and his new beach ball. It was so bitterly cold that by the time the rally finished, I could no longer feel my hands. I watched all the rally cars stumble off the track and leave, taking the crowd of revheads with it.
Oh also, I met Erin. Erin's a girl who also works at Fresh and I used to be her producer on the Tuesday morning breakfast show. Here's a picture of that.