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Final freezing flutter Footiscray
Posted by Tony on 27th June 2014 at 16:20:46
Yeah, I do know how it is more commonly spelt and misspelt, but that is how many pronounce it, and it has been too long between posts here.

The extraordinary network of concerned groups and individuals who have looked past govt and Hun propaganda on the East West Link proposal had a sufficient quantity of fliers not spoken for at the end of Wednesday's final organising meeting that I offered to break all my rules for elderly self preservation and co-ordinate handing out outside Footscray station this morning between 7:30 and 9:00.

At least I now know why such sessions are kept shorter than might seem justified from the travel involved. Even with thick jumper, wind jacket and natural insulation layer, I would not have lasted another ten minutes in the cold.

Initial tweeting of such a decision with 35 hours lead time was not sufficient to shake out anyone else, most of my sympathetic local contacts being committed elsewhere at that hour, so it became only myself to organise, nowadays a sufficient challenge. It was made that significant bit easier when I arrived at the crossing to the 82 tram stop (and many buses) to discover a rally poster already taped up in clearly the best place. Deep thanks to whoever.

Recently I've claimed, based on fragmented observations, that Footscray and much of Melbourne's West has truly become colour blind. Today a much larger sample underlined that truth. But that is an aside.

What I tried to stay interested in was the characteristics of people who accepted the fliers or did not, knowing full well that I'm personally in the "not" category. Total numbers walking past would be at best a guess, but lets say 2,000 would have passed the spot in those 90 ever colder minutes, of whom maybe 1,000 noticed there was an old man trying to hand out fliers and 200 who took one. I did make less effort trying to interest school kids, in part because they were mostly coming from behind where I was facing, that is they were likely arriving rather than departing by train.

Dunno if it says something about intermodal coordination being better than is widely believed, but my biggest fail was with the tram loads all rushing past. Some bus loads were like that but others took some. The best single predictor was seeing somebody ahead or close take one. A couple of times it built to a cluster of six who just happened to be in the same place at the same time and not otherwise connected, each taking one.

Even the physical characteristics of the flier in the wind came into play, as they could curl out of somebody's hand creating a momentary wrong impression. Most pleasingly, I saw no sign of any being promptly discarded.

Memory necessarily focuses on the exceptions, the half dozen who either "had one already" or expressed affirmative support without needing the piece of paper. Maybe I should have tested the water with one or two about helping hand out, but I don't think on my feet to that degree, especially not at that hour.

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