Thursday, December 18, 2003

Day 9,755 

Anyone happy or impressed by the recent capture of Saddam ought to check out the original Red Dawn. Someone in the Pentagon has taste.

I used to run Division III cross country, and briefly, track. Some may define this endeavor as life-defining, others may call it life-wasting. Imagine it as something in between, yet complete with details that stick with one long afterward. Such as . . . .

We have this friend -- I'll call him 'Jude'. He was a good runner and a good guy. Still is. He was not widely celebrated for his intelligence or social luck, but was probably considered a friend to all, something I can't really say I've ever achieved. He also went through an unfortunate streak of time where he repeatedly shit his pants while running. Can't say I've ever achieved that either. (So he's two up on me. Three if you add that he was a much faster runner.)

Now I know what you're wondering: "Why are you bringing this up? This isn't why I come to wrfarah.blogspot.com." Yes, you're probably right. According to an unofficial poll of readers, 33.3% said they came for the poetry, while 66.6% said they either typed in the wrong address or liked all the self-aware prose. I agree -- self-awareness is so underrated.

So why would I stoop to such a "middle school" level of humor, as to write about a friend's poor luck (or just a lack of common-sense planning) with his colon?

See, what fascinates me about this -- yes, to this very day -- is a logical component of it. (So it's not really the "middle school" humor I'm shooting for here, it's the bizzare logic -- do you buy that?)

What happened is that one day, yours truly and a few of his beleaguered colleagues were sitting home one dank Sunday night when we received a phone call. It was from a mutual friend, I'll call him 'Mick'. Mick called to give us a report on the races that were run that day (as we, for various reasons, opted to remain home instead of race in this major, end-of-the-season, race).

Mick gave us the anticipated report. The big news was: Jude kicked ass. Ran really fast. 2nd in the 10K at Conference. Wow -- 2nd at Conference, that's fantastic, top-tier, a superb accomplishment of which we could all beam with pride. And . . . he shit his pants . . . and it was in the middle of the race.

Now I might have some of the details wrong here. Frankly, I don't give a damn. What's important is not details. It's that: after telling us of this -- frankly, hilarious -- news, Mick said to us in a very serious, take-charge tone: "You guys can't rip on Jude for this. He ran really fast. 2nd place at Conference is amazing. So he doesn't deserve your shit."

Excuse me?

Yes, yes, yes -- 2nd place at Conference: amazing. I probably couldn't accomplish that if I was allowed to bike the 10K. But he shit his pants. In front of everyone. At Conference.

I don't care if he becomes president some day, walks on the moon, discovers the cure to cancer, rids the world of poverty and hunger -- he still shit his pants during the 10K at Conference. He's gonna hear about it. Maybe not forever. Maybe some day we'll forget about it, let it rest, whatever. But at some time, I thought -- probably the next time we see him, probably for a few weeks -- he's gonna hear about it. See, I've just gotta know what kind of person goes into a major race -- no, stop. I've got to explain.

When you race distance, you load up on carbohydrates the night before. And this guy -- Jude -- he liked an ice cream night-capper the night before racing. So assuming all this was done -- mass consumption of spaghetti, bowl of ice cream; carbs, lactose -- don't you think he could have gotten to a bathroom, a port-o-let, a shady grove -- before the race (which typically lasts around a half-hour) began?

I just have to know the thought process. I have to ponder this, question, implore, wonder, and, yes -- ridicule. We were a struggling team that spring, we had a tense year, then he goes out, runs like a king . . . and shits his pants doing it?


I think not, Mick. Just because one achieves a certain level of greatness does not preclude him from the joshing and intense ridicule that he deserves!

"Can't rip on Jude." What BS is that? Did Mick really think he could restrain our freedom of expression with a friend? Who did he think he was? Who did he think we were? What did he think we were? Sensitive? Made me want to say: "Attention, Mick: The elephant is in the corner. Next to you. It just shat it's pants."

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