Friday, June 17, 2011

My Runs

Despite the title, this post will have almost nothing to do with diarrhea.

When people ask what my favorite type of weather is, I always respond the same way: So blazing Iowa hot with extra muggy! To those readers who don't know what Midwest summers are like, these days are around 98 degrees, where the heat seems to pound on your skin, and the air is so thick and hard to breathe that you're out of breath within the first minute and drenched in sweat within the first 30 seconds.

So one might ask, "Why the hell is that your favorite??" and I'll admit, it does seem pretty crazy. It's not like I go swim on these days (though when I do, it is AMAZING). In fact, the next statements are going to sound even crazier. I like this weather because this is my favorite type to go for runs in. I can barely make it 2 miles, and when I finish, I'm drenched, wheezing, and passersby stare and occasionally ask if they should call an ambulance. Usually, there will be drool hanging out the side of my mouth. I also can't exercise if I hear myself breathing, so I crank my ipod up to "This will make you deaf" levels which can be heard within a 10 foot radius around my person.

So why do I like that? It sounds crazy, hot, and uncomfortable. It's because I know what running will be like when the weather cools down. Usually, when fall comes around, I can run 6-10 miles after training in such terrible conditions. So why isn't fall my favorite? I have no idea. I guess I just like the process. Maybe there's something to be said for hard work and good ethic. I think the more likely reason is that I'm not, nor will I ever be normal.

On a more important note, I'm going to discuss my favorite running attire-- trust me, this part is funnier. I love my one pair of black running shorts, but my best running shirt of all time is my Dad's old gray Army shirt. It keeps me cool, and matches my shorts with its big black 'Army' letters.

The only part I don't like about this shirt are the looks that I get for it. I constantly feel like I'm a mascot for the United States Army, and so whenever I pass anyone, in my head I'm thinking "Do they think this is how they run in the Army? Am I giving the Army a bad name? What would a real Army person do to me right now if they saw me running with Katy Perry blasting my eardrums apart?"

But this one time, I was passing by a bus stop. There were the usual coke addicts waiting for their public transportation, but this time, there was obviously a reunion for the first World War going on because there was this humpbacked 132 year old man dressed in full veteran garb standing with them. He glanced my way with his 2 inch thick glasses and I saw distinct pride in his eyes. I immediately felt ridden with guilt. His gaze held as he shakily let go of his walker (what looked like a feat in itself) and lifted his hand in an unmistakeable salute.

Needless to say, I was mortified. I had no idea what to do, so instead of slowing to salute, or doing anything sane, I turned left, jumped over a 3 foot high fence (I've never understood the point of those) and ran through someone's yard. This poor old man just got stiffed by what he thought was this generations army. I think the United States can indict me for treason for this.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Worst Date

This is an article I thought of today, which may even be good enough for my book someday, but I’m sharing it with you, my public.

About a year ago, I agreed to go on a date with this guy named “Joe”. Actually, his name is Joe and I’m too lazy to come up with an alias to protect his innocence. But I consider the brevity of the date to be enough to indict him for a serious misdemeanor if not a felony.

I had been in a dry spell for months, and my mom had been begging me to put myself “out there” more because she worries about my single-ness. (As she reads this, she will think that this is some ploy to blame the date on her. It's not. [It totally is]) Anyway, Joe asks me out for a dinner, nothing more. I agree, even though Joe was overweight and unattractive. I tend to believe it was an attempt to prove to myself that I wasn’t shallow. I know now that I am shallow. Like Adel Iowa’s kiddie pool. (Shout out to anyone who gets that reference!)

Anyway, UglyJoe picks me up from my apartment building and we start the drive to Olde Main for dinner.

6:01 PM-- I immediately tell him that I have a prior engagement for 8 PM that I cannot miss. He droops his face in some sort of pity-me sulk and tells me about his plan for a movie date. I politely smile and say perhaps another time.

6:01 and 30 seconds PM—We start listening to the radio. The song “Hey (I Love You)” comes on. He sings every word. Off key. Normally, I would find this endearing, but he was staring at me the whole time. I kept staring straight ahead, frightened of whatever sort of signal that eye contact might give off.

6:05 PM—We arrive at the restaurant. He opens all the door for me, trying to be a gentleman. This irks me, as I have plenty of testosterone and arm strength to do these things myself. He also had the look of upmost pride in remembering to “do the little things” on a date. Hint: it’s not 1950, and I have a penis. These things don’t need to happen.

6:20 PM—I have been able to use witty banter to entertain the both of us thus far on the date. We have just ordered. (I got a salad, which is a first date mistake, but I wasn’t hungry. He ordered a steak with a side of gravy. You decide who should be at fault here)

6:30 PM—I realize with a jolt that I have run out of wit, and now must rely on small talk. Really small. UglyJoe wasn’t much of a conversationalist and was obviously not very smart. I learn that his profession is Hirta Public Transport bus driver. He was seeking no further education. So we talked about the old and mentally retarded clients he shuffled across various parts of Ames.

6:45 PM—Our food arrives. I feel the relief of no conversation. I secure this relief by stuffing my mouth with salad every chance I get. Luckily, the salad is huge. This does remain difficult though, because I am getting nauseated by his... interesting food choice.

7:00 PM—I can stomach no more lettuce, nor any more of UglyJoe. He had just finished telling me about his uncle living in Italy. I nod politely and quickly ask a waitress (not even ours) for the check. UglyJoe then asks me to join him on a trip to visit his uncle with the rest of his family. I sharply inhale my breath and weigh the options in my head: I could fake this relationship with UglyJoe and score a trip to Italy. But this would require months of repressed revulsion, and he would expect the relationship to escalate quickly. How did I deduce this? He sang ‘I love you’ and asked me to go to Italy with him on the first date. That’s how. I decided to go the safe route (he was my ride home) and give him a “maybe!”

7:10 PM—He’s opening the car door for me.

7:12 PM—He decides to take the “long way” home which meant driving in a completely opposite direction for no apparent reason besides loving the date and my obvious misery.

7:14 PM—We pull into the Hirta Public Transportation bus lot and he proceeds to drive by each bus and describe which ones were his favorites and why. Seriously.

7:30 PM—We finally leave the parking lot and begin the winding trail back to campustown where my bed was waiting for me and the deadbolt on the door was soon to be in use.

7:43 PM—I remember this time so vividly because I still shudder when I see it on the clock. He pulls over and begs for a kiss. I see flecks of meat still on the side of his face. I see that he’s been waiting for this moment all night. I see he HAS A RAGING BONER. I quickly close my eyes, clench my teeth (to prevent any tongue action), peck his lips, thinking frantically of anyone else that this could be. Then I stare out the windshield for the rest of the ride. He comments something along the lines of, “Now I REALLY wish you didn’t have that 8 PM meeting…” in this voice that made it sound like that was the best kiss of his life (it might have been). I was mortified.

7:50 PM—I half-run back into my apartment and tell my roommate Jeffrey about the worst night of my life. He is unsympathetic.


The next day, Joe asks me out for another date, and I let him down easy. Or at least I thought it was easy. But he got really offended, called me a bitch (again, doesn’t really have any affect since I’m a dude) and said that he “regretted buying me dinner” the night before. Well, since he was throwing the fit, I reminded him that he REALLY wanted to buy it, even after I offered to pay for my $5 salad on the $22 tab, and that he should be so lucky as to pay $5 for a kiss from anyone as awesome as me. He didn’t take that well either.