I am an avid runner, one who runs almost three thousand miles each year. Sadly, I completely hate it. If there was some way to eat as many Cheetos as I do without having to burn them off through exercise I would be all over that concept, but I am afraid it is not to be.
I make the best of it by being a part of a really dynamic group of runners, people who do this to themselves on a daily basis because their bodies actually crave the endorphin release that comes from self-torture. Or because they are constantly preparing themselves in case they find themselves locked in some sort of gulag and running to freedom is the only way to escape the starvation and the potential of freezing to death in a work camp. I personally believe they may be just too prudish for S&M and this is the closest they can get to painful physical humiliation without having to scour the internet for weirdos.
However it worked out, I found myself in charge of our club’s running race in our town lately. It was to be a 13.1 mile event, better known to the people as a half marathon, but more importantly it was a no-frills event, one without awards or fancy prizes or any superfluous safety considerations like medical assistance. The term for this kind of event in the running world is “naked,” and because I’m so strange, the Half Naked Marathon was born.
Obviously, once you put an announcement on the entire internet that you are hosting a Saturday morning get-together called the Half Naked Marathon, it’s really important that you not check your email. You would be amazed at the things people will send you when they find that your name is associated with these iconic Google identifiers. Red Bull actually called me and wanted to send the Red Bull Girls to the event, and they were the tamest offer I received. I spent several weeks explaining to strangers via telephone and email that no one at the event would actually be running without any clothes on. At least not on purpose.
I realize I am mostly to blame and that the strangers calling me had every right to feel gipped. Don’t go telling it like it isn’t, as mama used to say.
I can only think of one other instance of such blatent-yet-innocent false advertising: the ever popular but looked down upon art of underwater basket weaving. This poor maligned art form became the catch-all derogatory term for any kind of endeavor that seemed pointless, at least in the eyes of the masses. Have you ever referred to something by way of comparing it to underwater basket weaving? Of course you have. Have you ever tried underwater basket weaving? Chances are, you have not. And yet you smirk.
Let me help you for a moment: THE BASKET IS UNDERWATER, NOT THE WEAVER, MORON! I’m sorry, that was harsh, and not at all the kind of sentiment you would expect from someone who carefully works the fibers of a basket while plunging the entire creation into a bucket of very cold water. The fibers of that particular type of basket are very brittle when dry and very prone to snapping under the least bit of pressure (much like me), but if they are saturated they become very pliable. Insert random-but-hilariously-true alcohol reference here.
Admit it, all these years you’ve pictured legions of twenty-something college students wasting their parents’ carefully saved tuition dollars on pointless classes like this one in order to weave idiotic baskets in the university’s aquatics center while wearing scuba gear and claim it as their required art elective. One of my colleagues had never even pictured the scuba gear and just speculated that the weavers held their collective breaths for a long time.
All in all, there is a lot of false advertising in the world, as anyone who has ever watched the Saturday morning infomercial marathon knows. Sometimes it’s to cover up how bad a product is, sometimes it’s to make crazies on the internet think the runners in my town are really fun, and sometimes it’s just an innocent attempt to weave a freakin’ basket. You be the judge. But I am all for hosting the Half Naked Alcoholic Underwater Basket Weaving box social at my house. Bring your own crazies.