There are things in this world that I just don’t understand, like calculus, the Jonas Brothers, and the way my son’s brain works. And then there’s our neighborhood YMCA’s annual Turkey Trot—a 5 K held every Thanksgiving for nut jobs who think that running is an appropriate activity for Thanksgiving Day. Our house is on the trot route, so we have the pleasure of watching the wackos huff and puff from the comfort of our living room.
Last year was our first Thanksgiving in this house, and somehow we missed the Turkey Trot memo our YMCA sends to the neighborhood homeowners. Thus, we were surprised to see groups of joggers slogging down our street. Our natural inclination is to heckle such industrious folks, and so we sat on our window seat and cheered and jeered. Kory made plans to loaf in a lawn chair in our front yard with a beer for next year’s event. But he must have forgotten his plans because the trot rolled around this year and Kory stayed inside (it was cold.)
But evidently one of our neighbors was determined to spur the runners on. We could hear the Bob Denver songs he played on outdoor speakers from inside our house. I don’t know about you, but Bob Denver would make me run away.
I think next year we should get some outdoor speakers too. In fact, the whole neighborhood could get involved in supporting the poor insane people who exercise instead of eat on Thanksgiving. One house could play Barry Manilow, one could play the Bee Gees. We could throw in some Falco, maybe a little Air Supply. And not to leave the 90’s rejects out, we could add Vanilla Ice and Ace of Base.
You think I’m being mean, but I’m really not. Just think about it. You’re running, you’re exhausted, your lungs are burning. It’s freezing, but you’re sweating so your body is in perpetual confusion. You’ve made it through 4 of your 5 kilometers, but you’ve hit the wall. You can’t go on. And then. . . you turn the corner onto a street where every house is playing some form of ear-insulting muzak. At first you’re horrified, but then your fight or flight instincts take over. Adrenaline surges through your body as you realize that you must escape this twilight zone or spend the rest of your holiday with “I Saw the Sign” replaying in your brain every five seconds. Your second wind arrives, your muscles respond, and you sprint by the offensive houses, thankful for the kind homeowners who’ve provided you with the inspiration to finish the race.
I may not understand why these people choose to torture themselves on the one day when gorging is not only accepted, but encouraged. But I do understand the need for people to help people, for neighbors to band together with the common purpose of ridding the area of fanatical joggers who make the rest of us look bad. And so I propose Operation Play Them Away to run concurrent with the 2009 Annual Turkey Trot. Who’s with me? Together we can get back to loafing.