Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Frozen Throat Chronicles: Episode 1

Note: I have no intent to make this a regular, running series despite the episode numbering scheme. If conditions conspire, it may become one. The option is left open.

Episode 1: The Great Esophagus Freeze

The man dons his battle armor: Hind running pants, two moisture wicking shirts which, between them, send the sweat droplets into an alternate dimension, a zip up vest, North Face bionic jacket, hat, gloves, Garmin, and mp3 player tuned to Social Distortion followed by the greatest hits of one Hue E. Lewis.

The Asics are laced and double knotted.

Ready, set…Garmin activate. The count up begins.

The icy cold wind slaps the hero across the face with repeated south easternly blasts. Fifteen degrees feels like five degrees. But he is up to the challenge.

Four hard miles to do battle. Four miles to prove his worth. Four long miles to come up with a way to over dramatize a fairly normal mid week run.

An extended stop at a busy rush hour intersection puts the Garmin briefly on pause. The icy winter claw grabs at his wrist and envelopes Garmin. Winter attacks his weakness. The legs don’t move if the Garmin doesn’t tick tock. Or so it seems.

An opening and the man battles onward across the frozen intersection. He pushes the start button on faithful Garmin. He pushes again. The button stays depressed but the Garmin doesn’t respond. The breeze blows in a gleeful cackle. Garmin is disabled. It is frozen on his wrist.

Hope is lost.

But the legs are still moving. The man is still running! Without Garmin, he is running blindly. Or, at least, he risks incorrectly estimating his distance on this familiar course by around 1/10 of a mile. The man is a numbers geek. One tenth mile might as well be 53 miles. Tragedy. Death.

If Garmin is sacrificed, the run must not be in vain. He presses on.

Two miles in, a wad of pre-run chocolate cookie residue mixed with nasal drainage lumps at the back of his throat. The spitting mechanism is strong in this runner. He coughs up a tight ball of expellant on the back of his tongue. The command to spit is issued. The neck and mouth lurch into expectorant duties.

And seize.

He tries again. Same result. The gooey concoction is suspended at the back of his throat.

Winter has claimed a second victim. Frozen air traveling over a frozen tongue has caused a frozen throat.

The man presses on. Winter attempts to knock him off stride with sudden, unexpected ice patches…the spit lump swishing side to side.

The man musters steely resolve and hacks a strong, cannon blast loogy echoing across the frozen tundra. It lands with a brownish plop in the snow bank. The man has triumphed! His throat continues to hack out loogies every few steps in an open act of defiance.

By the time the man completes four miles and returns to his front porch, he notices that Garmin has started ticking again. His spits are frequent, thick, and unfettered. He may be coming down with a cold. Or stop eating mushy cookies before he runs.

A new man ascends the steps and enters the house. Winter has been defeated amidst a flurry of nasal mucus stained sidewalks. He has met the enemy and came away victorious.

He is no longer a man. He is a superman able to reclaim a frozen throat from the clutches of dastardly Old Man Winter.

He is Captain Esophagus, the newest and lamest super hero in the pantheon.

All hail Captain Esophagus.*

Happy spitting.

* Look, it was either the esophagus or the epiglottis. I realize the esophagus might not be the correct biological term to use for what I'm describing. Maybe the epiglottis isn't either. In any case, I didn't want to go with Captain Epiglottis because, obviously, that just sounds stupid.

24 comments:

Kristina said...

thanks for the laugh--first one since Saturday, oh Captain.

Turi said...

That was eerily like my run this morning...

Vanilla said...

"I didn't want to go with Captain Epiglottis because, obviously, that just sounds stupid."

Yeah, you really sidestepped a potential pitfall with that one.

Vava said...

What the heck went wrong with the Garmin (pbtn)? Did it record your run properly? Damn it, CE! Details! Details! Details!!!

tfh said...

I may have to challenge Captain Esophagus to a duel. Lady Epiglottis. Sure, it sounds stupid until it's hacked up all over the sidewalk, and then, there's just such a sense of victory. You captured it perfectly.

jen said...

Excellent dramatic recap!

I prefer Captain Epiglottis actually.

Danielle in Iowa said...

Oh Captain, My Captain!

milebymile said...

Oddly like my run this morning--except here it was a balmy 35 or so.

Vividly captured, as always.

Ms. V. said...

It's hard for me to put *winter* in a category with you, because I am going out for a run in 55 degree weather in a few...

That being said, I started chewing gum when it was cold so I wasn't breathing in frosty air (read: 45 degrees).

Hilarious post.

KimsRunning said...

Well Capt Esophagus...normally I'd be able to flaunt the balmy 85 degree weather we have here in Eff Ell AYYY....but it was 32 degrees this morning here. And THIS Princess won't run when there's a possibility of SNOW in SW Florida.

Hail to thee.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Captain Esophagus. Bwhahahahahah

Blyfinn said...

It's funny because it's true.

Xenia said...

Why not Captain Phlegm-thrower? It has a certain catchy ring to it, no?

PinkAsphaltMama said...

NO NO NO! Hell-LOOOOO?!?!? It's Captain Uvula, of course!

Of course the word verification thinks that there should be an equivalent of the Justice League and call it "SUCROMEN"! Maybe Blogger (like Wikipedia) has the answer for everything!

Jess said...

Because Captain Esophagus sounds soooo much cooler...

Nice job on getting out there even if Garmin had some issues

Marlene said...

You never cease to disgust and amuse me with your graphic descriptions.

I hope Garmin has recovered from the freeze.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Didn't you, by your own account, used to be "The Reverse Incredible Hulk? And didn't we agree then that your name should therefore be "The Entirely Believable Wimp"?

What happened with that?

Viper said...

I thought for sure you'd go with Ubermench, but whatever the weather, Capt. Way to spit in the face of the cold.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Thanks for the great/disgusting visual. Still laughing...

Melissa said...

(HaHaHaHaHa! "Phlegm-thrower." I'm going to use that.)

Technically, I think the pharyngeal muscles, tongue muscles (in the back) and the soft palate are the body parts involved in hacking up loogeys. The epiglottis just keeps stuff from going down your windpipe.

Lily on the Road said...

Riviting, as always!! LOL

joyRuN said...

Oy. You fell for it too?! I'm going to have to write an editor's note. Sheesh!

Roisin said...

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww

sRod said...

Gross and hilarious all bundled together in one neat package. Thanks. It is a true talent...right up there with supersonic expecteration.