Friday, August 20, 2010

Vanilla, Extracted

By now you’ve already read that our popular, though recently absent, blogger Vanilla* has put a coda at the end of Half-Fast and bid us all a possibly-permanent-though-probably-temporary adieu.

It’d be so easy for me to launch into some snide personal attacks and juvenile name-calling now that he’s not here to defend himself. Even by F.M.S. standards, it’d be too easy. So, let’s get on with it…

How many of you think the obvious phonetic similarity between ‘Half-Fast’ and ‘Half-Assed’ was intentional? Methinks he might have had one of those ‘uh-oh’ moments like the one the parents of NASCAR driver Richard Trickle must have had.

The thing I always enjoyed about Half-Fast was his ability to write simply, in a crass and clunky style, in an effort to relate to the trailer park crowd. Trailerparkese is a difficult language but, dar gum, he did it! Most wouldn’t go to those lengths – mainly out of a sense of pride for oneself – but he did and I think he believes he’s better for it. Which is sweet. I think we all can agree that he didn’t deploy nearly enough asterisks/footnotes though.

I’ll most miss the attempts to PR that often ended in failure.** And then the excuses. Oh, man, the excuses were pure gold! It would be funny if not for the fact that his disappointment in missing a PR led to 45 more home foreclosures in the greater Colorado area.*** I believe the general philosophy was: No PR for me; No home for you.

I shared a podcast with him at one time. First it was through the Runner’s Lounge site under the title “Be Funny” subsequently renamed to “Laugh Tracks” and finally, after some thin skin controversy caused us to go independent, Banned on the Run”. Through all of the changes Vanilla attended every taping and, in every single episode, offered his greatest contribution, whether it be school or work: attendance. He was awfully good at it! Thanks for bringing that to the podcast!

What will my life – hell, all of our lives - be without such regular blog entries as Weekend Splits, (Celebrity) is Running, or Off Track? Not a whole lot different really. I don’t know why I mentioned it.

I’m sure Vanilla would like to pretend that he never ran across F.M.S. or that he agreed to be part of a podcast with yours truly or be the subject of a multi-pronged lawsuit that awarded someone**** a substantial financial settlement as well as restraining order. But if regrets and jury verdicts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.

For my part, to be fair, I have a few regrets also. There were a few times I might have gone overboard in the hyperbole directed at Half-Fast. For example:

  • It’s been unfair of me to suggest that Vanilla, the English banker, is single-handedly responsible for this country’s mortgage meltdown. There’s loads of circumstantial evidence and a strong, strong probability but do I know that for sure? No.
  • I don’t know for certain that Vanilla finds the War of 1812 the single greatest moment in history because “we burnt the White House to the ground”. I don’t even know where that quote comes from but it sure does sound like something he’d say right?
  • I regret insinuating that his blog – and by extension his very being – smells of moldy cheese. If there is one thing my parents taught me, it was never to make fun of someone’s personal hygiene choices.

So we come to the end of this phase of Half-Fast. I’m sure it’ll come back again and never truly fade away, no matter how much we may want it, like new Bon Jovi albums.

Some of you might think I’m being harsh. You might say that F.M.S. owes about half – or more - of its readership to his coveted Half-Fast Recommends link list. You might say that he nailed the short form blog entry style with highly readable, witty, and clever entries. You might say that the running blog pantheon is a little more bland today.

You might say a lot of things but then what do YOU know?

I wish Vanilla well in his new endeavors. There’s no one left in the running community to call me a terrorist. What will his future hold besides writing classes (obvs.)? More time to devote to foreclosures? More time for personal hygiene?

Wait…the timing of this is odd. Could it be?!

More hasty MS Paint magic!

Happy trails.

*”Ian” sounds like the name of the lead singer for a British alt-punk band. I call bullshit that he’s a banker. Either that or his name ain’t Ian. Right Carl?!?
**Lord knows I know nothing about that around here.
***He’s a banker remember?


Lily on the Road said...

Quite a tribute!

Ian said...

Awwww, how sweet. An entire blog post just for little ol' me? In my best Sally Field voice: "You like me, you really like me!"

You know, I'll never really go away completely. I'll always be here in your comments section like that piece of corn that gets stuck in your teeth or in your case like that burning rash that just won't go away.

Oh, and you may think it's funny to joke about foreclosures, but it won't be when they expand my territory to include Michigan and you find yourself out on your ass... you terrorist!! (Just for old times sake.)

Spike said...

You cried when you wrote this didn't you. It's ok to deal with hurt by lashing out. I'll miss Ian as well.

Ironman By Thirty said...

Great post!

I really like I feel like I missed out on the best years though. I didn't discover Ian until earlier this year when he was already phoning it in like a last semester senior.

Hopefully he will return for a comeback tour in the future garnering a whole new audience of fresh fans (much like Bon Jovi).

Vava said...


And "Mancy". (word verification thingy that, in my humble opinion, capture it all)

TCHusker - Nate said...

Great post! Nothing like reading some old Half-Fast posts to soothe the pain of Ian's (brief) departure.

Elizathon said...

so so funny...

Viper said...

Are we still talking about that guy?

Lauren said...

Are there still homes in Michigan left to foreclose upon? Aren't they all selling for about $800. Just skip a couple of race entry fees and you're set.

I'm sure someone will pick up on the name calling slack, but we'll all still miss Vanilla.