You know the story…it’s Christmas Vacation month here at F.M.S!
Clark: Let’s burn some dust here, eat my rubber!
Rusty: Dad, I think what you mean is “burn rubber” and “eat my dust”.
Clark: Whatever Russ, whatever. Eat my road grit Liver Lips!
A Case for Pre-Race Hotdogging
I love taunting a defeated opponent. I think it’s what separates us from the animals. A tiger just makes his kill and then settles in to eat. No prancing. No fingering miming of a pistol shoot-out at the corpse. No head bobbing moonwalk followed by a 180 turn into the splits, finger extended with the universal #1 sign. No wearing the antelope skin around like a robe. Nothing. A big sack of boring. That’s what makes us superior to animals. The day a tiger starts posing for sexy photos on his human skin rug is the day I’ll realize things have changed.
As a non-elite runner, I don’t have many chances to taunt defeated opponents. There’s way too many people that have already finished the race for it to look cool as I trot in backwards across the finish while cupping my hands to my mouth and shouting “C’mon, you can do it…keep on trying. Your effort is very cute.” I mean, I do that but it doesn’t look very cool what with the 100 or so runners already pulling on their sweat suits on the other side of the timing mats. No, it’s much better to get your cocky swagger on before you get to the finish.
Early hotdogger avoids the embarrassment, I always say.
Now some of you may be thinking that if you can’t back it up, why be so arrogant? Some of these runners are fast. Like tiger fast. And, yes, there’s a few elderly and/or sick antelope in the herd too but you can’t always tell which ones (though the fellas holding a CD walkman flat so that the disc won’t skip might be a give away).
It’s during warm-up and the slow corralling of runners before the race begins in which I’m at my cockiest. I strut around like a steroid fueled wrestler launching a verbal assault on the stretching racers:
“What do we have here? The JV? Where’s the varsity meet?”
“I’m still drunk from last night. Someone will need to get my first place trophy for me.”
“The real marathon follows this marathon right? Ok, let’s get the warm-up started.”
“I see one hungry lion and a bunch of antelope with moderate to severe hip dysplasia. ROAR!!”
“It smells like shit A LOT around here. Is this an outhouse convention and you are all the turds?”
“You can’t spell SUCKS without U!”
At this point, the runners probably think I’m all bluster and swagger but they probably don’t know for sure. I count on that. I mean, there is still the chance that I could be the guy who wins right? Usually no one responds before the race begins.
When the gun sounds, I take off fast just to deepen that seed of doubt. I might throw out a few “let’s burn some dust” or “eat my rubber” just to keep them off balance. Of course, eventually many, many folks pass me. Sometimes I get those smart-asses who pass me by with a “not talking tough now are you” comment as I grimace back at them in full mid-race limp and croak “someone get a doctor - I snapped my hamstring.”
Mostly, the runners pass me unnoticed as they’re too busy worrying about themselves and their own effort. I also count on that. By the time we reach the finish and the runners are collecting their medals or congratulating each other or reuniting with friends and family, I can high-step backward trot - on my miraculously healed hamstring - across the finish for one final hotdog to the few I might have beaten.
While the “winners” get their awards and everyone cheers, I quietly slink away. I’m a starting line champ…others can have the finish.
Occasionally, I may be spotted heading out to the parking lot and another smart-ass may sneer “that lion sure looks like an antelope to me.”
I just smile, “Whatever man, whatever.” And then mutter under my breath "Liver lips."
For more hot Lion-Hunting-Antelope action, check out one of my favorite race recaps. It has blood!
I want to thank those that commented on my previous post for offering their opinion on my opinion about a controversial subject. All comments were welcome but I particularly enjoyed Thomas’ international take:
“As someone who has been self-coached for the last 6 years and recently got the offer of free coaching help, I can assure you that this post is full of shit. *Ever helpful* Love, Thomas”
I know Thomas is Irish so I had a difficult time interpreting due to the language barrier. I believe, if I’ve correctly translated, he was deploying an old Irish proverb that loosely translates to:
“Nitmos, once again you’ve hit the nail on the head! How did you get so smart? When will you be in Ireland so we can throw a party in your honor?”