Tag Archives: encounters

Pork Chop Cologne & Wile E. Coyote

Last night, Steph and I packed up to do my hill repeats up on the only hill worthy of the name in the area. As I think I mentioned last time around, it’s a sled hill, basically just an unexplained bump in the middle of a park, with wooden logs pressed into three sides forming a sort of staircase for wintertime, and a gazebo (complete with cliche grafitti) on top.

As any discontinuity seems to, this place acts as a magnet for things going on. People seem to love to walk their dogs around, up and over the hill, whether for exercise or novelty. This time around it was dogs, and what I can only describe as a self-propelled para-sailer. (para-sailor?)

The dogs were no different than dogs always are on runs, you’re moving fast(ish) you smell interesting (like balls. Dogs like balls) and you’re not looking at them. Much like singles night at a crappy bar, this is a recipe for being irresistible to dogs. So every owner had to tug on a leash as I loped uphill by them. Only one inconsiderate guy made me run the 6 feet in a circle around him so that I didn’t test how well behaved his pooch was, everyone else was an absolute saint. Still, I felt like I had pork chops in my pockets.

Pork Chop

The other entertaining encounter was a guy who asked me, on the downhill side of my second repeat, “Which way is the wind blowing up there at the top?”. Not having prepared for a meteorology pop quiz, I vaguely gestured that it was blowing against the direction I was running, and kept running. Each repeat for the next 2-4, was like watching the part of the WB cartoon where Wile E. Coyote establishes his amazing trap to catch the Roadrunner. First, the guy was unpacking a mega sized duffle with cords, and harnesses and nylon. Next, he was shouldering and stepping his way into this harness, and the contraption was beginning to take shape. Finally, I saw him unfolding a parachute, checking the lines, and then trying to catch a breeze and take off, by running down the hill, into the wind. Every once in a while, I’d look up and see his multi-colored parachute fill with air, and hold my breath, hoping that I’d soon see that nutcase go hovering overhead.

Wile E. Coyote

Sadly, it was not to be. Something about the wind going the wrong direction. The guy told me a bit about his hobby when I stopped after my last repeat, but I have to admit it was pretty full of the kind of jargon hobbies accumulate, so I wasn’t entirely sure how it worked. But I do know that in other, better times, when his motor was not out for repair, he goes flying with a 44″ fan strapped to his back.

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. I’m glad I found this place, for the blog posts, if nothing else.


Road Hazards

Things that have happened to me while running.

  •  Pulled over by a police officer and told to get out of the road.
  • Almost run over approximately 10 times. Cars backing out of driveways, people turning right, and trucks with mirrors large enough to dress in being the major dangers.
  • Been heckled by 2 separate cars full of teenagers. “Slow Motion Jogger” and “Eeeewl!”. Thanks, folks. Love the motivation.
  • Nearly run down by a bicycle who thought “on your left” was something he could mutter approximately 1 second before impact. He then yelled at me to turn off my iPod. My iPod was off.
  • Got into a shouting match with a neighbor who pulled past me on a snowy day doing 40mph on a 25mph road and HONKED. 
  • Tried to notify several people that I was passing (“on your left”) and had them scream at me not to surprise them.
  • Had a confrontation, in the dark, with two unleashed dogs who ran into the road to block me from passing their house.

And now, add to that list

  • Narrowly missed by a waterballoon thrown from a car window.

Luckily these kids had shit for aim.

Of course, a few weeks from now I’ll probably be running in the heat, thinking how welcome it would be to be covered heel to toe in water. Solution: Go jogging where there are a lot of bored teenagers, preferably with access to water. Fundraiser car wash?