asked a voice from the Blueliner peanut gallery. They know me as one to be on the cutting edge of the latest fashion trends, starting with the lovely shoes I grow myself.
The group meets every Saturday morning at 7:30 to run various lengths of the Greensboro greenway. The official reason for the get-together is to run, but really everyone wants to see what stylish concoction of drapery floweth from my limbs each week. I’ve waxed poetic about the form and function of cashmere in the winter, extolled the virtues of the kilt, and even pontificated aloud about down which path the shoe trend will go:
This time, however, there was little to discuss because there was little I was wearing. My wardrobe consisted of two items – a cap and the dainty shorts. I had never been so naked in public (the charges were dropped, so that one time at Disneyland doesn’t count).
“You have some clothes in your car, right? I don’t think they’ll let you into Panera like that, no matter how much money you spend there,” said a needlessly concerned fellow runner, who, quite frankly, wasn’t much more dressed than I was.
“Panera is my source of a delicious and nutritious lunch almost every day. I would never even for a moment consider doing anything to tarnish our relationship,” I replied in a terse manner.
“So, is that a yes you have clothes, or no?”
“Yes! Yes, dang it all to heck in a ball of fiery darnation, I have shorts and a shirt in my car.”
“Good, because we have to eat too, you know.”
I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by that remark, but we all started running before I could ask. In fact, the whole conversation was quickly forgotten as I noted the sensation of libertyness in my thighs. Nothing was rubbing them with each step, they just moved with the wind blowing freely through my leg hair.
You know those romantic scenes in movies and such of women riding horses, with their hair flowing behind them? That’s what it felt like, except replace the woman with my legs and her hair with the folicular output of my thighs.
I want to make sure that image sticks, so read that last paragraph again. Close your eyes, and really see it.
I pushed the pace, wanting to make the group pay for their snickering. After a few miles, I saw a familiar ball of quadruped fuzziness. “Hey, Charlie!” I called out to the schnoodle I know from work. Charlie was taking his pet human out for a walk. “Stay away from my dog, you naked sicko!” said the human. They’re so unpredictable, those humans. NEVER pet one without the dog’s permission.
Behind me I heard cursing. Looking back, I saw everyone slipping, sliding, and flailing about. “That’s strange,” I thought. Then I realized that without clothing to soak up my sweat, I was leaving a treacherous river behind me. Maybe my habit of bonking during marathons has nothing to do with training or lack of fitness or proper nutrition – maybe I was just buckling under the wet weight of my own clothes.
Near the end of the run, I saw Jason from Off n’ Running trotting toward me. Actually, that’s a lie. I didn’t see him at all. He was running with a pretty lady, and I make it a point not to look at pretty ladies when I’m running naked in public. Actually (again), I just made that rule up at the time, but it seems like a good one to stick to I must say. As we crossed paths I heard him shout out, “how are the shorts working for ya?” I was confused; it sounded like Jason, but there was no way he would be running with a pretty lady. Or more accurately, there would be no way a pretty lady would run with him. The proper course of action was to rescue the damsel in distress.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” I said as I turned around (in the south you call everyone ma’am. Even dudes. It’s a unique corner of the world, to say the least), “is this vile ogre of a beast harassing you?”
No sooner had the words “vile ogre of a beast” left my lips when the lady let out a shriek. “THE HORROR! JASON, MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP! FOR THE LOVE OF GILGAMESH, WIPE CLEAN MY RETINAS STAINED BY THIS APPARITION!” But Jason had already taken the break as an opportunity to tear into another Stinger Waffle.
“Well I say,” said I, making a hasty retreat as the sounds of her sobbing grew quieter in the distance.
Fortunately I’m not one to take into consideration the delicate style sensibilities of the bourgeoisie. I now know my regular running shorts are nothing but heavy with sweat thigh weights. Now my legs are free of the chains that once encumbered my stride and pulled me, like Quasimodo ringing the midnight hour, to the earth’s core.
Emily was right. These shorts do make me faster.
Thank you for reading part three in this infinite series. Stay tuned for the next one, which may or may not appear in this dimension.