Pilgrims are off on pilgrimages, Fiona Apple has canceled her South American tour so she can be with her ailing dog, and we have a pumpkin on the porch left over from Halloween. It can mean only one thing: Mr. Pants’ Thanksgiving Q&A.
Q. Hey, Daddy-O. I gots this question for you. I am drawn to the half-marathon. Long enough, not too long. Seems like the perfect distance. My problem: No street cred. The kids in the ‘hood (my Fleet Feet) turn up their noses at 13.1. What to do? What to do?
A. Don’t call me Daddy-O. Mr. Pants has been wrestling with this same dilemma lately and has come up with the perfect solution. Which is:
The Ultra Half-Marathon!!!
All you have to do is run an extra 10th past the race. This isn’t a problem, since your Garmin likely will measure the course long anyhow. Then when you go into work the next day and your co-workers ask what race, you ran, you can toss out, “Oh, it was an ultra-half.” Bill in accounting will only have run the marathon. He likely will be ostracized, which requires him to dress like an ostrich for the remainder of the shift. Ultra-half. Mr. Pants is pleased with himself.
Q. What the hell did that have to do with Thanksgiving?
A. You obviously never watched the political debates. Topics are merely suggestions. But now that you mention it, that’s pretty good. The Hella-Half. Very Eric Cartmanesque. What race did you run? It was a Hella-Half. You probably had to be there. Limp slightly. Done and done.
Q. Salutations. My city has a Turkey Trot this morning. It’s a four-mile fun that also offers a 1-kilometer dash for the kiddies. I was quite excited about this because it gets kids involved in running at an early age. But then I saw the fine print: THE KIDS RUN COSTS 25 FREAKING DOLLARS!!!!! TWENTY FIVE!!!!!! IF YOU HAVE FOUR KIDS, YOU WOULD PAY 100 DOLLARS FOR AN EVENT THAT WON’T EVEN GIVE YOU A SHIRT UNLESS YOU MADE THEIR “EARLY” ENTRY DEADLINE SOMEWHERE AROUND THE FOURTH OF JULY!!!! OK, I found the cap lock key. Sorry.
But seriously. The race infrastructure is already set up for the four-mile run. Those runners are sent out. The race folks are just hanging around for a half hour. They send the kids out and the kids come back. No times, no chips, no expense. Why in the name of the Late Ed Asner would this cost $25?
A. Although Mr. Pants is not really a “kid person,” he shares your outrage. As an economical alternative, he has established a Gobbler Giddyup 1K for the kids. It’s a virtual race, meaning you can just send your kids out into the traffic whenever they have become too wired up after the seventh slice of pie. Then mail your race results to Mr. Pants along with the nominal fee of $12.40 to cover overhead and liability insurance in Papau New Guinea.
Q. New York is STILL in a shambles. People are STILL homeless. The Jets are STILL in a quarterback controversy. So how come they couldn’t have the NYC marathon, but it’s OK to have the parade? And shouldn’t Congress drop all this “fiscal cliff” babble and pass a law forbidding the Garfield float?
A. Mr. Pants loves a parade. Except for the people. If Mr. Pants had it to do over again, he would have suggested that the marathoners all carry ropes attached to floats, transforming the event from a humdrum run into a festive parade. Possibly shortening the course to an ultra-half, of course.
Q. Just curious. It’s midnight, Thanksgiving has just trickled in. An Ugly Pug and Jerry Garcia playing “Friend of the Devil” with David Grisman on mandolin. Does life get any better?
A. Likely not. It’s an Ultra-Thanksgiving. OK, maybe a pint of bikram yogurt …
Do you have a question about running, ultra-halfs or exactly why DOES Mo need THREE thermometers for one turkey? And why is the cadmium sitting next to it. Mr. Pants is here for you.