If I could only be frank and let you all know everything that goes on in my life, this would be no short tale, and the pages of this magazine would be full of my crap. So, here I go, once again trying to fit the “publishable” story of my month into a short column. And again it involves the Frenchies. This story starts with one French dude, let’s call him Sparky, because not only does he now know how to spit fire, but the dude is sparkly to say the least—skinny as bamboo and always waiving his hands here and there like one of those inflatable noodlemen you see flailing about at car dealerships. We were sitting at the bar one day (surprise surprise), when he walks in all out of breath. So I ask him, “Where the hell have you been?” And he responds with, “Running. I just ran here from home.” I’m not going to even try to capture his dialect, so just imagine a modern version of Peter Sellers. “You’re kidding me? You ran here?” “Yes, when I was in France, you see I live in this small village with nothing to do, so I started to run.” He takes out a cigarette and lights it with his hands shaking. “How far did you run?” “About forty-five minutes.” Puff, puff, huff, huff. “You should come with me next time.” Okay now the challenge was set. Me, who I shall now refer to in the third-person as Fatty, and Sparky had a race on our/their hands. So what if Fatty hadn’t run in something like ten years? It’s all about will power, now isn’t it? “And we’ll ask Rusty (another Frenchman assuming a pseudonym) to come along.” Rusty has a physique just like Sparky’s, only Rusty is like Fatty and hasn’t run in nigh on a decade as well. One week later, after what Fatty thought was loads of stretching; Fatty, Sparky, and Rusty were off on an epic battle of a race.
About ten minutes into the race Fatty began to realize why women need sport bras; he was jiggling down the road like Jabba the Hut after catching Han Solo. Fatty then told Sparky not to wait for him because, at this point, Fatty was just trailing Sparky but ahead of Rusty. Rusty slowly but steadily caught up to Fatty, and after a bit of walking, Sparky and Rusty began to fade off into the distance. Then the two of them made a wrong turn giving Fatty the time to catch up to them. Fools! This was going to be the American tortoise versus the countryside French hares after all. Not so fast. Though Fatty did eventually finish the hour long battle, he lost the race. And to make the long story very short, it’s been a week since and Fatty still can’t get out of bed without tons of help, and he’s waiting for them to show up for their second run. Not his.
By Tim Hoerle