Friday, October 30, 2009

Now for Some Very Unpleasing Sneezing and Wheezing

Forgive me - my age and lack of patience for all things inane are both showing I fear. While attempting to watch Game Two of the World Series last night, my baseball-watching tranquility was poached by a commercial for something called "DJ Hero". This is apparently the newest revelatory product brought to bear by the creative forces behind "Guitar Hero". If the actual game is as much of an assault on the senses as the commercial is, I hope that someone I know with children makes me angry enough between now and Christmas to know just what to buy his or her little darling. Perhaps DJ Hero is simply the latest incarnation of what will be a ceaselessly expansive concept as the makers of the series work their way through the band one instrument at a time. Rumor has it that DJ Hero replaced what had been slotted to be released in time for Christmas '09 - Calliope Hero. Plans to launch that project have crashed to the ground apparently. No release date is imminent.

I violated one of the few life lessons that my father ever taught me yesterday. Years and years ago he shared with me what I have come to embrace as his 1st rule of the schoolyard, which was "Never write a check with your mouth that your hands can't cover." Ironically, yesterday it was not my mouth that caused me trouble. Rather it was my hands.

Margaret handles most of the adult activity in our household, such as the actual paying of the bills. I do my part vis-a-vis the generation of the household income but, candidly, I have no idea what she does with both my pay and her own. In the morning, when I need to turn on a light I flick the switch and voila, Edison's master stroke comes to life. On Sunday mornings I go through the checkout line at the A&P and voila I am permitted to leave the store with the items I have selected. Thus, I presume that whatever she is doing, she is doing correctly. Those who need to be paid get paid and the wheels on the bus continue to roll on unobtrusively.

I think - although I know not for certain - that most of our household bills are paid on-line. It seems to me that I used to see Margaret spend at least a couple a nights a month with the checkbook out, writing out checks to various entities whereas now I see her spend those couple of nights with the laptop in front of her, paying those entities in a paperless manner. She might in fact simply be playing Spider Solitaire for all I know but as indicated above all evidence points to her actually paying the bills.

Yesterday I had to do something that I have not done since......I honestly have no idea when the last time is I had done it. I wrote a check. I wrote a check to the Manasquan Turkey Trot, which is a race that has been held annually (guess where - go ahead I'll wait) for the last twenty-seven years. For reasons not entirely clear to me, I have signed up to participate in the 5 mile run.

In the interests of full disclosure I must confess that I have never knowingly run 5 miles at any one time in my life. I throw in the caveat "knowingly" because quite a bit of college remains a mystery to me so it is possible I suppose that under the influence of some wondrous chemicals or some such thing I might have inadvertently done so. However, I doubt it. It strikes me as the type of activity that really would "harsh one's mellow" as it were and be avoided with all due speed.

Once upon a time (OK, three weeks ago) I had a plan of action for preparing for this event. Then a funny thing happened - I fell while running one morning and sprained my right ankle, which put me on the shelf as it were for about 10 days. My original plan called for me to be at or near running 3.5 to 4 miles every other morning by this time as I work my way up to the race distance. I am not there yet. And now, time is short and, sadly (at least when compared with men nationally) so am I.

With the dual gifts of a creaky knee and a cranky ankle I know not how either will react to running five miles. Hell, I know not how either will react to running every morning for the next couple of weeks in an effort to prepare to run a 5 mile race that will take place three weeks from tomorrow. I would ask my brother in law Russ or my sister Jill for guidance but since both run in marathons for sh*ts and giggles I suspect that neither really has the ability to grasp the depth and breadth of my situation.

There I sat yesterday, writing out a check and then dropping my entry form in the mailbox. Really, what do my hands care? Other than their likely involvement as the body parts I shall call upon to break my fall if/when I collapse at some point after the starting line but short of the finish line, their work here is done. I thought I heard them snickering at my heart, lungs and legs on the drive home last night and on this morning's jaunt through the neighborhood.

It has been well-established that turkeys cannot fly. I just hope that this one can actually trot.


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