Porn or Cross Country

Originally posted 10.29.2006

I watched high school kids run cross country yesterday, meaning I now know what is meant by “cruel and unusual punishment.” I grasp “objectification.”

Pornography isn’t this demeaning.

Let me set this up for those who haven’t witnessed what amounts to a glorified hog show. Runners enter the facilities and immediately become nameless. Caroline from Shawnee Heights became 436. Joe from Washburn Rural became 481. Numbers. I think Stalin came up with this idea.

Then 436 and 481 line up with a whole buch of 436s and 481s, someone shoots a gun and they take off running with little regard for human life. It is very much like Wal-Mart on the day after Thanksgiving, only it goes on for, like, 36 miles. And not on a track, where at least times would be consistent and the chance of blowing out a knee in a mole hill would be mostly eliminated. It’s out in the middle of some guy’s pasture.A And it’s about 45 degrees. And people who are consuming donuts and coffee stand along all the curves yelling at you to run harder.

Eff that.

But that’s not even the best part. It’s the state cross country meet, so whether you’re in first place or 40th, you’re basically running on pure guts for the last 400 meters. And if you’re like 20 percent of your opponents, when you cross the finish line you’re going to fall down, vomit, or bend over with a look of agony only matched by that of a woman giving birth to, say, Shaquille O’Neal.

You’re totally spent and all you want to do is finish the last leg of “ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” but some overweight 52-year-old woman, energized by that Volvo-sized slab of coffee cake, is yelling at you to keep moving and to get the #$@! out of everybody’s way.

So someone drags you through a long gate that looks like it spends its free time coralling unbroken horses. Said woman hands you a small piece of paper with a number on it indicating your place of finish.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s