Tardy Tuesday questions, Steve Prefontaine edition
Sorry I’m late, y’all. I got sidetracked yesterday trying to make sense of Jenny McCarthy.
Anyhow, before I proceed with this week’s Question, I feel compelled to give you an update on last week’s. Since I wrote that one, I decided to do one of my occasional clipper-fests and had all of my hair buzzed off. My coiffure tends toward the bushy, and every so often I get tired of wrangling it and get it cut super-short. Having done this (and also having shaved off all my scruff) seems to have done the trick in restoring me to apparent youthfulness, as I got carded again buying wine, and a couple of days ago a patient’s parent asked me “How old are you?” and dropped eight years from my actual age when I made him guess.
Those of you who have been deeply concerned about this important issue, please put your fears to rest. My preposterous vanity lives to annoy my husband for a little while longer.
So I like to run. I’ve mentioned this from time to time. We are (finally) entering my favorite running season, when the air is the perfect temperature and my usual route takes me along the seaside where the roses are in bloom. The pleasure I get from running in this weather is my pay-off for forcing myself to run in the winter.
But there is this deeply irritating phenomenon that happens from time to time. Every so often I encounter a Yeller, or his close cousin the Honker. These are people who apparently think hollering something barely intelligible or honking loudly as they drive by is amusing in some way. There is great comedic potential in briefly startling someone as they exercise, it seems.
My “favorite” encounter with an individual of this ilk was last summer, when some visiting wag yelled from his balcony at a local inn “Run, Forrest, run!” at me on both the outbound and inbound legs of my run. How droll! A hackneyed movie quote so bursting with wit and whimsy that it deserves to be bellowed not once, but twice. The second time I paused and looked up with a small shrug, communicating the universal sign for “WTF?” (I would, perhaps, have chosen a different gesture, but I am enjoined from doing so in the community where we live by the more sensible Better Half.)
I can think of no explanation for these encounters other than that some people cannot help but proclaim to the world that they are complete and utter tools. That Jerk Pride is a thing, and that so central to these people’s identity is their hoser-dom that to deny them opportunities to express it is an act of cruelty. “Shine on, you crazy craphead diamonds” I think, and run on.
So that’s this week’s Question — what do you witness others doing that, in your estimation, is their way of telling people that they’re schmucks? What serves as a perverse public service announcement, letting others know they should be grateful to have limited exposure to these charming folks? What brief interactions serve to efficiently tell onlookers “I am proud of my loutishness, here on display for your fascination”?