Like anyone who grew up with cheesy horror movies in the ‘80s, I have a mild fear of clowns, dolls, and puppets. Maybe “fear” is an extreme word, so instead, let’s just go with “creeps.” I get the creeps when it comes to clowns, dolls, and puppets. It’s not that I really think they’re going to murder me in my sleep (or in a storm drain, as clowns are by far the creepiest because Pennywise), but the remembered feeling of fear from watching those movies is still palpable enough for me to grimace when any of them are in my presence. While I accept that clowns, dolls, and puppets have their rightful places in the world (circus, Candy Spelling’s house, and a Jeff Dunham show, because god knows I won’t be at any of those any time soon), I am unnerved when one appears out of context. As one did last night.
Yesterday evening, I went to a happy hour at Dulaney’s with some friends from work. During the dinner rush, some dude walked in clutching a Groucho Marx ventriloquist dummy to his chest. He didn’t have his hand up its ass like a normal ventriloquist and this wasn’t an act; it was some guy holding a ventriloquist dummy against his body in a restaurant like this was a normal thing to do in public. The man was otherwise alone and went to a table for one, which happened to be adjacent to our table. There was only one chair at the table and he sat the dummy in it and then requested that the server bring an extra chair for himself.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a photo I took with my crappy phone. I did not have to leave my seat or even adjust my point of view in order to capture this, which means that the dummy was LOOKING RIGHT AT ME the entire time. This is what I looked at for the last hour I was there.
What’s the appropriate response in that situation? Laughter? Because we did that, only we mostly unsuccessfully tried to keep it quiet because there’s a chance – a chance! – that a man who brings a dummy to a restaurant and insists that it gets its own chair might be mentally ill. Disbelief? We did that, too. Mocking Brennan because the dummy looked kind of like him? Also yes, although he was a good sport and said the only way he’d be upset is if they gave the dummy its own little plate (they didn’t, thank god).
I was planning on dealing with the treadmill before I left for the happy hour (and the Craig Finn show, and Adrian and Angelica’s), but I got lazy and didn’t. I’ll definitely deal with it today, though, because now there’s another reason for me to do it on a regular basis. Besides ditching the fatassery, I mean. Stephanie and I are registering for the Zombie Apocalypse 5K, which isn’t the official name but it’s how I’ll refer to it from now on.
I have never run a 5K. Well, not at once. Like, as a thing. I’ve run way more than 3 miles in the course of playing soccer every day for nearly 20 years, but it’s different when there’s a game going on, or when you have a sadistic coach pushing you until you smartassedly challenge him to do what you’re doing, at which point he completely schools you and your teammates like the whiny little bitches that you are.
Because I’ve never run a 5K, I also have no idea how to train for it. However, I have the Internet and friends who are runners, plus the registration fee is a non-refundable $57, which is enough of a motivator for me. I was already planning on getting Graham something pretty awesome for his birthday, but now I get to give him the extra gift of seeing me run in public. And I’ve always wanted to make him laugh so hard that he pees in his pants.
It’s weird that I’m sort of excited? Granted, I’ve only known about it for a day and my enthusiasm tends to wane about 48 hours after making a decision, but this is a goal and it’s for something ridiculous but also beneficial to my cardiovascular health (which is already better than it should be, thanks genetic anemia!). I’m not planning on winning or even completing it within a respectable amount of time, but I like that my main goal can just be to get through the course without getting my flag snatched by a zombie.
Which could be a pretty noble goal at the eventual end of the world, you never know.