Recently, my dear father turned 52. Or 53. I can’t remember. Either way, he is knock-knock-knocking on Heaven’s door. And I try to remind him of this on a semi-regular basis just so, you know, he can keep it all in perspective.
A few weeks ago, though, Dad took exception to my friendly jabbing and claimed with the authority that only a father can exert that he is, has been, and always will be in better shape than Yours Truly.
Now, I know very well that I am not what experts in the health field would call “in shape,” but I think I am in better shape than my Pop. We are of a similar build, with Peterson funk handles (they evolved from “love handles” at about the time when The Macarana came into its prime) and a fondness for crab legs. Dad is pretty much exactly like me, only with less facial hair and thirty years added to my age. This is why I doubted his claim that he was in better shape than me.
When I expressed the extent to which I opposed his ridiculous claims, he thought of a way to settle the issue once and for all: a footrace.
While the thought of two overweight, pale, and otherwise weak individuals racing each other is hilarious, I ask you to bear with me.
This challenge was posed a few weeks ago, and we set the date for this past afternoon. Well, it went down. Pop challenged me to race up Keene Road from Druid Road to Lakeview Road and back. We each took our positions at opposite corners of the busy intersection and awaited the signal from Mom. Her arm dropped, and we were off.
I had a strategy: I thought I would sprint from the starting line to gain as much ground on Dad as I could, allowing myself periodic sections of my journey where I could walk. Dad’s opposing strategy of taking the course at a steady, mildly-paced clip proved inferior. And wouldn’t you know it, 1.2 miles later I was waiting on the corner where I had started, watching my old man hobble toward me with a look of both resignation and defeat.
Victory is sweet. Victory is sweet, indeed.comment (1)