Friday, July 25, 2008

Runs with Kona, or, I Have Been Deceived

So we all know that when people start dating, they’re on their best behavior, so to speak. They want to impress the other person – or at least not have them go running away, shrieking in horror – so they hide the fact that they collect Hummels or have 10 cats or don’t eat any vegetables, ever, except canned corn made into the shape of a smiley face. You laugh at the cat thing, but my friend Lisa has 3 cats and was once dating a guy who didn’t like cats at ALL, so she told him she only had one. I wondered, what do you do when he comes over? Hide 2 in closets? Switch them around each time and hope he doesn’t notice that they look COMPLETELY different? And at what point do you come clean?

Anyway. I knew this was a pretty common occurrence – heck, one idiot I dated, who we’ll call “David Julian” – did a pretty good job of hiding the fact that he was a) still married, b) a convicted felon (embezzlement), and c) a gold member of the “Adult Friend Finders” website, with pictures to boot. (Note to would-be AFF joiners: if you DO decide to join such a site, where people post pictures of their nether regions, I’d suggest you might not want to have a handle that includes the name “littleman.” People might get the wrong idea. Unless you’re going for truth-in-advertising.) So it can happen. And you usually don’t find out these things until you’re about 6 months in, when you have to start thinking about sunk costs and whether or not any of these things are deal-breakers. But little did I know that this is a trait not unique to humans, but rather cuts across all species.

Because we know that earlier this month I agreed to foster another Dobe, an approximately 6-month old pup who had been picked up as a stray, had gone to Chicago Animal Control, was being picked up by our Doberman Rescue and probably had kennel cough so needed to go to a home with no other pets. That would be me. Named the little guy Kona, because I figured that everyone who adopts our dogs renames them so his name didn’t matter too much.

Kona and I, we start going for runs every morning – or rather, I run and he casually lopes along, not paying attention to anyone or anything. The perfect running companion. And at home he’s very mellow, just chills out with his chewies or toys, no bad habits whatsoever. He adores me, clearly, and smushes himself into my lap at every opportunity. I start to waver from my stance of “I’m never getting another dog.” And this is the time at which the shit is starting to hit the fan as far as the cancer thing, so it’s kind of nice to have Mr. Goofy to come home to after another shitty day of bad news. He’s so insanely silly that you just can’t help but laugh at him.

Finally, I cave, and tell the IDR people that I’m going to adopt him. (Note: they’re not overly surprised.) And seemingly overnight, my sweet little docile puppems has turned into ADD ManiacPuppy. Oh, he’s no worse than any other young dog, but he’s far from the Mr. Calm he was the first couple of weeks. It’s as if once he realized that he was “in,” that he could just “be himself,” i.e. manic. The pooch who ignored squirrels and bunnies now chases not only said furry creatures, but also birds, bugs, and the other day went bounding around after a MOTH, for chrissake. Our runs are often derailed as he has this need to pick up absolutely everything – twigs, rocks, paper cups, empty cans, crumpled cigarette packages, leaves, you name it. I’m not sure if he’s being eco-friendly or he’s just hungry. And if you live in my neighborhood and find that you’re missing any tennis/baseballs, Tonka trucks, or small children, they’re probably in my backyard.

Not to mention that he’s all about him and thinks he’s on this earth to be petted and adored (and rightly so), so every time we see people, he has to stop, sniff at them, lean against them, hear how pretty and handsome he is and what a good boy he is, and so on. So our hour runs get an extra half hour tacked onto them just for that. And forget the casual loping – he’s pretty much in an all-out run even when he’s not chasing something, so there’s a lot of what I call interval training on our runs. A LOT.

And even though I consistently tell him that he’s going to the glue factory if he keeps up with this stuff, I don’t think he believes me. The bad thing is that the little bastard knows he’s not going anywhere, that I adore his silly smushy self, so he acts with impunity, and sleeps the sleep of the innocent. Usually on my head.

So I guess the lesson here is this: Deception – It Works. Kona can vouch for that.

Today’s dispatch from the Bitterness Train

(Since my faithful readers have long been coming here looking for sage training advice and nutritional wisdom, I’ve decided to separate out my bitter rants so that they can be skipped over if anyone so chooses.)

In other news, I have declared this blog to be a platitude-free zone. So there will be no “win one for the Gipper,” no “you’ll be a better person for having gone through this.” No – no I won’t. I’ll just be disfigured, bitter, and very very angry. Besides, I don’t need to be “better” – I was okay with how I was before. And what ever happened to just going to, say, a day spa for self-improvement??

Though I did get a comment to the effect that “fake boobs help you swim faster!” Now folks, this is the kind of comment that I’d like to hold up as a shining example of what is helpful and relevant – in other words, everything my little blog is traditionally known for.

And I’ve found yet another happy statistic which notes that a whopping 11,000 women who are 40 and under get breast cancer each year. 11-fricking-thousand. If that were good luck, it would be the equivalent of winning the $342 million lottery. So for the rest of today, I’m going to sit around and wait for the Oompa Loompas to come by to take me to swirly-twirly Candy Cane Land –the odds of that happening are roughly the same, so it could certainly happen. Especially if I drink enough. Which is my plan. Anyone know where I can get a case or two of tequila at a discount??

Finally, I will occasionally tackle a question that I’ve received from a faithful reader. Today’s question is:

Question: “I was reading my new Runner’s World today and I come across an article about a guy who has battled cancer and his family who are all doing a tri sometime this year. The parents are both TNT members. My first thought in seeing the picture/article was, “Oh god… I hope Tasha doesn’t go and become part of the purple mob now. Please, tell us this isn’t the case?”

Answer: Now, my first instinct in responding to this was to say, that’ll be a cold day in hell when I become one of the TiT Purple Menace, as I tend to think of them. Oh sure, it’s for a good cause and all that, cancer blah blah blah, but seriously people, can’t you all be positive and chipper without GETTING IN MY WAY?? The people 10 abreast, the synchronized watches all beeping at the same time because it’s JUST TOO HARD to remember to run 8, walk 2, the stopping dead in your tracks because god forbid you should run a single second longer than necessary. All that. Plus I’m just not that earnest – I’d get so annoyed with myself and all the good cheer and encouragement that I’d probably shoot myself, and you’d have all that fine surgery and chemo going to waste.

But then – I had a vision, of using this as an opportunity to infiltrate the ranks of the organization to try to change things from within. This is what I imagine:

Me: “MOVE IT people, I said MOVE IT, don’t run 10 across, single file NOW, SNAP TO IT! OR there’ll be a death soon and it WON’T BE FROM CANCER!!!”

This is something I have to seriously consider, since being the first person ever booted from TiT has a certain charm to it.....


Stephen said...

give me a rant before a cliche platitude anytime.....

tribabe said...

Tasha, Kona is a total babe and I can see just by looking at him why you love him. If you two were near I'd give you both a big wet smushy kiss but no platitudes.