Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If you run, they will yell

If you’re ever having one of those days where you’re feeling like you’re extremely sexually irresistible to women and are also very smart, go for a jaunt in some running shorts in an area densely populated by a younger crowd. You will be called a “faggot” and “Forrest Gump” an average of like 35 times each.

These two seem to be the go-to “jokes” for anyone trying to poke fun at a guy who is wearing short shorts in an effort to avoid chafing while he exercises. Sometimes, you don’t even have to have the shorts on. People will just yell, “Run Forrest, Run!” and then cackle like one of those hyenas  from “Lion King” with those other kids they’ve become friends with during their five-year tenure together at George Lopez’s School for Kids Who Can’t Joke Good (and Can’t Do Other Things Good, Either).

I don’t hate people who are both unfunny and unoriginal. I just hate the ones who aren’t quiet about it. I feel the same way about girls who like professional sports. “Forrest Gump” came out in 1994, when we were in kindergarten. Isn’t it time for someone to come up with a new joke to make about a person who’s out running?

And faggot? Really? You can use the “South Park” defense in reference to that word if you want, or you say whatever else about what the word means at present, but I’m pretty sure no one would say it means, “Hey, you, I resent you for trying to maintain cardiovascular health while also doing something that will make you svelte and in turn make more girls want to examine your penis while I sit here on this bench doing nothing!”

You know who else sat on a bench? Forrest Gump, that’s who, and for a longer and more significant portion of that movie than he spent running across the country. Insult debunked.

Another thing that bothers me about this is people never yell these things at you if they’re alone. My brother Kevin (who is an avid runner with a much worse temper than myself) and I were talking about this the other day. We came to the conclusion that people only say things in groups because they’re frightened they might get their teeth knocked in by someone wearing grape smugglers. (I can say with confidence I probably would not do this, but Kev definitely would. He told me a story about two chicks who yelled at him when he was running in State College recently, and he took exception to it. He’s been taking this shit for like four years now, so he’s kind of fed up, and so he ran over to them and called them the c-word that rhymes with the second-best ketchup brand on the market.)

We also decided it was kind of like making fun of a learning disabled kid, because people generally only do that when they’re in a group of people. Probably because their friends laugh or something, which I guess means they’re probably learning disabled too, because that shit’s really not funny at all.

We said it was “kind of” like making fun of a learning disabled kid because it is never OK under any circumstances to make fun of someone with an undeserved disability, whereas it is certainly OK to make fun of runners. All I want is for someone to come up with something new and clever to yell at me while they fly by in a Honda Civic with a spoiler. (I’d call these people “Paul Walker,” but know when a joke is played out.)

There was a glimmer of hope for me today when I was nearing the end of my run. A car zoomed past me and a guy screamed, “Fuck your shorts!” at the top of his lungs. “Well,” I thought to myself, “that wasn’t really funny or anything, but at least he’s trying out fresh material. You’re not going to always get it right on the first day.”

About 20 yards down the road, he leaned half his body out of the car, turned around and screamed, “FAGGGGGOOOTTTTTTTT!”

So, back to the drawing board, I guess.

Good thing he couldn’t hear the Lilith Fair playlist I had blasting through my headphones.


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