It’s that time of year again: the famous Teacher’s Sports Meet, where I finally get the chance to take off my work clothes and show students my stuff. And I mean that one-hundred percent non-sexually. Of course I speak here only for myself: the sight of my pale white limbs whirring through the air as I pant my way to the finish line of my 100 meter “sprint” may very well be sexual for them, but we will not consider that possibility here.
But let’s save all that sexy talk for the actual sports meet, which is currently projected to take place on November 24th, the day before Thanksgiving, when I will undoubtedly have many great sports victories to give thanks for.
Today, one of the English teachers gave me a call to ask me which events I’d like to sign up for. She suggested I do one running event, so I chose the 100 meter, which, enthusiasts will remember, is the race I didn’t lose last year (thanks, Gus!). Then I asked her what other events are available.
She listed some standard track and field events, and at the end she said, “you can also do sit-ups.”
“Sit-ups?” I said. “How long do you have to do them for?”
“30 minutes,” she said.
Well, there goes that idea, I thought, italicized, to myself.
“Sorry, 30 seconds,” she said. “My mistake.”
“Great,” I said. “I’ll do that.”
See, because here’s the thing: no matter how poorly I did at the shuttle run, the pull-ups, or the (ever beguiling!) sit and reach in 6th grade, I could always perform at Presidential level in the sit-up event. If the only criterion for fitness were the ability to do 56 sit-ups in a minute while a chubby kid with a bowl cut holds your feet, I wouldn’t be here today. I’d be Doctor “Just call me ‘The Wizard of’” Oz, ’cause I’d be the fittest mother’ around, and Oprah would have me on her show every day and all her people would beg me to tell them how to get as fit as me.
By the way, while I was editing this post, I realized some of you may find the use of the phrase “her people” offensive. By “her people”, I did not mean black people, I mean women between 30 and 55 who get most of their health tips from women who periodically cry on TV.
Also, I know what you’re thinking: he edits these things?
A Dream Deferred
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
— Langston Hughes
So, segue, my dream of getting to do sit-ups in the sports meet was deferred (in this case, quickly shattered) because the teacher called back and said, “I’m sorry, you cannot do the sit-up event; it is for girls.”
So there goes that.
I have some parting words.
One: I realize that this post and the two preceding have all been about things that people have said to me, either in person, via text message, or over the phone. And in fact in two out of those three cases, that person has been Gristle.
This is what happens when you’re sick, when your roommate is out of town, and Gristle is the only person who doesn’t understand that “I am sick” means “Please stop calling me so I can sleep.” I haven’t really participated in a ton of outdoor activities this week. I’ve been spending a lot of time talking to Gristle. In short, I write what I know.
Two: This new blogging push is certainly working, because this morning I got my first spam comment from a Chinese source! It was a link to a Chinese website selling Japanese pornography. Say what you will about Chinese hatred for the Japanese: it does not run so deep that Chinese men are unwilling to look at pictures and video of Japanese women, naked. World peace: one step at a time.