Monday, May 2, 2011

Nugget # 31

And now for Running Dribble-Kabibbles

Running Dribble Kabibbles
By Bill Donnelly

            Just recently I was at the awards ceremony for the Ronald McDonald House 5K.  No, I hadn’t run, but I thought they might give me some sort of award or recognition for all the “Super-Size Me” I have taken part in over the years.  No such luck, but still, there were many friends for me to cheer as they received their awards for a race well run, so I stayed.  Did I mention there was free beer and food there?  Not that that mattered to me. 
            Anyway, a couple times my good friend Kieran O’Loughlin was involved in embarrassing situations through no fault of his own, and more than a couple times, after each episode, different people came up to me immediately and told me I should include the incidents in my next article because they were so funny.  Kieran, isn’t it nice to know your running buddies from Checkers think so highly of you, they are so quick to sacrifice your good name on the Altar of Bad Taste, with me being the High Priest of said Altar?  Do they really think I would sink so low as to endanger our friendship just to get a laugh?  Think again old pal.
            Actually, at first I thought “No Way!”, since it has nothing to do with “Back in The Day!”  But the more I thought of it, and thought of a couple other incidents I always wanted to write about, but were too short for a whole article and were not about the way-back, I decided to do a bunch of short observations, or running stories if you will.
            Now, what to call these “short” musings?  I couldn’t call them “Running Shorts”, because Beebe Bailey already has that one locked up for The Buffalo News articles.  “Running Socks” stinks, “Running Spanks” just doesn’t cover it enough, and “Running Deer” was the name of a Native American girl I once dated.  Then it hit me, “Running Dribble Kabibbles”, just because it sounds good.  Remember, if you do not know what a Dribble Kabibble is, check out the July, 2004 issue of Checkers Chatter.
            And so without any further ado, here are my “Running Dribble Kabibbles”:

A Boy Named Sue (or Kieran)

          Back to the Ronald McSupersizeme awards.  There was a crowd of us yapping away while the presenter of cheesy awards, and a very effeminate looking Ronald McDonald, tried to announce the winners over a sound system taken directly from a drive-up window of McDonalds.  Not being able to hear well (I thought I heard him ask if I wanted fries with that) we were all excited to hear Kieran O’Loughlin’s name being called.  He’s excited, his time of 19 Minutes and change usually not good enough to win something in his tough age group, but here he was getting an award.
            Hold on there Mr. Kieran.  That award was for third place overall for women.  The scorers had just probably never seen the good old Irish name of Kieran, so they assumed it was a woman’s name.  So already a couple people are telling me I should write this up.  But wait, there’s more!
            That’s right, ten minutes later as they are going through the age groups, whose name comes up again.  You guessed it, they clearly said “Do you want fries with that Kieran O’Loughlin” and up he went once more.  And once again, you guessed it, they were calling for first place, 45-49, Women.  I just don’t get it, didn’t the scorer notice the first time Kieran went up, or is it that the scorer’s wife also has a beard and just wouldn’t look good in spanks.  That’s a low blow Kieran; you would look just fine in spanks. 
            By now Kieran is walking back very embarrassed and dejected, and at least three people are tugging at my sleeve telling me I have to write about this now!  So now I have.  We finally checked the results and found Kieran did come in fourth in his age, but no cigar.  And that’s that.
            Oh, wait, I just have to add my Two cents worth, you see, this wouldn’t have happened Back in The Day.  Here I go again, but back then we runners knew to have Manly names that everyone understood to be Manly.  Names like Bill, Tom, Jack, or Dick.  OK, so there was Kim Wettlaufer, who was one of the top runners back then, but his last name was very Manly sounding, and in fact his last name was German for “Wet Manly Thing!”  Even our nick-names were Manly.  Names like Richard “The Founder” Sullivan.  Or Tom “Bill Donnelly’s slow little brother” Donnelly.  There was even a pretty good runner back then, who you still might see running around Delaware Park, named Tony Anthony.  I mean, Tony’s a Manly name, but what a cruel sense of humor his parents had.  His name was Anthony Anthony.  Wonder what his middle name was?  BoBanthony?
            I mean, there is nothing wrong with the name Kieran, although when in America, do as we do, and learn English for cripes sake.  Oh wait, that’s part of my diatribe for my article for the White People who Show their Intelligence by Shaving their Heads and Carving Swastikas into their Arms with Safety Pins Party Paper.  But come on.  Do you know what Kieran means in Gaelic?  Well, let me tell you, it is actually the Celtic word used in the movie “Million Dollar Baby”.   You know, the nick-name Clint Eastwood gives Hillary Swank to use when she fights.  A Manly thing to do, fisticuffs and all, but he finally tells her that it means “Little Darling” right before he pulls the plug on her.  Nice of him, huh?  Gee, I hope this doesn’t ruin the movie for those of you who haven’t seen it yet.
            Anyway, that said, it wasn’t a good night for the O’Loughlins at all, as far as the awards went.  Kieran’s lovely wife Joann won her age group, but somehow the people in charge missed her finishing completely.  I know she finished well, because I saw her come in as I was waiting for my Super-Sized-Me-Meal to arrive.  Boy, did they screw up.  Never got my meal either!
            But speaking of Joann, now there is a Manly-FeManly name, and is she running great.  Think of all the Manly Joes out there.  Joe Jordan, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Camel, Joe Momma, and Mighty Joe Young.  I guess it just goes to prove my point, we knew how to do things right Back in The Day.

My Bad

          A very brief “Running Dribble Kabibble”.  In the last issue, when comparing the 1977 Fredonia 10K to the 2005 Lancaster 10K, I said Ralph (a Manly name) Zimmerman came in fifth with a time of 32:32.  My bad, his time was actually 31:32.  This was almost exactly eight months before Ralph would run a in the Boston Marathon of 1978, a Manly time.  And that was not a PR for Ralph.
            In fact, I ran that same Boston in even, and that was not a PR for me.  I only bring this up because in the previous “Kabibble”, I did not mention my nick-name from Back in The Day.  I kind of hate to say it, but my many female admirers referred to me as Bill “Kieran” Donnelly, and they did so for obvious reasons, since you now know what “Kieran” means in Celtic.  But I always had the announcers use Bill when presenting me with the many awards I should have won.  Maybe Kieran should change his name to a really Manly name, like Bill, or William, or Liam.  Just thought I’d throw that in.

Captain Freddy “Long John” Lew
And The Quivering Lip

            Now here’s a story about our dear friend Fred Lew and the 2004 Boston Marathon.  The title of this “Running Dribble Kabibble” may throw you, but let me clear that up right away.  I’m not implying that Fred is some sort of Buccaneer captain, and his Pirate ship is the Quivering Lip.  Actually, Fred’s nick-name “Long John” (and a Manly nick-name it is) comes from the fact that when Fred was a young lad, each November, his loving mother would sew him into a pair of long-johns that he would have to wear until April.  Remember, we did have colder winters back then, and by April, he emitted a very Manly smell, and without having to eat burritos.
            I didn’t run this particular Boston, but I was there to cheer on many friends, one of them being Jennifer Hulme.  It was her first Boston, and she was understandably very nervous.  My good friend Dr. Dave Walborn was able to calm her down the night before the race, and to this day I do not know what prescribed medication he used.  The next morning, I saw all my friends off to Hopkinton, went for a run myself, and then settled into my hotel room at the Howard Johnson (Manly) Fenway (Manly) with a few beers (Manly) to watch the run on TV (Manly), until I would go to the one-mile-to-go mark and cheer everybody in (Manly).
            The rest of this story I got second hand, since I wasn’t in Hopkinton.  Seems everyone was doing OK, despite the fact that the temperature was approaching 87 degrees, a bit too hot for most marathoner’s liking.  Finally it was time to head to the start, and Jennifer joined Fred and many others on their trek.  As they went along, runners were dropping off their bags at the designated busses, which of course, went by their number.  With 17,000 runners, this is a very complicated procedure. 
            Fred handed his bag to the appropriate bus, as did others, and race time was drawing nigh.  Jennifer’s number was something like 10,001, and they came to the last bus, whose last number they would take was 9,999!  Turns out, Jennifer should have turned left a half mile back, and found her bus a half mile up the street.  “Ladies and Gentlemen, the race will start in 15 minutes!”
            Yow!  Jennifer quickly realized her predicament, and being her first Boston, she felt lost.  She did a very FeManly thing, her eyes welled up with just a touch of tears, and her lower lip began to quiver.  See, it’s not a Pirate ship.  Turns out, when Fred was a lad of eight, he got a new puppy.  It was March, and when the puppy smelled Fred in his long johns, it’s eyes welled up with just a touch of tears, and it’s lips began to quiver.  Fred never forgot the feeling of helplessness he felt then (he could have cut off the dang long johns), and when he woke up the next morning, little “Kieran” had run away, never to be seen again.
            Ever since, Fred was a soft touch for the “Quivering Lips”.  He quickly took control, and gently said “Follow me Kieran (for he knew what the word meant in Celtic, and knew it’s soothing qualities), and we shall be fine.”  Freddy “Long John” Lew did the Manly thing that day, and got Jennifer’s bag stowed, and made sure she made it to the starting line just before the gun went off.  I’d like to say everything turned out great for everyone involved, but remember, this turned into one of the hottest Bostons ever.  At least 87 degrees with a wicked hot wind that could cook pizzas; not many had a great day. 
            I watched as good friends of mine struggled past, and just to finish on this day was an amazing accomplishment.  Some, like Richard “The Founder” (Manly) Sullivan and Diane “Mangoes” (FeManly) McGuire did well to finish in decent times.  I never saw Fred or Jennifer go by, but Boston is so packed with runners, I missed many, plus those one or two or three beers back in the hotel didn’t help.  But I heard what happened.
            Jennifer had a great time, considering the conditions, just a few minutes off her PR.  Fred did OK, and finished, but no where near what he wanted.  It seems that when Jennifer passed him, she thanked him profusely, but then said: “Please don’t ever call me Kieran again.  I Know Celtic and it is not FeManly enough for me.  But thanks again for your help, and I’ll see you at the finish.” 
            Now I swear this is how I heard it from those involved.  If you don’t believe me, just ask one of those involved.  But that would not be the Manly thing to do.  Seeing you with my next “Running Dribble Kabibble” articles, this is Mike, err, Bud, err, I mean Bill “Kieran” Donnelly signing off.                      

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