Friday, November 11, 2005

This Is What They Call Breakfast In Shelby, NC

Last weekend, while I was volunteering as a race marshal at the New York City Marathon, my wife flew down to North Carolina to visit her family.

Get a load of this dish she was served at a place called Ryan's in Shelby. Your eyes aren't deceiving you...that really is a plate of glazed donut nubs and fried catfish, with a piece of pineapple on the side to add the illusion of some sort of healthiness. Cripes, why didn't they just sprinkle Pixy Stix over the top to boost the junk rating to an A++++ ? I forgot to ask her if this also came with a giant bottomless red tumbler full of Mello Yello.

I'm sorry I missed that trip, because she got to go to the inaugural game of the the Charlotte Checkers minor league hockey team in the new Bobcats Arena. The game I saw there last year was a total hoot, and I was really hoping to see them again this season. I was there in spirit and Polaroid, though. Here's a shot she took of one of the Checkers Girls holding a preposterous photo of me throwing gang signs with SpongeBob Squarepants at the Marathon Runners Expo a few days prior. Charlotte girls...foxy AND good sports.

Anyway, while the missus was marveling at the calorie-based performance art they call food down there, I had a ball working the race. I was stationed at the final entrance into Central Park at 59th Street, just as the runners ran around Columbus Circle to make their last dash toward the finish line. I was one of the guys who made sure the runners took the last turn in and didn't race out into traffic on Central Park West, which considering the fatigue and delirium of many of the runners at that late point in the race, turned out to be an important job.

I was amazed at how many runners ran and finished the race in ridiculous costumes. At race's end I saw Spiderman, George Bush running with Bill Clinton, a girl dressed as Wonder Woman, a dude dressed as Wonder Woman, 3 rhinoceroses running for Save The Rhino, a pair of insanely cute Japanese girls in sexy Santa outfits, a sad looking Star Wars Stormtrooper gingerly walking the final leg of the course holding his helmet, and this guy, who finished the race with quite a bit of spring in his step as he ran for testicular cancer awareness:

photo courtesy deleteyourself.

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