Oh, the places I’ll go!

By Mir
April 14, 2006

Spring has sprung; I’m healthy again; my Rykas are broken in; I finally bought myself a knee brace. Training is now officially in full swing.

[Now would be a good time to go make a tax-deductible donation, but only if you 1) have boobs, 2) like boobs, or 3) love someone who has boobs.]

One of the things I hadn’t really thought through, when I signed up for this, was how much TIME it takes to train for an endurance event. It’s one thing to say “I’m going to exercise every day.” It’s quite another to undertake a regimen where, ideally, every workout is several hours long. I have no idea how people who work normal schedules could possible manage training.

The other thing I hadn’t realized was how much of my town I’d be seeing.

This last round of the creeping crud (otherwise known as A Very Special Respiratory Gift From the Children Who Attend Public Germ Incubators) kept me from walking over the weekend. By Sunday, I was starting to feel better. Huzzah!

Monday, I walked five miles (easing myself back into things) on my own. I mostly did loops in my immediate neighborhood, so other than noticing a couple of houses which had been freshly painted, and briefly loathing the neighbors whose yards were better tended than my own, I didn’t see anything that really caught my interest.

Wednesday, my walk buddy and I walked about seven miles. We passed some women we knew from a nearby neighborhood, over in this direction, and that prompted us to head over to their neighborhood. It was a chilly morning and we spent much of our walk time discussing how much we wished we’d worn gloves. We also played the “guess how much this house that’s for sale is listed at” game.

Today, we walked eleven miles. We took a new route–just to keep things interesting–and I saw parts of my town that I’ve never been to in all the time I’ve lived here. As much as I may make fun of it, this is a pretty nice little area. Spring is, of course, the perfect time to wax idyllic about all of the adorable capes and majestic colonials nestled amongst budding trees and riotous forsythia. In fact, we were having such a good time getting lost in one area, when we emerged back onto the main road I suggested we head to Filthy Rich Lane, where we knew there would be plenty of mansions to ogle.

As we worked our way up the loooong drive leading to that development, we passed the time chatting about how there’s really no violent crime around here. Our cops mostly stay busy arresting stupid rich people on DUIs. Why–we joked–even our drug dealers tend to be rich kids much more likely to brandish the keys to Daddy’s Benz than a gun. You won’t find any sneakers tangled in the power lines around here!

One of the hazards of walking in a rich pseudo-country area is road apples (link included for you city folks). There are quite a few stables around and folks will go riding on the back roads and–as the saying goes–shit happens. So there we were, walking up into Rich People Mecca, and we came upon a pile of manure in the road.

This was no ordinary pile of manure, though. It was marked. Much as the astronauts proudly claimed the moon for their respective countries, someone had come along and stuck a miniature orange flag (like the ones you sometimes see marking the perimeter of an invisible fence, or to show that a lawn has been recently sprayed) in the highest point of this pile of dung. Yes. Look, there’s a big mound of excrement in the middle of the road. Should we clean it up? No, don’t be silly. Let’s just put a flag in it.

Maybe it was because we’d already been out walking for a couple of hours, but this struck the two of us as quite possibly the most hilarious thing we’d ever seen. A car came down the road and carefully went around the flagged mound. We continued on, giggling and snorting, convinced that we’d cracked the crime code of our snobby town. Want drugs? Look for the marked manure.

See, I knew this whole walking thing was going to open my eyes to a whole new world. Little did I know just how… ummm… diverse my experiences would be. I mean, REALLY, what could I possibly see on the 3-Day that’s going to top THAT?


  1. Cele

    Ah the lifestyles of the Rich and infamous. See the other half really does live it up. I think I’ll go mark some bear fewments

  2. Cele

    I really am keyboard challeneged


  3. Irony Queen

    Wow. I’m not sure what’s more disturbing–the flag-marked pile in your neighborhood, or the fact that I can buy a 1:16 model of my very own road apples! (Orange flag not included.)

  4. Mary

    Good luck with the training!!! I’ve thought about training for something (a marathon? Grace inspires me), but ya, like, when? In my sleep? I need to get real.

    We’re rooting for you!

  5. ic

    So I’m confused- there are two jobs involved in cleaning up the rich people’s neighborhood? One guy marks the pile with the flag and another (team of guys I’m sure) actually cleans it up? Was it the second guy’ day off? Does this job pay well? Probably more than my job (she grumbles).

  6. Nothing But Bonfires

    HA! This reminds me so much of that Eddie Izzard sketch from Dress To Kill:
    — “this is our country, we claimed it first!”
    — “ah, but do you have a flag?”

    For no reason I can discern, the property belongs to the person who has put a flag in it to claim it as their own. You might want to emply this in your household! For instance, if Chickadee and Monkey are fighting over the last poptart, and Monkey is saying “it’s mine, it’s mine!” you might advise Chickadee to say “ah, but do you have a flag?” Monkey will not have a flag, and therefore the poptart belongs to Chickadee.

    I’m fairly certain you have to see the sketch I’m talking about to find this funny. So, um, I’ll go now.

  7. Ei

    Ewww…who hiked to the top of it to claim it?

    I always heard that the sneakers thing was a memorial to a victim of violence. Always made me think of that line from Stand by Me. “The train had knocked Ray Brower out of his Keds the same way it had knocked the life out of his body.”

  8. Amy-GO

    But…WHY? Is all I can think of on the subject of flagged poop.

  9. Lesley

    For about a week, a gallon jug of milk sat by the side of the road on my commute to work. One day, some glorious person added a little wooden sign proclaiming the old milk to be “Nasty” next to the jug. Just a small homemade sign with the word “Nasty” spray painted in orange. A lifetime of laughs for me and my carpool.

  10. Bob

    dung beetles everywhere celebrate as intrepid dung beetle mountaineers claim another peak. “It was a tough climb, we didn’t think we would make it. The only thing that kept us going towards the end was the support of our fans. Next: K2.”

  11. ben

    Personalized Resoolts 1 – 10 ooff ebuoot 238,000 fur flagged poop. (0.40 secunds)

    Somewhere there is a telephone guy looking for a missing orange flag. Little does he know…

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