The other morning I was out for a beautiful early morning gambol along a deserted tree-tunnelled path with my ears full of iPod and all of a sudden was aware of a presence. Not a presence in the Jedi sense, a presence in the sex attacker sense.
With that in mind I span round and instinctively adopted my Tae Kwon Doe defence stance. The guy would have shit himself (I’m a Yellow Belt after all) if I hadn’t made the kind of noise a child makes when they open a wardrobe in a darkened room and Big Bear unexpectedly falls on them.
It turned out though that my worriment was misplaced as it was none other than the legendary local celebrity, Flappy Handed Jogger Man. The name pretty much sums him up but if you are struggling, think of a man crossed with Mark Kermode’s hands, a streak of piss and a 1 dimensional object with a gait similar to that of a kid who’s just poked their candy floss into a hornets nest.
About an hour later when my BPM had dropped from 180 and I had started enjoying the photon shower and nature raw in tooth and claw, I noticed I had a small piece of gravel in the heel of my boot. I kicked the ground a few times to dislodge it and stumbled on. I couldn’t be bothered to take my boots off, not least because the last time I had done that on a walk, because I had one Primark sock on that appeared to be made from old Seabright crisp packets and turned my boot into an angle grinder, a couple stumbled across me crossed-legged, barefoot and picking at toe jam.
This was no ordinary piece of gravel and its irksome quotient seemed to ebb and flow. Sometimes it was almost unbearable, other times barely noticeable but the pain was always in the same place. Then I stood on a stone and it felt like I had a javelin in my foot. Only it wasn’t a javelin, but a rather large, rusty, manure-caked nail. This would have been a less than ideal situation in itself although fairly easily remedied, apart from one small component.
At the point at which my heel got gored by a unicorn, Flappy Handed Jogger Man rounded the corner of the path and was about 2 feet away from me when I screamed out in pain:
I now call him Flappy Handed Runner Man.