I got to go for a run today in downtown Saxtons River. You blink at the front (that would be east) end of Main Street where the “Back at 2:00 PM” sign has been hanging in the front window of Bob Thompson's real estate office since I've been a resident, and by the time your eyes are open you've driven through the front doors of what should be a Congregational Church but is now the Saxtons River Historical Society at the other end.
There are too many dead end streets in Saxtons River. Literally. I kept running up what looked like promising jog-along-the-river roads only to have do an about face and retrace. Which should not be a problem other than (who’s with me on this?) I hate running back from whence I came. Oh and often at the end of dead end roads is a house and somewhere a line that marks the end of the dead end road and the beginning of the driveway. Yes that driveway. The one owned by a guy who owns a house at the end of a dead end road so no one will bother him.
Apparently I have crossed that dividing line because up on the porch shouting and gesticulating (from the Latin gesticulatus meaning get your gonads off my property) is a gentleman who looks like his mother may also be his sister. Shouting something that sounded like MMrphster fragginrassin muoofretrobulator. Weelaproppiginna gonads. Except he didn't say gonads. And he used some other words in there I can't share just in case anyone shares this with my mother. Now even if you haven’t had the chance to spend time around anyone who spends time with a big wad of Red Man Chewing Tobacco stuck between his cheek and gum you would know, now would be a good time to get back on the other side of that line. And I have (spent time developing listening skills with tobacco chewers), but more on that in a minute.
It’s time to leave. Except I’m about two miles into the first run after a winter of, how you say in your country, couch potatoing (See Dan Quayle’s Spelling for Dummies if you don’t think potatoing is a word). Tying the laces of my running shoes (about two miles ago) had me winded. Luckily down the hill is away from the set of Deliverance so I fall to safety. Literally.
One of my first real jobs other than babysitting and mowing lawns was in 9th grade when I went to work for the Champlain Construction Company and Mr. Bucky Danyow. Bucky loved chewing tobacco and a 5 pound wad of Red Man was a typical portion. If you were looking for him you simply followed the brown splats. He liked to say “The world is my spittoon” and people who knew him gave him about 6’ of personal space. Violate this at your own risk.
Well it’s your first day on the job and wanting to make a good impression when the Boss says “Geddaframpoffathur” and gesticulates towards the tool room you run over and grab a rake and bring it back to the Boss. “Noddagaddmfimkin rake, geddaframpoffathur” Back to the tool room for the shovel. “Noddagaddmfimkin shovel, geddaframpoffathur” Back to the tool room or use the shovel to dig a hole big enough for a skinny 13 year old. I decide to throw myself at the mercy of the crew most of whom are peeing themselves after witnessing my first 2 minutes on the job. One kind older gentleman explains that Bucky wants me to get him a tamp.
Oh okay like I know what a tamp is. Here you can have this shovel, I’m going for a run.