Monday, June 12, 2006

of face-painting, 5Ks and dalmations

saturday morning, we wrapped up the spring Girls on the Run season with a 5K. gorgeous weather prompted a ton of day-of registrations, so we ended up with ~300 participants, despite the fact that the efforts of the marketing director (yrs truly) were truly paltry the last 2 weeks.

H, a girl i coached last fall, instantly cleaved to me when she discovered me at the Running Buddies table, reminding me (not unpleasantly) how much time and energy some of these girls require. but the very fact that she returned for a second season is a hopeful sign: maybe she'll be okay and NOT end up in the nuthouse like her mom.

the last girl rolled in at a little over an hour, and i was talking with fisch and the steeplechaser's wife about triathlon when L appeared at my side, all breathless and ebullient.

-- finn omigod, can you do me the biggest favor in the world pretty please.
i looked around, but H wasn't in sight.
-- does it have something to do with H? -- i said guardedly.
-- no, nothing like that. there're like 20 girls lined up for the face-painter. can you help her out? all you need to do is paint stars and hearts. PLEASE??
-- stars and hearts; that's all?
-- yes.
-- okay. i can do stars and hearts.

L towed me to the face-painting table.

-- girls, here's another artist. now you can make 2 lines.
L bustled girls into a second queue, then left.

-- hi -- i barked at the first girl, trying to come off as confident and avuncular -- what would you like painted on your cheek?
-- i want a dalmation.

fucking L owes me Big Time. for the next hour and a half, i painted puppydogs, rainbows, butterflies and cherries on cheeks, hands and forearms. i even did a couple WWJD's and fishes without uttering any snide remarks. H wanted black & red snakes with flames, and because i've a soft spot for her, she got all that without have to wait in line for each like the Face-painter Nazi advocated.

Face-painter Nazi did not get the fact that i saved her ass by showing up when i did, cos she never would have gotten through all those kids on her own. sure, i was a little unpolished when i first started and sure i almost painted her sleeve a couple times stabbing for the paint and sure my roses didn't look as nice as hers did. my most egregious sin? contamination. midway though another american flag, i heard her big combustible sigh. i shrank. cold disdain blew off her in waves.

-- could you PLEASE not get COLORS in the WHITE PAINT.
-- listen bitch, i've got one ratty paintbrush, a soggy paper towel and a cup of dirty water. what the fuck do you want from me?!?

but i did not say that out loud because of the small children. i merely gnashed my teeth and tried to appear apologetic while she emitted another snorty sigh and daubed out the white tub.

dalmation requests aside, the kids were great because for the most part they were just thrilled with whatever they got, be it unsymmetrical butterfly, emaciated horse or weak dalmation/bathroom tile cross-breed. and they did great on the run: so many big smiles. it was refreshing to spectate, for once, and view a race through different eyes.

the next morning, though, i was back at it. ran 20min, then rode 40, then hopped into the 5K that kicks off the eye-talian festival. in a repeat of 2 weeks ago, VC was untouchable, running a 17:26, 1st F and 2nd overall. i was 2nd F, 9th overall, with a 18:54. after the 1st two miles, i started to feel big-time lactic burn... but in my arms, not my legs. i swim 10,000yds a week and i get sore from *face-painting.* how totally totally gay.


Theo said...

Has to be the face, eh? OK, I want a Flying Spaghetti Monster doing the lambada with Cthulu.

finn said...

is this how you deal with your children??