“This is the worst blog ever. I mean it’s 2020, who is still blogging? You tried to re-home the Boten-Daughter and she’s an adult! Your Quinstigram, Qwitter and Quotube channels have collapsed under the crushing sexual weight of your hypocrisy! You are an idiot! This is bull 💩!“
Shroake the CEO 👩💼
“‘ULTRA-MEGA-GIGA-MILLENIAL YAWN‘ 🥱! I downvote you! No likes! Doxxing, Brigading and Shitlording!”
(Subliminal Message: Read my goddamn blog and click like goddamn you! This is not a goddamned democracy! It is a Mussolini Social Republic!)
Shroake the Angry 😠 Online Social Justice Warrior Guy.
The first mile was not bad, the fastest since mid-April.
The second mile was also quite good.
“Botendaddy’s adult diaper is rancid.
How do you run in that yummy 😋 thing?”
Shroake the CEO
“I have massive adult diaper rash. But it is the price I must pay for diaperous Running.”
We turned around at the high-speed Frogger Road.
The next two miles were all uphill. The third mile was OK.
The 5k time was atrocious.
We had a passable four mile time.
”Look at my ass. It’s perfect!”
Shroake the CEO
”Yuck! A gross girly ass!”
Shroake the AOSJWG
“Put that firm tasty ass away! There’s kids out here!”
“Look at my anus it’s bleached.”
Shroake the AOSJWG
“Put away that stretched-out spermatozoa-soaked anus!”
The five of us had just staggered across the finish line. Even in the morning, Central Texas was far too hot for running. I was soaked with sweat, hands on knees. None of the rest of our little group looked any better.
We weren’t young, we were older than most soldiers. Experienced Artillery Fire Support (Forward Observers) and variously Senior Fire Direction and Artillery/Air Support Planners. This was not our first rodeo, maybe our last.
One of the organizers walked over to me. A black-haired lady about my age. She assumed that I must be the leader because I was the oldest, tallest and loudest.
“We have your race shirts, honey. For the Spirit Team. You know we made them special, like you asked back in March.”
Said the race lady.
”We are so happy you could make it down from Ft. Hood to join us. I’m sorry the shirts are late, we had a little mix up with the supplier. And well. I’ll have em for y’all next week though. If we send em up it could take longer.”
I was stumped, then I realized! She had mistaken the US Cavalry Corps Artillery running club for the Spirit Team!
The real Spirit Team were mostly Comanche Indian US Army Veterans who preached the gospel of Christ while running. I had run a 5k with them once in Neu Braunfels and another time at San Antonio. I had a nice chat during a race once, with their leader, a Comanche fellow, about 70 years old, who easily outran me as he taught me from Corinthians.
Our current group were an accidental mix, We ran together to get in extra shape for the upcoming deployment to OIF. We were an interested group when viewed from afar:
Black from KCK,
White from The Mohawk Valley of New York,
Tex-Mex from El Paso, Texas,
Sioux Indian from Leavenworth, Kansas and
Asian-American from Honolulu, Hawaii.
It wasn’t planned that way. We were in the Air-Ground Section and we were all runners. Every free weekend we ran a 5k, 8k or a 10k somewhere in Texas.
We never noticed the coincidence. We all looked a little bit different. The Army was already a pretty diverse place.
In ten days, we would be on the plane to Iraq 🇮🇶 to fight in the forgotten theater of the endless Savage War of Peace. But first, I had single-mindedly resolved to drive back to Round Rock before we deployed to get the race shirts.
The Spirit Team, having not shown up for the race we had run in due to superseding commitments and they being deregistered, the race organizers thought we were the replacements, so I didn’t feel too bad about driving down the Centex and the I-35 South a week later and grabbing the shirts from the kind ladies of the Central Texas Social Workers Society who had organized the race.
I gave a generous extra donation to their cause as a thank you for the shirts.
I carried the shirts with me, prime for distribution, like it was a secret mission:
Even when the hugs lady hugged us 1st Cav guys as we got onto the plane,
Even when I spent a couple weeks at Buering in Kuwait 🇰🇼,
Even when we worked out of Ur of the Chaldeans West of Nassiriyah and North of ‘Sugar Shack’ and then
Even really everywhere from Basra up to Baghdad.
We got scattered. Forward Observation Air-Ground Teams get parceled out to the Cavalry Squadrons all over the region. Yet I carried the shirts with me always. Handing out the shirts was a quest. I recorded each awarding of the shirt in my little green not really waterproof notebook.
Month by month, like a traveling hobo, I would be living with a different Squadron or detachment. I would then run into a member of our ersatz ‘Spirit Team’
Shirt One – size XL
Evans – KCK
El Numiniyyah, July
Shirt Two – size L
Walks Like Puma – Leavenworth, Kansas
Majjar El Kebir, September
Shirt Three -size M,
Hayakai – Honolulu, Hawaii
Qala’at El Salih, November
Shirt Four – M-Long
Lopez – El Paso, Texas,
Balad, Camp Anaconda, December
I hadn’t realized that Lopez was on the base. I was at the post laundry, being that I had just arrived from 30 days on the border in a filthy state and a terrifying ride in a C-130’in a sandstorm, then I showered in a transient barracks and subsequently went to finally do my petrified laundry.
I was dressed in PT gear, looking rather pedestrian, lugging my Bug-Out Bag, Rifle and Mechanic’s Bag. My BOQ would be ready that night over at the ‘Winfield Scott’.
”Sir! Long time no see!”
It was Lopez!
”Chief! Good to see you man! How goes everything?”
”Copasetic, Sir. I’m good to hook.”
We chatted for a while about life along the Centex (Central Texas Expressway – Harker Heights to Copperas Cove) as he waited on the dryer and I waited on my wash.
We heard the brand-new and near useless iron dome go off like a giant 4th of July sparkler. Then we heard the ominous ‘incoming, incoming, incoming’ Lights went out, we hit the deck, then the lights went back on and after a fashion and a little tinkering, the laundry mercifully resumed.
”I have your shirt, from the Round Rock 8k!”
I brought out the magnificent maroon running shirt for Lopez. He marveled at its beauty.
”Sir, this is truly a Merry Christmas! The Round Rock 8k! We did so bad!”
We ran 3.1 miles together the next morning on the track inside the old stadium. We each wore our Round Rock Spirit Team Race shirts.
We had, coincidentally, a tasker to the same base the next day to talk about Air Ground Support and ISR airframes.
The convoy was the usual, Hummers, Rhino’s, MRAP’s then an ungodly long and boring day of going through the motions of doing tedious Army stuff for a good OER in a played-out (mature) theater of operations.
We got back around 1530, in a light hazy sandstorm. There was the usual backup of US and Iraqi vehicles, contractors, diplomatic vehicles and then the local national workers queued up for the next shift, as they waited to be vetted by private security contractors at the side gate.
The Infantry Hummers dumped us out unceremoniously just inside the secure area, being that we were both journeyman vagabonds, as are all Forward Observer types.
We walked with our heavy packs and soul-crushing body armor about 600 yards, when we heard a thick chilling thud. We turned around to see a massive column of black smoke rising cruelly in the gloaming.
Inevitably, we heard sirens and then we watched as QRFs and security teams rushed to the gate.
Lopez was assigned to incident response, so he raced instinctively towards the explosion, as some of our convoy was still in the traffic line.
I had set down my pack and by the time that I had untangled my M-4 Rifle, Lopez had disappeared into the golden hazy dust.
I ran to the gate (against protocol as they often set off a second bomb to kill responders).
As feared, on cue, there was another bang when I was only 100 yards away. I was shielded by the concrete guard posts and my ears protected by artillerymen’s earplugs.
I dropped my pack and against common sense, I waded into the backlit dust and debris amidst almost complete silence.
I could barely discern civilians and soldiers laid out awkwardly in the sandy dirt. I could see soldiers and contractors emerge cautiously from damaged vehicles.
I saw figures on the ground, any wounds hidden by the ubiquitous golden-gray dust.
There, on his side, was a soldier, his uniform almost white and it was in fact, Lopez. Still. Completely still and he was gone.
Time passed, as that is the way the world works.
I came home eventually.
Finished out my career a few years later in New York City of all places.
The race was more than a decade ago, now.
I think about it sparingly anymore as day to day reality often intervenes to smother the not so distant past.
If you just so happen to stop by for a workout and you pause to look up from doing sit-ups, there, hanging from a silverine metal hook on the pegboard, in a corner of my gym, you may find a permanent reminder, a Spirit Team Round Rock 8k race t-shirt, maroon, 100% cotton, long-ago cleaned, dutifully ironed and hung from the wall amidst other race shirts, race ribbons, assorted diplomas and panoramas of my hometown.
Shirt Five – 2XL-Long
The Author – Cooperstown, New York
Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania, April
Peace be the Botendaddy
Dedicated to my true friend Troy.
Names are changed and events are heavily fictionalized to protect the decent.
From the National Archives, Library of Congress, 32 Iowa Avenue, N.E., Microfiche Number 308-14.601(a) Executive Department. Excerpt of Telecast of Press Conference, James, Earl Carter, III, Fireside Chat, White House Washington, D.C., December (Pronounced Dekembroish) 22, 1977
”Ladies and Gentlemen the President of the United States 🇺🇸 James Earl Carter, III (Pronounced Khoar-thair)”
“Hello… America… I come to you tonight as your President… throughout American… history, our strength has always been that… we come together… in times of crisis with ingenuity and creative spirit… to solve national challenges. We have a crisis. This crisis is of unhealthy sloth and gluttony that threatens the very basis of our democracy.
So tonight, here with the great American runner, Jim Fixx, I appoint Mr. The Botendaddy as Chairman of the President’s Crisis Running America Program (CRAP), under the auspices of the Department of Energy. He is truly full of CRAP.
« Permettez-moi de vous souhaiter une bonne soirée ici à Canisius. Si je puisse que vous sériez mise à date à propos de l’issue philosophique de courir 🏃♂️ c’est le solution pour paix à l’âge atomique. L’enfer… c’est le Botendaddy… » « L’être en Botendaddy, c’est l’être en soi »
J.P. Sartre 1ère Juin, Mille Neuf Cent Cinquante-Quatre
Chautauqua Institute for Criminally Insane Physical Culture – Symposium on Modern Running in the Nuclear Age.
Bertrand Russell: “I welcome you all to Lake Canisius. I know that this meeting has been anxiously awaited since its cancellation in 1938 due to the advent of social irrationalism. I welcome Professor Albert Einstein, Jean Paul Sartre, Jack Kerouac, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Ernest Hemingway, Jean Genet, Robert Moses, Thomas Merton, Frä Pareczenethy and so many others, plus our friends from Tanglewood, Woods Hole and Dumbarton Oaks.
I introduce tonight, the eminent scholar and humanitarian Nobeel Proze Winner, The Botendaddy.”
Botendaddy in Buddhist Robes and Sandals 👡 humbly approaches the podium.
”Dearest friends, it is not my part to welcome 🙏 you as you are already welcome. I also would like to thank our hosts at CICIPC. I was at the last Symposium here in 1934. My journey has been a difficult one since my temple in Bishing Anurachal Pradesh in the British Raj was seized by the unnamed progenitors of social irrationalism from the unnamed nation in the Northwest Pacific.
Many have asked how we can become the path to peace ☮️? The theme for this symposium is “Running for Peace”.
But is it vanity to say that we are ‘for Peace?’ Do we imply that we are morally superior? The Buddha said that to achieve ‘Ahisma’ “You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.” that if we run 🏃 peacefully that is sufficient to project peacefulness.
St. John of the Cross in his 11th Century treatise “The Dark Night of the Soul.” instructs us that when we run 🏃♀️ we achieve mindfulness in the mind-eye. But do we need other runners to run? The Buddha teaches: If you find no one to support you on the spiritual path, run alone. There is no companionship with the treadmill.
People have come to me on my mountaintop to seek wisdom. They ask: ‘why do you still run?’ The answer is in mindfulness… I run because to run is to become one with the mind…
The Monk, Which Nhat Hanh has said: “Runners usually consider Running on water or in thin air as a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to run either on water or in thin air or a treadmill, but to run on earth. ”
(Full text re-prints available from the CICIPC Society, Canisius, New York for $16.95 or $11.95 with an annual membership)
5. Posts based loosely on the humor of S. J. Perelman
6. Impressions on my service in Iraq 🇮🇶 with the 1st Cavalry Division 🐴
7. Stories and posts about my home state of New York mostly Cooperstown and the City
8. Stories and posts about my adopted home of Pittsburgh
9. Literary and Film critique
10. The Existential Nihilist Philosophy of Häär Doktor Doktor 👨⚕️ Pareczenethy
It wasn’t supposed to be sad. It was supposed to be funny and light-hearted and occasionally crude and silly.
I don’t have anything to offer anymore on Tree of Life. We were just like anywhere else. We were just like your Synagogue 🕍 Church ⛪ mosque 🕌 Temple…. Always complaining about nothing. Showing up late. Making fun of other Synagogues. Showing up really late. Internecine conflict. Showing up incredibly late. Making fun of the people Who were sitting around us during the high holy days. Cutting up with my daughter when we were supposed to be praying. Getting yelled at because my daughter never paid attention in Hebrew school. Getting her to Hebrew school late. Getting dirty looks from other congregants for cutting up during services. Reading the announcements instead of the prayer books. Getting yelled at by the rabbi for not showing up or showing up ridiculously late. Hoping the appeals for fundraising would stop. Showing up spectacularly late.
It was early evening, in the dark and in the rain. Fall is here. Today, Halloween 🎃 would have been my mother’s birthday. She had once been with Dor Hadash Congregation which was also hit last Saturday. She had strong opinions about the world. Despite all the evil she knew that there was also good.
I thanked the police and I left a stone for a couple of the dead.
I stood with mourners in the rain, Robert Merton, the monk, once said that there was a shred of divinity in all faiths, and yes they were all there together in the relentless light rain, Christian, Jewish, Taoist, Buddhist… I don’t know. All in different levels of pain. All feeling wounded themselves.
I mostly just stared at the building. I scanned it for scars. How this place had been hurt, almost like a living creature that was badly wounded. It was like watching a friend who had been grievously injured and you didn’t know if they would recover or not.
I thought of my daughter in the purple chapel last year at her Bat Mitzvah, so beautiful.
It was absolutely unbearable agony to stand there. I thought it the worst vanity to feel my own pain, but for the first time I had to.
I don’t care about the person who did this. Does it matter who does such a thing? He could live or die and I don’t care.
Does it matter the race or religion of those slaughtered? Is it any less or more when it happens to anyone else? Does God care more or less depending on who is the victim? I don’t think so. I think he mourns for all his children equally.
Then I walked away in the rain and I saw all the children trick or treating in sight of the temple. And I realized that despite such evil in the world, there is also good.
Hi 1. If I want to be my best as a runner, I probably need to be BMI 19-20 at most. Even within ‘normal’ BMI 25, that’s not a runner’s build. Don’t take this as health advice. See your licensed physician.
By the way, I once passed an Army two-mile run at a weight of 290. I’m a lot lighter now, but my theory is that you can run your best 5k only if your bodyfat is sub 8%.
I’ve been as thin as 172 as an adult and I could run a 5:45 mile. I dropped my weight down to 189 two years ago and I ran a 27:42 5k. But years ago I ran a 26:16 5k at 242. I may have been a lot stronger then.
I’m going to experiment as I lose weight, as I track my weight every time I run. The truth in ten years of record keeping, there is a direct correlation between my lower weight and faster run times.
Even when I was young and strong 💪 like sexual ❤️ 🇬🇷 greek bull 🐄 (Pronounced bhoull) from bad 60’s black and white movie 🎥.
By the way CORRELATION STRONGLY IMPLIES CAUSATION! IT IS THE RULE, NOT THE EXCEPTION! IT’S SCIENCE 🔬 GODDAMNIT AND I AM A SCIENTIST 🔬 👨🔬! 🧟♂️ Lightning ⛈ thunder, shrieks (shroakes?) like Valkyrie (Pronounced Wall-Kye-Rhee) to the sky 🌌 laughing 😝 madly. “yes master!” (Igor groveling like Gollum)
All I’m saying is that the lower my BMI the faster I’ve run over the past ten years. Of course, if your bodyfat is too low and you run very long distances you might drop dead due to a lack of fat stores. Or I’m just rambling. SEE YOUR DOCTOR 👨⚕️! THIS COULD BE ALL BULLSHIT! (ALL CAPS IN HONOR OF SCARY TOOTHLESS OVECHKIN – the anti-Malkin)
2. I read an article recently that bicycling and running 🏃♀️ can actually make you fat. The theory is it sets off an anthropological reaction that you need to store fat to chase the Aurochs! Jawohl! 👍 or Mastodon or dinotherium or whatever the fuck they chased, so you have to eat like crazy.
Walking is best for weight loss as it implies the Cro-Magnon (Pronounced Krough-Maggggggggggggggggggnon) is on the move and needs to be lean, as he (yes he! a massive phallus-centric creature, they were all male, and thus never reproduced, as there were zero females and their species were wiped out in one generation) is seeking scarce food sources. I MAKE UP MY OWN SCIENCE 🔬!
3. I went mountain biking again today on the trails. It was horrible. It’s not easy, is it?
4. I’m down 12 pounds on my latest diet. All 🌽 🌶 🍅 and fruit 🍉 🍌 🍎. Basically not eating anything that tastes good.
I swore to do no more public literary reviews or reviews of the arts. I even was at Krause Gallery again in Manhattan this summer with Herr Rochibauld Sachse-Heutelier and Doctor Otsego, but I wrote no review.
One of my favorite memories of Bosnia is driving alone through the cool air, headed towards Sarajevo past Velez mountain playing my Weather Report™ CD.
My favorite tune was ‘Birdland’, but I’m now partial to Jaco’s rendering of Pee Wee Ellis’ ‘The Chicken’.
What a classic funky jazz piece.
It’s right up there with Herbie Hancock’s amazing ‘Chameleon’.
At any rate, driving alone windows down, feeling the cool air, packing my useless 9mm Beretta it was a good feeling.
Imagine spending 22 years waiting to do something and never getting to do it?
What if you ran for 22 years but were never allowed to enter a race?
What if you went to Law School or Med School or Engineering School and you never tried a case, treated a patient or built a bridge?
You get the picture.
So there I was, after hanging out in Luxembourg, Germany, France, Belgium, England, Ft. Riley, Ft. Sill, Ft. Drum, Ft. Benning, etc., but never did a damn thing in the operational environment.
Sure, I ended up in Iraq well after Bosnia, but what a feeling! To be there! To be doing it! Missions! Minefields! Confrontations! Idiots shooting at each other, but not at me. Dubrovnik! The old walled city! The Adriatic.
So there I was listening to the funky base of Jaco. And I remember.
I did pass my APFT and my two mile run on the trail recently cleared of landmines on Mostar Base, but that’s another story.
I was sitting on a bench overlooking Montreal from on top of Mont Royal. The Adirondacks loomed in the distance.
“You know, Librarian, you can’t explain an abnormal situation to people who are used to normalcy.”
It was cold but dry. I liked the cold, she did not.
“What in the hell are you talking about?”
“Let’s say you work somewhere that your boss is literally insane, a psycho, they torment you every day. If you try to explain the situation to someone who works in a normal environment with sane, professional people, your friend will give you advice that only works in a normal place.”
The Librarian looked through one of the 25 cents pay-magnifiers.
“OK, in the Army we had this commander who ran the unit like a cult, never gave anyone any free time, micro-managed everything down to the lowest level, demanded inane time-wasting reports and asked mindless questions about idiotic minutiae. Not an evil person, but either OCD or quite insane. So if you explained it to someone from another unit, they cocked their head like a dog who doesn’t understand human speech.”
I put my jacket around the Librarian because she looked cold.
“Maybe I get it, I don’t know.”
“Like in Bosnia, I could be walking side by side with the Canadian and I would get threatening look or even verbal threats. The Canadian had no awareness at all because it wasn’t directed at him. Or the psycho boss I had at work who timed how long I spent in the bathroom and every time I asked for direction she would say I shouldn’t have to tell you your job, and we would have to guess the agenda.”
“Like in Twilight Zone when the little girl went into the Fourth Dimension or when the officers of the Caine went to visit Admiral Halsey. You can’t explain the inexplicable to people who only have normal as a reference. You can’t go over your crazy boss’ head if his boss or HR thinks your boss is wonderful.”
“OK, a tesseract is a cube in the fourth dimension. You can’t describe it to a person in the third dimension. It would be like explaining a cube to Flat Stanley, there is no frame of reference.”
“It’s about advice. The person who lives in normalcy always tries to give advice to the person who lives in crazy world. The advice giver doesn’t understand that the rules are totally different. If you’ve never worked for an irrational boss how can you give advice to the person who works for a crazy boss who is supported by even crazier management? If you’ve always been thin, how do you give weight loss advice to someone who has always been fat? If you run a five minute mile how do you give advice to someone who just started running, has bad knees and runs a thirteen-minute Mile?”
“I get it, crazy world has a totally different set of rules. Roberts Rules of Order don’t apply to street gangs, terrorists don’t follow the Geneva Convention and there is no Marquis of Queensberry Rules in a bar fight. You can’t give advice if you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.”
“Correctamundo, hence the tesseract.”
“Shut up and f@&k me, you useless f&$cking idiot.”