Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Secret #7 Lying is Acceptable When a PR is On the Line

I am firmly opposed to lying for two reasons. One, I hate being lied to. I'm not an idiot and I will believe all of one time that your story actually is as complicated as described, but if frequently your life falls apart at the hands of the rest of the world all of which is surely out to get you, I'm probably going to assume that the facts have been stretched, something has been left out or quite possibly your pants are on fire. I don't judge you for this. The tales you weave for your friends, family, and coworkers are your own business. I just don't buy your story personally and will most likely take that into account the next time you begin another story of the "you'll never believe this variety" (fyi-probably you are correct). But for me, I don't enjoy trying to decipher the facts from the sludge of fiction, it wastes my time and in addition I've found myself making the wrong move because of what I thought the truth was. And because I don't like it, I don't want to force other people to wander aimlessly through a web of my own lies.

And secondly, it rarely ever works. The truth always has a way of coming out and most often when it does come out, it doesn't come quietly. It comes roaring out and people end up getting hurt in the process. And I have found as painful as the truth may have been, it would have been far less so had I just come out with it in the first place. Furthermore no matter how good a liar you are, really you can never ever know for sure who has bought your story and who is just humoring you for the moment.

So because of this I rarely ever lie (unless we're talking about with my kids, them I lie to all the time. Things like no I don't have anymore cookies, or that terribly annoying toy has run out of batteries, or the swimming pool/park/chuck e cheese is closed today, and yes, President Obama's daughters are still sick because I'm not planning on making any trips to the White House soon no matter how desperately and often my daughter begs me to go for a little play date. Call me a bad parent if you wish. I like to think of it as developing the logical side of my child's intellect. Once I am found out, I will know I have done my job and will then be forced to seek alternative strategies such as because I said so, when you grow up you can make the decisions, and sure you can go if you spend your own money that you don't have. Oh yes, I'm already planning this).

But apparently I do not take my moral compass along with me during a race (wonder if the newest Garmin comes with one already built in?). This is the funny (or sad..so so sad) story of mine from the Bayshore 1/2 Marathon.

Turns out one 8oz bottle of water between the hours of 4:30AM and 6:30AM before a 7:00AM start is FAR too much for me to drink prior to racing. Not only did I brave the desperately long lines at the port-a-potty at the very last possible minute (ok 2nd to last possible minute...I did in fact here the starter from INSIDE the port-a-potty say 2 minutes to start...talk about panic since the start was more than a 2 minute walk...geez), but I still found myself needing another break almost immediately after I crossed the starting line (what the heck is up with that?) Only one problem, I had a time goal and it was one I knew I was going to have to stretch myself to hit and potty breaks had not been factored in especially not ones involving lines (because apparently I was not the only one who can't handle 8 ozs before a race) and every port-a-potty had a good 4-5 people waiting. So I kept on running hoping that just perhaps it would somehow magically be reabsorbed.

This was not the case and by 4 miles I was getting desperate and now with no port-a-potty in sight I was starting to consider popping a squat or possibly asking one of the local residents if I could use their bathroom. But with nowhere to discreetly take a break (unless I went up onto somebody's lawn behind a tree or a garage or something...just imagine that gorgeous morning view) and the fear of entering some hospitable stranger's house, I remembered I had heard once that runners just sometimes let loose and will hide their dirty little secret by dumping water over themselves. Now besides the fact that this is just gross and I had no water to cover my crime, at just about that moment where I was thinking I was no longer going to be in control of the situation, a ray of light came shining through the clouds (imagine a heavenly chorous of Alleluia here) in the form of a blue port-a-potty.

And here is where it gets good. While my sweet little daughters were patiently waiting for me at the finish like this:

And like this (with my dad):

Their mother was about to shamelessy become a lying thief. You see as I rounded the corner and saw this little jewel of a port-a-potty just a tad off the course near the construction site of a new house, what I also saw were two women, one who went in and the other who stood by outside waiting for her to finish. And while I would like to pretend I knew not what was happening, the truth of the matter is I plotted as I approached. A little something like this: "you know lady #1 is probably going to be finished by the time I run up there, but I think lady #2 is going to go in. But she's kind of standing far away, so maybe she is just waiting. Oh nope, she's taking off her racing pack. Oh look, there's lady #1 one, just finished. WHAT IS lady #2 doing? Is she going in or not? Now she's taking off her sweatshirt. Geez why isn't she ready to go in? No port-a- potty should be left unattended when there are people waiting to use them whether they know I need to or not. They should realize people are weighing their options from afar. Seriously, how much potty prepping must you do?"

And then what happened next I am not proud of, but it all happened so fast...I ran by the both of them and slipped into the port-a-potty while they were both looking the other way. Really, they were powerless to stop me. And for the full 30 seconds I was in there (seriously, I am in and out in a flash) all I could think was "OH MY GOD! I CAN NOT BELIEVE I JUST CUT IN FRONT OF THAT WOMAN!" and "What am I going to do when I get out of here?" Now you may think to yourself the story ends here... Perhaps the woman shot me a disgusted glare as I ran off to rejoin the race, but oh no, not in my world. In my world the story gets better, in my world the woman confronts me.

As I ran quickly out of the port-a-potty being careful to look only straight ahead and not at my victim, she stepped in front of me. Now it's on like donkey kong right? Nope. Lady #2 who's bathroom I stole heartlessly out from under her, is WORRIED about ME!

"Oh my gosh," she says to me, "are you ok?" This takes me completely by surprise and for about two seconds I have no idea whatsoever she could possibly be talking about. Then it hits me like a ton of bricks. Yeah, she's talking about the fact that I came running out of nowhere into the potty with a complete disregard for everyone else around me. Insert knife in heart now, I would have preferred the dagger stare I think.

And my response, you may be wondering, what do you say to that? Well, quite frankly, the only thing that popped into my head when I realized what she was talking about. (here's where the lying comes in) "I'm fine...oh my gosh we're you waiting? I'm so sorry." And then you run away quickly before you're found out to be the filthy stinking liar you really are hoping to never see them again.

But like I said before, since the truth always comes out, I figure it's better you hear it from me rather than the word on the street. And if you happen to be lady #2 at the Bayshore 1/2 Marathon blue (all the rest were green) port-a-potty near the house being built, than please accept this as my sincerest apology. All I can say is I really had to go, I really wanted to run 2:11, and I was temporarily insane.

I would like to say this will never ever happen again, but have I mentioned I hate liars...

PS. I actually am not lying about my time, in case you noticed the 2:22:40. Being that I was almost the last person to cross the starting line (you know because of the whole pre-race potty stop that helped me not), my gun time is far slower than my chip time.

PPS. In order to prevent such bathroom thievery from happening to you, might I suggest if you are waiting for the port-a-potty two things...1) stand NEAR the port-a-potty, 2) be prepared to enter the very moment the person using it is finished. Otherwise I can not be held responsible for my own actions ;-)


runnanna said...

Thanks for your nuggets of wisdom on porta potty etiquette (sneakiness) Who knows when that little scenario might come in handy? You are hilarious! Congrats on the great time!

Runsis said...

Why do all of your races involve some sort of porta potty fiasco? Can't wait to see what drama the next race brings!

chris mcpeake said...

Sometimes its really nice to be a guy ... we can go just about anywhere discretely