November 8, 2011

Trivia Blog: Let's Get It Marath-On

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

“That boy sho is a runnin’ fool…”

There’s something wonderfully hypocritical yet satisfying about getting drunk while watching others do physically exhausting activities.  It’s something that we, not only as sports fans but as ‘mericans, have mastered over the decades.  Set apart the normal fan experiences of sitting in a bar or in the stands watching a football game, though, is the strange outlier that is Marathon Day.  Oh, how I’ve grown to love Marathon Day…

Not that we ever really need that solid of an excuse for early imbibing as New Yorkers, but Marathon Day has got to be one of the oddest “this thing is happening so let’s start drinking early and often to commemorate it” days in this city.  Really, all you need to qualify as a Marathon Day Drinker is a passing interest in one of the many thousands of people who trained for months on end.  For my friends and I, that was our buddy Eric.  He provided the subject of our rooting, and we provided the willingness to drink our faces off while vicariously accomplishing a monumental task through him.  Because try as we may, none of us could pull off a 26.2-mile run in that kind of time.  I used to be a cross country runner myself, but I could never do that kind of distance.  At this point in my life, I can hardly run to Gristedes and back to pick up extra cheese dip during one of The Walking Dead‘s commercial breaks without my knees turning into Patrick Ewing’s knees, yet alone run through five boroughs of torture.  Things like Marathon Day serve as stark reminders that my glory days as a runner are long behind me.

Another reminder came the next night, when a coed social sports volleyball match left me feeling like i had run a marathon.  I was talked into joining a NYSSC outdoor volleyball league this Fall mainly because of being friends with everyone else on the team.  I also thought that volleyball was going to be like that awesome scene in Top Gun, only without Goose’s mustache, the montage music, and the strong homoerotic themes running throughout.  And while it is a lot of fun, last night was one of our few competitive games (the other teams just can’t hold a candle to Rough Sets), and I woke up this morning sore in places that only those who have bedded me or changed a diaper of mine are aware of.

Is that what it is to get older?  Suddenly and without warning having it be difficult to do things that you could do without effort or care or preparatory stretching just a year before?  To watch runners go by one day and feel like you know their pain because of too much setting and spiking the next?  At only 28 years old, I’m not ready to go on the DL after a simple game of volleyball.  This is why I’m glad you all love Trivia Night so much; apart from the occasional elbow strain from lifting too heavy a pitcher or a neck injury caused by falling off your chair in amazement at my awesome questions, it’s a relatively safe, non-strenuous activity.  And like with Marathon Day, I can sit back, have a few drinks, and watch you guys do the actual work.  And also get paid to do so.

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