Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Strange encounters of the Ironman kind: IMAZ 2011

It’s somewhere around 5 p.m. on Nov. 20. The sun is low and it’s getting chilly in the shadow of a tall condo complex where coachubby and I stand. We’re next to the elevated dirt road that serves as miles four-ish, 13-ish, and 22-ish on the Ironman Arizona course, and we’re on the lookout for green calf sleeves, a blue tank top, a pink shirt, and a hot couple.

The blue tank top, covering a buff 27-year old blonde, should be approaching. Instead, a dude in his 50s wearing a baggy grey shirt runs straight at me. His face is contorted in either pain or anger or both, and although he’s surely tired, he looks like he still has enough energy to rip my face off.

He stops an inch from my nose, raises his left eyebrow, and stares into my brain with his big, sweaty, creepy left eye.

“Is there a bug in my eye?” he says. I can’t tell if there’s a right answer—he might punch me either way.

“No? I don’t see one?”

He blinks and rolls his eye around.

“There’s nothing there?”

A tiny black dot reveals itself when he looks up. “Oh yeah, there’s a speck. I see it.” 

“Get it out!” he demands.

Get it out? I’m supposed to shove my finger into this angry stranger's eye? No way. “You get it, Jimmy!” I pass him on.

The guy blinks a few times in the trade to coachubby.

“Look up,” coachubby says.

The guy rolls his eyes up as the vein in his forehead bulges.

“Mmm nope, don’t see it anymore,” coachubby says. I can’t tell if it’s true or if coachubby is saving his finger a trip into the guy’s eyeball.

The guy grunts then runs away.

Cue Twilight Zone music. 
This has been a presentation of strange encounters of the Ironman kind.