Nursery rhymes


By Jack McDermott

Remember those carefree days of youth when you read fairy tales and nursery rhymes? I will bet that you all thought these stories were humorous, and devoid of any real meaning – sort of like the new FSU parking policy. In actuality, the Brothers Grimm were both track stars for the University of Dresden, and Mother Goose, while not running competitively, was reputed to have a superb VO-2 max. Now that most of you are semi-mature adults, it is about time you learned the true meaning of these tales, and how they relate to running in Tallahassee.

Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle, the Cow Jumped Over the Moon … This is what you will see if you drink too much beer after the Palace Saloon Run. One tip, if you start seeing “the dish running away with the spoon” then you better find a designated driver. Please remember that in life as in running, we all need to pace ourselves.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair … This is the story of a rather hairy runner, let’s call him “Bob”. Bob shaves all the hair on his chest, forearms, legs, head, and back to lessen wind resistance. The result is that he looks ridiculous, and is unable to “shave” any time from his 5K PR. He is now patiently waiting for his hair to grow back.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall … “Humpty” was a runner who took up cycling to cross train so he buys a $1,500 road bike. He falls off his bike, and the Capitol City Cyclists ignore him leaving him for dead or to be eaten by wolves in Tom Brown Park. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t fix Humpty — Actually they probably could — but it was not covered by his HMO. One way to tell that you have a really bad health plan is if they let the “King’s Horses” into the operating room. Humpty retires from competitive sports after the incident.

Jack and Jill went up the hill … Jack fell down and broke his crown, and Jill came tumbling after. Jack and his friend Jill — no romantic involvement — were doing a hill repeat work-out on Thomasville Road. Jack hits a pothole and loses his balance. Rather than “take one for the team” he grabs onto Jill and drags her down with him. They are both listed in stable condition at the Tallahassee Memorial hospital with head injuries.

Three Blind Mice, see how they run. They all ran after the farmer’s wife, who cut off their tails with a carving knife … This poem is about the importance of motivation. All you need to knock 10 seconds off your PR is to have a crazy woman chase you with a carving knife. I had jokingly planned to employ this strategy at Turkey Trot. However, after sending out an e-mail on the subject, 23 different women in the club volunteered to chase me with a cleaver! I just want all you “ladies” to know that I think your response was disturbing on many different levels.

Mares eat oats, and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy. A kid will eat ivy too … wouldn’t you? Quick answer — No! This is what happens when you go off to pee in the woods and do not look at the foliage. You may get poison ivy, and by the way, it’s not edible!

Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water spout, down came the rain and washed the spider out … itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again. This is a general metaphor for running in Tallahassee. It is sunny, then it rains, and then it is sunny again. Of course that was before the drought. Rumor has it that if the drought continues much longer, Jane Johnson may move the Bare Bottom race from Lake Jackson – to the Gulf of Mexico.

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe … she had so many kids … She had so many kids that she could not afford to purchase new running shoes. When her shoes developed holes, she would resort to “Shoe-Gu”. She used so much Shoe-Gu that eventually they became molded to her feet so she literally “lived in her shoes”. One tip to avoid her predicament: Use birth control!

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater. Had a wife but couldn’t keep her. He put her in a pumpkin shell … Peter married a wife who was a spendthrift. He was so in love that he gave her full access to his credit cards and checking account (Big mistake, Peter!). Next thing you know, Peter’s car was re-possessed, and he was evicted from his house, so they both had to live in a pumpkin. To make a long-story short this is why we have the No T-Shirt Option. So indigent runners like Peter can still get grand prix points.

In conclusion, I leave you with a quote from the greatest philosopher of the 20th century – Groucho Marx (The Comedian not the Communist). “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Of course I’ll probably be more famous for my quote, “A day without running is a day without shin splints.” Adios.