Isn’t this how you dress for a 5K?
I joined The Law Firm’s team again this year for the annual Heart Walk 5K, which raises awareness and money for the American Heart Association. I don’t know anyone personally who has been affected by heart disease, but it scares me and I enjoy walking so I have signed up for the last two years. It’s not like I ever have anything better to do that early on a Saturday morning so why not?
I did not bring Henry, though. We’re lucky he even rolled to a stop long enough to allow us to safely exit the car before he sped off to a land where he didn’t have to be someone’s BITCH for a whole two and a half hours. This left Chooch and I standing alone on a street corner, no weapons, no (moral) compass, NO MONEY. It was really scary, but Chooch was like, “We can do this” so we held hands and walked to Heinz Field where we immediately became lost and couldn’t find anyone from our team and strangers kept talking to us.
This year, Sandy signed up and brought Elena, which was good because Chooch was JUST complaining the other day about how he isn’t hugged enough by little girls, so problem solved. And thank god he spotted them so then our group of Lost People expanded to four. We kind of just stood around, looking confused, until Monica and Chris rolled up, casually biting into apples like it’s the sole purpose we were given teeth. God, how arrogant. Maybe I’m just bitter because I can’t nosh on apples like your everyday Farmer Jenkins. My apples need to be sliced by an apple-corer and sometimes need to be even more cut after that. So I disgustedly watched them snack on their produce like regular pioneers (god, why don’t you just wear a bonnet, too!!!) while cursing my mom for not teaching me how to eat a fucking apple. I AM TOO OLD TO LEARN NOW.
But anyway—SAFETY IN NUMBERS! I already felt better, and even embarked on a mission to pee all by myself! And I didn’t get lost! I asked Chooch if he wanted to go with me or stay with everyone else, and he chose to stay with everyone else because he’s not new to this game–he knew he’d be safer with them than me.
He likes to pretend like she drives him nuts, but we all know Chooch is a big softie underneath that Bring Me the Horizon t-shirt.
While waiting to have our Law Firm Group Picture taken, the most awkward interaction Chooch and I have ever had with a mascot (or furry, for that matter) happened when Steely McBeam (“Fuck the Steelers!” is what I wanted to shout to get him to piss off) completely infiltrated our personal space and REPEATEDLY TOUCHED US. He kept trying to grab Chooch’s lollipop out of his mouth and then he was unwrapping and rewrapping my scarf and even fluffed my hair at one point. I was stunned, paralyzed, speechless. I mean, if you’re going to violate me, at least give me a plate of apple slices afterward.
He finally walked away with his head down and Monica commented on the awkwardness of the scene so I’m glad it wasn’t just me being a social reject again.
The best part about this photo is that Chooch didn’t even ask to have his picture taken, but some lady was all, “HEY KID, GET IN THIS PICTURE WITH ME & STEELY MCBEAM. IT’LL BE AWESOME, A YINZER MEMORY TO LAST A LIFETIME.” Even CHOOCH is like, “This mascot is fucking stupid.”
Then another of our co-workers, Elaina, arrived with her mom and dog, and Chooch lost interest in everyone and everything else after that because OMG DOG! MOMMY WON’T LET ME HAVE A DOG.
Right before the walk started, Sandy gave Chooch a banana who then remembered he only likes bananas on Tuesdays with a full moon, so he gave it to me and I happily ate a piece of fruit that can’t defeat me.
And then we walked the 5K which took FOREVER because it’s basically just a stroll and I’m not really good at walking that slow, plus I had to keep stopping to fetch my child who would wander off to throw sticks and empty cans of Skoal into the river. And then he picked up a piece of Caution tape and gave it to Elena, who immediately attempted to tie it around her waist like a gritty haute couture sash. She’s very fashion-forward. Probably somewhere around the one mile mark, Chooch started complaining about phantom stomach pains and began finding all the different ways we could cheat and not have to walk as far. Nice try, too bad you’re saddled with a mom who loves to walk (yet has an ironic collection of wheelchairs).
Chooch is going through this adorable phase where he wants everyone to know that his father is an alcoholic because sometimes he might drink THREE BEERS on a Saturday night AT HOME. So naturally, whenever I would be asked whey Henry wasn’t at the Heart Walk, Chooch would butt in and casually say, “He’s drunk.” Of course, this is hilarious to me and not-at-all-hilarious to Henry who is so afraid that someone is going to think it’s true and then he’s going to get taken away to the slammer in the back of a 1920’s police car. Mostly I think “alarmed” reactions were only garnered was because Henry had the balls to leave Chooch and me alone on the North Shore.
(That night, we were at Ghost Lake in Conneaut and Chooch was reading the rules that were posted outside one of the attractions. “No pushing. No smoking. No ALCOHOL, DADDY!” It was fantastic.)
“Mommy, look!” Chooch yelled, flipping me the bird with his gloved hand. I started to Be A Parent, but he quickly cut me off and said, “No, it’s OK! My finger’s not actually in there!” He held up his hand again with all of his fingers folded down and the black-knit middle finger-pocket was indeed empty, albeit standing erect. So then I had to explain in hushed tones that this still was inappropriate because we were in public and it would only be OK if it were directed toward his alcoholic father.
Monica and Chris told Chooch that he should come visit them and see their cat, but I’m not stupid. I know they just want to rub their 2013 County Fair’s Most Elegant Apple Eaters blue ribbons in my face. Jerks.
And then the walk was over and everyone left except for me and Chooch, who had to stay for unlimited minutes and wait for Henry’s Gitney Service to come back for us. Chooch busied himself by playing on every single bouncy-attraction and asking strangers where they got their balloons. Then he went up to some nutrition tent and spun a wheel which landed on “Breads and Grains” so he had to tell the lady something in that food group in order to win a prize.
“Um……” Chooch started, seconds ticking away loudly into the ether. A small group was forming. Answer the fucking question. STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT, PEOPLE WILL THINK I ONLY FEED YOU TOOTSIE ROLLS , CAT FUR AND CHEETOS CRUMBS! JUST SAY A BAGEL, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! “Um, bread?” Chooch shrugged. The lady begrudgingly handed him a UPMC pencil and a large stick of sidewalk chalk even though she was clearly disappointed in his answer.
Well, technically “bread” is in that food group, so stop frowning at my failure to teach my child about nutrition! And this was still better than last year when he completely shit the bed and said, “I don’t know, what is food?” for his final answer.
Finally, we managed to cross the street without dying and Henry swooped in with his Dad-chariot and we immediately started crying to him about how hungry we were.
So, hooray for raising money and awareness for heart disease! However, the real success story here is that we walked a 5K without Henry holding our hands and no one stepped in hobo shit or fell into the river!