After a few weeks of salads, brisk walks, and secret midnight Twinkie binges, I was deluded and hungry enough for a challenge. During a quick saunter to the nearest convenience store for more Twinkies, I saw the poster for an upcoming fun run. Normally, the words "fun" and "run" do not mix in my vocabulary, but I was experiencing a walker’s high from lack of oxygen and tasty, creamy filling, so I signed up immediately.
Of course, I couldn’t run for fun in my baggy sweats. My butt was still of impressive proportions; not only was there room on the back of my sweatpants for the word "Juicy," there was plenty of space for the rest of the nutrition information from the orange drink carton. On race day, I squeezed into control top pantyhose so no unsightly display of my belly, hips and thighs would scare young children, and topped it off with a new, shiny track suit.
As the starting pistol shot down my last hope for dignity, sleek women sprang past me like gazelles with cell phones, not even winded enough to pause while discussing the latest episode of "Jersey Shore." I, however, lumbered along like a wounded emu as the pantyhose tightened around my legs, and gasped enough to earn myself a decent living on a 1-900 chat line. After six minutes, sweat began to trickle down, and my nylon-bound thighs began to rub together and squeak, sounding like two plastic flamingos in a barfight. At the ten minute mark, the two layers of polyester keeping my heated flesh apart began approaching the spark point of magician’s flash paper.
City workers must have been exhausted that morning, because it seemed like they added another mile to the street during the night, and the finish line mocked me in the distance. Ahead, I spotted the drink station, where PTA-perfect soccer moms handed out specimen cups of water. I tried to outrun the cloud of polyester smoke following me, which only made the problem worse and prompted smog alerts to be announced within a three-block area.
"Water?" asked Soccer Mom.
"Talcum powder!" I wheezed back. I felt an ominous spark, and began running like a saddlesore cowboy, my kneecaps pointed at different sides of the street. I heard the "whoof" of ignition just as I crab-walked across the finish line, then felt a cold splash as I collapsed into the grass. Standing over me was Soccer Mom, my one-woman blaze brigade, holding an empty paper cup. She surveyed my smoking underwear like a reporter covering a tire fire.
"Your undies are toasted," she said. "You should really wear a thong. Wanna borrow my Victoria’s Secret catalog?"
"No thanks," I mumbled, as emergency workers moved in with fire extinguishers.
At this rate, I’ll be wearing Bigfoot-sized granny panties for quite a while. But at least there will be Twinkies.