I have only one pair of shorts I feel comfortable running in.
My other, lesser, shorts leave my “naughty area” complaining repeatedly during the run about poor working conditions. My Good Shorts have always been my Good Shorts. I’ve had them for as long as I can remember.
(The things those shorts must’ve seen! Makes the naughty area boggle at the thought.)
Even though my Good Shorts look like they were assembled by slave labour in Indonesia they’ve always been surprisingly robust. They have one minor design flaw, however, and that is the stitching in the…. marital…. area has never been strong.
(At this moment I encourage you all to back-slap me, and congratulate me on having a monster no Indonesian short manufacturer could tame).
Normally the additional ventilation down below isn’t an issue. Careful underwear selection renders any potential court cases unlikely, and I’m always careful to run in a posture akin to that of a man on a Penny Farthing.
However, one thing strikes fear into my heart.
I have a dog, and I consider myself canine friendly. However, in rural France one keeps a dog for one of two reasons:
1) To bark, and frighten away potential burglars.
2) To run out of an open gate and bite any passers by, allowing you to be rude to them after the event and blame the person for antagonising your dear, defenceless hellhound.
I have been bitten more than once by French guard dogs. One notable incident involved a dog running out of a house as I ran past and biting me on the hand. As I desperately fought off the dog and shouted for assistance it’s owner bounded up smiling.
“Your dog ****ing bit me!” I said.
“Carry a stick next time!” the man said.
“Why?” I said.
“If you throw it he’ll run after it, and if he doesn’t you can hit him with it!”.
Being British I simply let the blood pour from my hand and apologised profusely for not thinking of that, and promised I’d carry a stick next time. But it does highlight an ongoing danger for any runner in rural France.
(“So, how does this relate to your Good Shorts?” I hear you cry).
Well, I’ll tell you.
Today was the first run of Janathon. 11km on a hilly course, with the rain falling and my thighs protesting and wishing they were buried in a tin of Xmas Quality Street.
Normally very little happens on my runs. However, today, to my surprise a dog leapt into my path from a house I didn’t consider one of the usual danger spots. This friendly 24 foot, red eyed, slavering little darling looked annoyed that I should choose to propel myself any faster than crawling pace so I stopped. One of the best things about being British in France is the perpetual joy of speaking to animals in my native tongue. This tends to annoy the owners as they realise the cat/dog/tortoise responds as effectively to posture and tone as they do the actual words being spoken.
So, I’m there.
Eyeing the beast.
Talking to it in a strong cockney accent (not sure why I did that, I’m Welsh) and trying to establish some sort of rapport.
Oh no. He wasn’t having any of it. He was a sniffer and a growler. Not a hand sniffer either. Yes, I’m not going to spell it out for you, but like a Hellfire missile closing on an unsuspecting tank he headed RIGHT INTO THE DANGER ZONE. It was then that the Indonesian stitching began to be a concern. I’m not saying another layer of fabric would be the difference between testicular safety and a new career as a body double for the Oscar statue, but it felt like it at the time.
So what happened next? In a moment of clarity, only brought to me by impending groinal maulage I realised I had a mint in my pocket. Like Indiana Jones carefully swapping the bag of sand for the golden statue I distracted the dog, dropped the mint and ran like Scooby Doo. I swear you could hear the conga roll as I picked up speed.
11km later and the first run of Janathon was done. 30 to go.
My groin and I are ready for the challenges ahead.
Jan 1, 2012 11:39 AM
102 m / 195 m
152 m ↑ / 162 m ↓