1. Why? Well, Alice and a few of her friends had formed a team for this year’s Idiotarod 2008, and the team theme/name was Captain Planet. I never saw the show, but apparently, it was Captain Planet, of course, and he had a team of kids do all the grunt work; Captain Planet is kind of more like the face of the organization and a hands-off overseer. Unfortunately, I guess the guy originally slated to be Captain Planet dropped out. The team was in a bind, and Alice thought to herself, “Who could I get at the last minute to project strength, dignity, superherotude, and will have nothing better to do?” Of course, she called me. Knee-deep in an important project for work at the time, I, of course, said yes. Mostly to stop the text messaging.
2. Why were you late? Well, the organizers of this “event” try to keep their locations and route as secret as possible, because in the past, the cops have given these guys a hard time. Five-Oh keeps given them some jive about “public safety” and “rampant drunkenness.” Anyway, the locations are kept secret for as long as possible and then communicated to participants at the last minute. I did not know this, so when Alice told me it started at 12, instead of the 2 I had been told (and spent the previous night drinking accordingly), I had to scramble before finding my teammates.
3. What were the best carts you saw? Clearly the most prepared group was the “Top Gun”-themed cart, complete with “Highway to the Danger Zone” playing on what seemed like an endless loop. Two nits: No “Take My Breath Away” for the slower moments? Plus, there seemed to be a lack of latent homoeroticism, an essential element of “Top Gun” (topless volleyball on the beach, “You can ride my tail anytime, Maverick”) There were three “Indiana Jones”-themed carts, I guess everyone is excited about Indy IV coming out this year. The Jesus-themed cart was rather unwieldy but hilarious, and we managed to get our picture taken with them when Jesus just happened to pass the church.
4. Worst cart? A Heath Ledger themed cart that had balloons inside it, which was supposed to be Valium. The cart had Heath’s “prescription” on it. I’m sure as tasteless as it was, I’m sure they were completely surprised to find out that the race route went through Ledger’s Brooklyn neighborhood. As Captain Planet, I just pointed at them and shook my head disapprovingly. Brian Van (not on a team, but out and about, observing): “Too soon!”
5. So, it got a little violent, no? There were a couple of teams that seemed to be more about tipping over carts than running the race. We didn’t realize it until the tug o’ war, but we had a relatively smallish team, so we were targeted by a couple of cart-tipping crews. Using some speed from our cart pushers, and my ability to at least engage the would be tippers, we were able to fend them off. I didn’t beat anybody up, but I was big and strong enough to occupy them until our cart got away. There was one group of guys with some twine, hoping to trip up our cart like olden-day bank robbers waititng for a stagecoach. But I smelled out their attack and we were able to fend them off once again. I told Alice at one point, “You lied to me about the running, but that’s my fault. You didn’t tell me there would be wrestling.”
6. Why do you look 55 in some of those pictures? During one of the skirmishes, the flour we were using for sabotage got turned on us and ended up all over my hair. So I had flour in my hair for the rest of the day and evening and today until I finally showered at 4pm.
7. Why are you drinking Trump Vodka? It’s yooge. Alice inexplicably brought it, and, let’s face it, we had run out of beer. Katie, one of other team memebers had chased it with Cherry Coke. I just start swigging the stuff straight up. It isn’t appreciably better than any number of mid-to-lower level brand sof vodka. Not surprising for a Trump, who I’m pretty sure does not drink it.
8. So, did you guys win? Well, we finished. Let’s just say there were a lot of people at the bar in Red Hook by the time we got there. But that didn’t mean that we didn’t have a blast, despite the running and the egging, and the wrestling, and the spanking and the rope burns (please don’t ask), I would do it again next year. The cops were cool, and the people in the neighborhoods we ran in were pretty understanding and enjoyed the fun. Thanks to Alice for getting me involved, and Glenn, Chris, Matt, and Katie for being fun and outatanding teammates. Sure we didn’t win anything, except the satisfaction that we could idiot it up with the rest of this city and survive. It’s not much, but I think I might have a better idea of what life in a post-apocalyptic society might be like. And if that doesn’t stay with a man, well, I don’t know what does.
All pictures courtesy of DrunkBrunch.