This encounter happened months ago and still cracks me up every time I think about it, but I kept forgetting to share it with y'all.
Back in October 2009 when I finished my first marathon, I, of course, immediately had to locate a "26.2" sticker to put on my car. It's important, as most of you know, to signify to other runners that I'm in the club, to brag without having to say a word, and to look just a little bit mysterious to those outside of the loop.
A lot of folks around here are pretty far outside the loop- running and otherwise. Don't get me wrong, most of the people here are kind and smart and hard working and all of that, but it's pretty easy to be outside of the cultural norm when you're an hour from a civilization large enough to have a Target.
Anyway....all this of leads up to this story.
Since we don't have curbside pickup, I frequent our local "recycling convenience (that's a whole 'nother story) center" about once a week and have developed an ongoing conversation with the two older gentlemen that run the center. They already think I'm kind of a freak because I usually show up with almost literally a carload of recyclables (home + school) and get a little flustered when the community service workers put my glass in the "limbs and leaves" container or toss a unsorted box into the "brown goods" (I still don't know what that's supposed to mean) receptacle.
When the friendlier of the two men was waiting for me to pop my trunk one day he glanced at my bumper and muttered, "Twenty six point two, hmm."
"Yep!" I chirped, so happy to explain, "26.2 miles."
"26.2 miles per gallon? Is that about what you get in this car?"
Awkward silence while I try simultaneously to not laugh or cry. (Am I really living this far out of the loop?!)
"Umm, no, but that would make sense, wouldn't it, sir? That's just how long I ran one time. In a race. Yep, 26.2 miles."
I'm pretty sure he didn't believe me.