This post has been rated E for “everyone”. There are no obscene pictures, words, or acronyms
PAX: Cavity Search, John Doe, Hillshire, MIA, AOL, Burrito, Mandela, Rollback, Blackout, Jaws, Fire Bunny, Face Plant, Bonsai, Toe Tag, Picabo, Pit Bike
AO: Parliament in Ooltewah. Now, some smarta-, uh, um, smartypants among you might say “Don’t you mean Ooltedale, Mansiere?” To which my reply is “Of course not, silly.” “But, but, weren’t you the one who said Ooltewah and Collegedale are the same?” Yes, but you should already know that much like the capital of Djibouti is Djibouti, not all of Djibouti the country is Djibouti the city. So it is with Ooltewah. All of Collegedale is Ooltewah. Not all of Ooltewah is Collegedale.
Right at freezing, with almost no humidity. Chilly by lowland standards, rather balmy for the burly Mountain Men in attendance.
I swung into the parking lot one minute before the start. I jumped out and we were up and going with some heart-rate boosting warmups with stretches interspersed.
Back in the mists of time, there was a “Zombie 5K” in downtown Nashville. It looked really appealing at the time, but Spitney Beers was deep in the rec league playoffs, and no excuse would suffice for the absence of their notoriously ill-tempered attacking defender. It was with deep regret that I missed the occasion, even after word on the street told of its complete failure. Apparently they didn’t shut down any streets, almost no one wore costumes, and the race was so poorly planned that everyone was caught within the first mile and no one knew what to do after that.
Nevertheless, the idea stuck with me for years. How fun would it be to do something like that? And so I cooked up a version to do at Convoy run day. It seemed like everyone had fun, and I thought that was the end of it. Not so! It happened at Parliament a few months later. I was flattered; when the invitation came to Q a Run Day at Parliament, I knew it called for something special. Thus, a new game idea was born.
King of the Hill
Named in honor of Signal Mountain’s favorite PAX, this game starts with everyone in an area off the track, but close to it. In this case, I chose what appeared to be the high school’s overflow lot (pink circle in the picture). I put down three sets of cones. Everyone starts at the third set. Each PAX finds a partner with whom to play Paper, Rock, Scissors. The winner moves to the next set, the loser stays behind and finds another partner. If a PAX is alone in a row of cones, they must complete 25 LBCs to proceed to the next set of cones. After passing the final set of cones, the PAX enter the track on Lane 8. Lane 8 is the “safe zone”, denoted by the green line in the picture. At the end of the straightaway, PAX must enter Lane 1, at which point they must stay there until tagged.
The purpose of the game is to pass the cone placed in the final 100 meters of the track (orange dot in the picture) as many times as possible. If a PAX is tagged from behind, they are OUT and have to proceed back to the starting area. A PAX can only tag another PAX from behind, and a PAX must not exit Lane 1 until he is tagged. Tagging another PAX earns a point, as does passing the cone while in Lane 1. The object is to earn as many points as possible.
I passed around my Zimbabwe $100 trillion note, and clumsily explained how no one should believe the media downplaying the forthcoming inflation. It’s important to prepare for it as best as one can, and to understand that at the end of the day it’s effectively a tax, and scarcely different as money disappearing from your bank account. Burrito salvaged my message and saved further spaghetti-spilling embarrassment.
The men of Parliament are strictly business, and very fast to boot. They caught on quick and pretty soon there were shouts of triumph and disappointment from all over the track. The more people this game has, the wilder it gets, and this was a great introductory test of the rules. Burrito, always a faithful assistant to the Q, was there and played his role impeccably from start to finish.