Those sweltering holiday weekend temperatures were too much for me to handle, so Monday afternoon I officially threw in the towel and headed to the nearest old oak tree to relax in the shade. I was all set to begin my siesta when who should stroll by but my neighbour, Nigel Naysayer.
“Jamie, please tell me that wasn’t you I saw running in that excruciating heat this morning.”
“I’d be glad to oblige. That wasn’t me you saw running in that excruciating heat this morning. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to grab 40 winks, 41 if the Sandman is in a generous mood today.”
“It sure looked like you running out there,” he scoffed.
“You’d best get your eyes checked then, old chum, because nobody would call what I do running anymore. Those days are ancient history.”
“My apologies. Let me rephrase the question. Was that you I saw jogging in the scorching heat?”
“Sorry to disappoint you again, but it’s also been light years since what I do resembles anything even remotely close to jogging.”
“So was that you I saw trotting out there, perhaps?” he snarled.
I shook my head. “I can’t remember that last time I was able to trot.”
“Was that you I saw plodding, maybe?”
“Not a chance. Plodding is no longer in the cards.”
“Was that you I saw ambling, possibly?” he snickered.
“Not on your life. My ambling days are way behind me, too.”
“Was that you I saw loping along, perchance?”
“You’re kidding, right? I’d give my eye teeth to be able to lope again.”
With that he threw his hands up in the air and started mumbling to himself.
“Was that you I saw creeping, crawling or slithering,?” he blurted out pathetically, clearly grasping at straws.
“Nope, nope and nope. I don’t even creep, crawl or slither in my dreams anymore, it embarrasses me to say. They’re all way out of my league, too.”
Nigel was at the end of his rope. Actually, the end of his leash, which was being tugged on vigorously. His dog was getting antsy, eyeing a nearby fire hydrant.
“OK. I was trying to sugarcoat matters by not being too specific about pace, or more to the point, lack of it, to spare your feelings, but you’ve left me no alternative. So now I’m not going to pull any punches. Was that you who I saw out in the torrid heat this morning moving along so sluggishly you looked like you were going backwards in slow motion?”
I paused thoughtfully before answering.
“I’m waiting,” he grumbled impatiently.
“Well, yes and no,” I replied cautiously.
“How can it be yes AND no,” he growled.
“Yes, I admit, it was me. But no, I didn’t LOOK like I was going backwards in slow motion. I WAS going backwards in slow motion. There’s a huge difference.”
“It’s called the moonwalk, baby. It’s not as easy to do as it looks. It’s taken me years to perfect it. And more to the point, to address your original concern, you’re right, it’s clearly not for everyone in this kind of weather.”