26 June 2012

In Pursuit of Shirtless Running Guy

I'm on a mission.  A very covert mission.  It is to obtain a photo of the enigmatic Shirtless Running Guy.  This is not your everyday guy out for a run, perhaps running with his shirt in his hand because he got too hot.  No, this is a much more advanced species.  Of his own design.

I started noticing him a few years back.  He runs the same route through our town every morning, rain or shine.  And if it's not the dead of winter, he's without a shirt.  And wearing very tiny shorts.  I noticed on an unusually hot morning last week that we can actually gauge the expected heat index by how early he is out in the morning and quite possibly also by the length of his shorts.  On that particular morning he was out extra-early and had on considerably shorter, lighter-weight, and flapping-open-to-show-your-junk running apparel.  And it ended up being a nasty, humid scorcher of a day.

When I mention him in conversation, I always get the same reaction:  "Yes!" people exclaim with a certain recognition in their eyes.  "I know exactly who you're talking about!"  So I am obviously not the only one who notices this guy.  But seriously, how can you miss him? 

OK...so I've described the running gear, or lack thereof.  But let's go a little further and delve into what adds to his certain je ne sais quoi:  
  • Dude always makes eye contact with you as you drive by him.  I mean always.  I mean in a really obvious way, like "I'm making eye contact with you because I know you're looking at me because I am so hotI AM SHIRTLESS RUNNING GUY!"
  • Dude is at least in his mid 50's to early 60's.  Now I'm not saying in any way is that old.  But to be showing off the way he does would be like me finding the shortest baby doll dress in a place like Forever 21 and wearing it to go grocery shopping.  Some things just don't float.
  • Dude is tan.  I mean New Jersey Tanning Mom tan.  Tan-in-a-Can tan.  That's-Not-Natural tan.  Maybe I'm just jealous.
In the winter months the outfit changes up a bit.  He does wear a shirt during the cold weather.  And electric blue Lycra running tights that let us know everything about him.   And these gloves that are huge and white and make his hands look like Hamburger Helper hands.  The tan remains, as does the constant eye contact.  Can't take those babies away from him.  Ever.

So now I'm getting friends from out of state who have not had the pleasure of seeing this guy up close and personal, asking me for pictures.  That's tough.  But I'm up for the challenge.  This is going to be even more difficult than trying to get a picture of the cat-walking couple that live down the street from me (See my post from June 13, 2012 if you don't know what the heck I'm talking about).  At least they don't make eye contact when I drive by.  Anyway, Running Guy always runs by the place where my friend and I meet for coffee on Thursday mornings.  Maybe I can nab a shot of him then, though our fellow caffeine addicts will probably think I'm some kind of perv or stalker or something.  The price you pay for some things.  All for Shirtless Running Guy.  To be continued.

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