His Name Was Martin Boopem
Wow, I simply cannot believe Martin Boopem is dead. I just can’t believe it. Never heard of him? Yeah, I guess not many people have unless you follow the world of triathletes, which I do. In the nineteen-seventies, Martin Boopem was a god amongst triathletes. There’s no other way to put it. But you won’t see his name in many record books, nope. So how can this be, you ask? Well, let me tell you something first: Martin Boopem was the fastest marathoner who ever lived, the first man to ever break the two hour mark. He did it again and again, making the first third of any triathlon seem like a cakewalk. And on the bike? Well, he polished off those hundred and twelve miles in one hundred and sixty minutes fourteen times out of seventeen between 1974 and 1979. Pure speed and endurance, he was. You really had to see him step off that bike and head for the water. After running twenty-six miles and biking more than a hundred, it looked like he hadn’t even broken a sweat. He was always so far ahead of the other competitors, there almost didn’t seem any point to the swim that finished up the race. That’s where Boopem had a bit of a problem. Oh, don't get me wrong, the man could swim like a fish! When he was in the water, he was a motorboat, strong, swift, unshakeable. It’s just that, like most of us, Boopem wasn’t crazy about just diving in. He liked to stick his toes in the water to gauge the temperature, then wade in a bit to see how it felt. And like any sane person, if the water was cold, he would chuckle and go Ooooooh and kind of wait to get acclimated to it. Sometimes he would soak his hands and rub some of the water on his chest, but sometimes it made him shiver and that would set him back a bit, and who could blame him? Water can be cold! Often after five or six minutes of his hesitation, Boopem would be overtaken by the other swimmers who were starting to dive in willy nilly. This would splash a lot of water up and sometimes it would hit him, and Boopem would suck in air and turn away and laugh a little and he would hop back onto shore if it got really crazy out there with all that splashing. Eventually, though, he would dip down to his waist, and from there it was only another ten minutes or so until he yelled back to everyone on land, “I’m going under!” and he would drop under the surface just as quick as can be, only to pop up again and shiver some more and say, “Cold, cold!” Finally he would get used to the water, and realize that it hadn’t been so bad all along, and then he would take off like a bat out of hell and almost, almost be fast enough to place tenth or eleventh in the field if the wind was with him. If the wind wasn’t with him, well, there was no shame in placing fifteenth or sixteenth, was there? I mean, how many people can even finish one of those damn triathlons anyway? Could you? No, of course you couldn’t, you’re one of the fattest people I’ve ever seen. It looks like all the apple sauce in the world came together and decided to form a human being, and somebody stuck eyes and a mouth on it so it could go out to restaurants at night and eat everything but the American Express logo printed on the check holder. Jesus, you’re enormous. But it’s our anniversary tonight and I love you anyway, pumpkin. I have a little surprise for you…I wrote to Blockbuster and that silly lifetime ban no longer applies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays before 4 pm. So put your flip-flops on, because I heard there’s a new Pixar movie out on DVD where someone who’s done okay on a sitcom plays a wisecracking bar of soap!