Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Great Worm Race

Anna, Charlie & the prize.
After nearly a year, a date has finally been set for a one on one, 3.8km uphill running race to the Blockhouse. The competitors are the fiercely competitive Anna Versfeld and the equally determined, and slightly (but only very slightly), afraid Charles Standing, aka, me.
You might well ask why such a silly race should be in a food blog? Well, like many things in life, the race has lots of links to food, the least glamorous and most juvenile being that the looser has to chow ‘the worms.’
So why does the looser have the ugly task of chomping two worms? Well, all because, once upon a time,  my mate Ian Ian caught a Long Fin Tuna. When such a splendid fish arrives in your kitchen, it’s only fair to have a spontaneous dinner party. So my readily available and fun close neighbours came to share in the bounty. The more tuna we chomped, the more wine we drunk, and the more boastful Anna and I became, each claiming to be a faster runner than the other. Basically, Anna and I are both arrogant little shits. We thought, we would settle it once and for with a race to the Blockhouse, but we still had to settle on the prize.
As the wine flowed, I thought to avoid major hangovers, I would pop a jug of water on the table. Being a host who likes to add a little extra something, I plucked some sprigs of mint from the garden and tossed them into the water jug, without rinsing them. Oh dear! What a mistake, coz half way through the jug, some annoyingly observant guest (it was probably Anna) found a couple of worms lurking in the water. So it was decided they would be preserved in tequila and the looser would have swallow their pride as well as the worms.  
So the first Tuesday in July is race day.
I cant wait to see Anna’s worm face, coz I’m not gonna loose, I’m not gonna loose, I’m not gonna loose …

I have posted Anna's response below.

Charlie had the good grace to ask me whether I wanted to edit his blog entry. I have, instead requested the right of reply. He has graciously granted it.

Hold on a second mate! I get to be “fiercely competitive”, and you get to be “equally determined?”Peeps, I think it only appropriate that we get a couple of things straight. About a year ago, at the time of the said (exceedingly tasty) dinner I was in rather fine (running) form. Charlie was, as always, of fine physique, but well, let’s just say that his running shoes needed to be extracted from the recesses of a closet.
I had also recently taken a couple of other men making (spurious) claims about their running abilities to the cleaners on uphill bets (after which they had taken themselves to the physio). So when another one of those wagers came along, I couldn’t resist. I find these challenges particularly appealing because there’s a fabulous assumption that underlies most of them which, in essence, goes like this:  “There’s no way she can beat me up a hill because she’s a woman. Never mind that she’s got calves of steel and I’m off the couch.” And ah, well, but how I do love to fly (at speed uphill) in the face of gender stereotypes. That’s my kind of feminism. (I didn’t, and don’t, really have calves of steel, but you get my point.)
Anyway, turned out I need to give Charlie a little time to become reacquainted with his running shoes, because once the wine had worn off, his confidence had lost some of its lacquer. Problem was I gave him rather too much time. The bastard is in pretty good form these days. I, less so. As I stumbled to the top of the time block house time trial the other day the time keeper looked as his watch as I came through, yelled out my time and then said, “You’re a little off time there aren’t you? What have you been doing all summer?” I’ve been eating, thank you very much.
So it has started to dawn on me, as it quite simply had not before, that I am – quite literally – in the running for slurping some worms. Bollocks. I don’t even like tequila. 

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