I stole photos
My third and final Hustle up the Hancock is behind me! And I did OK for not doing any stair training. I routinely do 100 squats twice a week, so I was counting on my newly beefy quads to propel me up 94 flights of the John Hancock Center. But my quads started quivering around floor 15. And I made it the rest of the way on little more than get-this-over-with-ness and the highly appropriate Dreamgirls snippet that got stuck in my head and fit perfectly with the seven-step chunks of stairs I was climbing: STEP! MOVE it MOVE it MOVE it RIGHT to THE top STEP (walk walk walk) STEP! MOVE it MOVE it MOVE it, etc. I did the climb in 19:09 the last two years, but my utter lack of training this year added a minute and a half to my time. So I staggered to the top-floor observation deck yesterday in 20:36 and gladly accepted the fact that my Hustle days were over. And as a card-carrying douchebag, I have no intention of forking over any money for commemorative photos. So all I have to show you that I did the Hustle is this proof (you can tell it’s a proof because of the giant word PROOF angling up the middle) that I stole from the photo people’s web site:
I destroyed a rehearsal
Hustle up the Hancock is a fundraiser for the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, so there is cruel irony in the fact that all those people climbing all those seldom-used stairs kick up tons of metallic-tasting dust that we all suck deep into our lungs. And by the time I went to rehearsal two hours later, I had a hacking cough and a throat full of rust-flavored pudding that prevented me from doing important rehearsal things like controlling pitch and matching tones and blending with other singers. All of which become glaringly obvious when everyone is singing a cappella. So I was the sucky douchebag who brought the whole rehearsal down for two hours.
I hoarded food for invalids
A friend of ours is currently recovering at home from a pretty horrific encounter with a car. He’s immobilized in casts and for the next few weeks pretty dependent on his devoted husband and the parade of friends who drop in and demand to supply vast mountains of food and flowers and assistance. And in the spirit of making their lives easier I thought I’d make him good and farty. So I made a massive crock of my favorite turkey chili for them, of course skimming off a few bowls for myself before I delivered it to their door. Because I’m not that altruistic.
I made a child cry
The domestic partner and I spent Saturday afternoon teaching our nieces and their mother how to make pies. We let the girls use the kick-ass apple peeler my folks bought us and we got flour and sugar and other surprisingly sticky ingredients all over the kitchen, but we managed to make a latticed apple pie and a crumbly Dutch apple pie without searing any flesh off any body parts except for my left pinky. While we waited for the pies to bake, the girls bounced around the family room to Just Dance, a Wii game that shows you an abstract-y girl doing arm-wavy choreography to trendy pop songs. You’re supposed to dance along as though the girl were your mirror, and every time the Wii remote thingy detects that your arms are moving in the right ways, a little shoe or hot dog or other cartoon symbol that you chose to represent your badass self rains sparkle dust into a giant clear tube to measure how well you’re doing. Just like any Tuesday night in our bedroom! Everything was going fine until the girls decided to challenge us uncles to a dance-off. And, being a federally licensed choreographer, I naturally smoked my little 8-year-old challenger on my first try. And being a total heartless douchebag, I turned to her and said, “I smoked you!” Not “Good job!” or “High five!” or “You rock!” or “You obviously do a lot of practicing!” or “Can I try on your shoes?” No. I went right to the trash talk I always do with people who have mortgages. And the look on her face made me want to stab myself in the heart. Once I pulled the knife out of hers, of course. In my defense, we were dancing to one of the most heinous-anus abortions of pop music known to man: that “zig-a-zig-HA!” dreck by the Spice Girls. So I get a thousand points just for playing along. Plus I totally did smoke her. And it’s not like I broke her nose with a hearty head-butt like I normally do when I win dance-offs at nursing-home sing-alongs and abortion rallies. But I was still a total douchebag. And even though she seemed to get over it once the next song came on … and especially once we served her pie and ice cream … I will always and forever be the uncle who made the little dancing girl cry. And I now have two reasons to hate that stupid song.