I will be mailing this letter this week.
Dear Owner of the Northern Party Store,
I wanted to take a moment and thank you and compliment your excellent staff. On the Saturday following Thanksgiving I decided I would attempt to undo—if that is even possible—the horrific carnage and possibly irreversible cholesterol damage I sustained during Thanksgiving and the following day.
Despite what I’m sure was the consumption of, conservatively, about 7500 calories during a ridiculous 48 hour period, a run seemed like a good idea. But then again, all bad ideas seem like a good idea at the time—just ask my friend Joe about buying his wife a snowplow for Valentine’s Day.
Because I was visiting my parents, and don’t know the area well enough, I decided to utilize the rails-to-trails trail; beginning my journey close to the fabulous Midland Tridge.
First, however, as some background information, you should know that I am a dedicated long distance runner. I’ve completed several marathons and regularly embark upon a run of 10 miles or farther just for fun. Now, before you begin to judge me too harshly, trust me, I understand how sick and slightly masochistic that sounds. But I tell you, I just love to run. I once even ran 12 miles around an indoor track that required 5 laps to complete a mile. Think about that, 4 left turns per lap and 5 laps per mile…yep, 240 left turns. It took me two days before I could turn right again. I totally know how Derek Zoolander feels.
Anyway. I was just over 4 miles into what I was hoping would be a 10 mile run when the Thanksgiving turkey, gravy, delicious stuffing with cranberries, and about 100 ounces of Mtn. Dew began to seek revenge. Boy were my innards revolting, churning and thrusting and threatening to make a new exit if I didn’t… well, you get the point. And here I am, surrounded by woods and almost nothing else, facing the great long distance runners conundrum: “Do I act like a bear and utilize the wilderness, or do I try to salvage some inkling of my humanity and turn back now (Note: turning back would mean an 8 mile run because I was running and out/back route)?”
Then, a ray of heaven’s light shone down and I saw the Northern Party Store sign. I ran across and used your restroom. What is significant is that your staff was completely understanding to the fact that I was not there to buy a Gatorade or maybe a Twix candy bar. Tired and probably sweating gravy, I went directly to your bathroom without haste.
Sometimes stores will have a policy that prevents people from using the restroom unless they patron the store. This rule sucks. It sucks even more if you are an avid long distance runner such as myself. And, as an aside, do you really want to place a part sweat and part gravy soaked fiver sitting in your cash register? No, of course you don’t. Can you imagine the kinds of negative emotions a bill like that would have on the other innocent bills in the register?
But, those stores have you at their mercy I tell ya, I mean sometimes you have to go and the only currency you have are a few pine-comes you picked up during your run.
Fortunately for me, Northern Party Store has (or isn’t enforcing) such a policy. Therefore, as a token of my appreciation (and in hopes that you will not alter the status quo regarding runners using the restroom), I have included five dollars.
God bless you and my mother’s delicious stuffing,
A Running Bluebear
P.S. I do hope to do future long runs on the aforementioned trail, and therefore hope this fiver will ensure an open restroom in the event of another emergency.
P.P.S. In case you were wondering, no physical damage was done to your restroom; but your toilet may suffer some lasting emotional scarring; to wit the enclosed fiver will not even begin to cover the cost of professional therapy.