Thursday, November 29, 2007

Against the Wind Slowly

A Marathon Wait

Things happen fast in Las Vegas. I remember a cabbie once telling a couple who had come to town to get married, "I can have you wedded and bedded and back on the plane in two and a half ours." Dealers lay down hands quickly, restaurants try to turn tables as quickly as possible and slot machines spin so fast they make your head spin.

Each year for the more than a decade or so Las has hosted a marathon. Last December the race was won by Joseph Kahugu. His speed brought him winnings of $ 15,000 for a first place finish and an additional $ 50,000 for winning the male-female challenge for a total of $ 65,000. But as a wise sage once said, "Don't spend it all in one place, and Joseph didn't. In fact he didn't spend it at all because he did not receive the money in December, or January, or February, or March, or..... well, you get the idea.

Joseph's agent tried to figure why the delay? Let's see, administrative transactions could cause a delay of up to 45 days. Drug testing could add another couple of weeks to the check should have been in the hand of the male by the end of February. But no check. No mail.

Summer came and went and the temperature rose but Joseph's bank account did not. Finally in November, nearly a year after the victories, the pitter patter of the postman's feet arrived at Joseph's door with the check. And I'm sure the postman rang twice for the delivery. So why the holdup? Was it a male thing? Apparently not for the female winner of the race, Jemima Jelagat (you can call her JJ) just received her money from winning last year's race.

The year before the race a large group took over the race from its founder, Al Boka, a local man who had run it just fine, thank you very much. Locals are quick to point out that when an expert (defined by Mark Twain as somebody who lives more than 50 miles away and carries a briefcase) took over, the race had problems not previously seen. Of course, the sponsors have excuses, which don't pay the rent, but they promise things are now straighted out and a similar problem will not recur. In the meantime the runners, like Forrest Gump, continue to run everywhere they go. A little blogging music, Maestro... Do you know the Wizard of Oz reprise, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date...."

Dr. Forgot

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