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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Friday, July 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Madness Shared Is Still Madness Spare Us The Sight Expanding Baby Boomer Bottoms Jammed Into Lycra.

D.F. Oliveria Editorial Writer

Another Bloomsday.

Another month of putting up with Johnny-come-lately fitness nuts chanting their tiresome mantra: “YagonnarunBloomsday?” I’d settle for “Ohmmmmm.” In fact, I’d settle for the whole thing going away, particularly the smug Bloomies - if it didn’t mean $8 million and change for Spokane.

That’d save the newsroom all the trouble of dreaming up new ways to polish this old chestnut. The fat guy down the street wouldn’t have a reason to look at me contemptuously as he puffs by my house in a vain attempt to “train.” And we’d all be spared the sight of expanding baby boomer bottoms jammed into Lycra.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in exercising and have a health club card to prove it. In fact, I enjoy working out - by myself, not with 60,000 of my closest friends. Only someone who’s had one too many Gatorades and plates of spaghetti would say he’s having fun shuffling along for 3 miles behind sweaty, relentlessly cheerful Bloomies, with Generation Xers and their baby carriages nipping at his heels, waiting for the pack to thin out.

The throng shares its pain for a crummy T-shirt you’ll be able to buy for 50 cents next year at a garage sale. And it does it for the bragging rights, of course. Bloomies, particularly the first timers, have been known to annoy fellow office workers and church buddies for weeks by reliving their 90 minutes of glory. They ignore the fact that all but a handful of us Inland Northwesterners have run, walked or crawled across that Spokane finish line.

Last year, in one of the endless string of stories we write about this overblown event, Mead High teacher Kris Dennison summed up the herd mentality as she prepared to run her first race: “You know the whole town doesn’t do it because it’s a big town, but whenever I tell people I haven’t run Bloomsday, they look at me as if I’m crazy.”

This reminds me of an Old Testament verse: “All we like sheep have run Bloomsday.” Or the pod-people perspective in “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers”: Join us and all your cares will be gone.

No thanks.

If I wanted to waste a nice day on a spring weekend, I’d go bowling. Or watch golf on television. Or beat my head against the wall.

Afterward, I wouldn’t bore my friends and loved ones by telling them about it.

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