Thursday, May 15, 2008

Flowers in my hair. Thin flowers.

Tomorrow I follow in Mark Twain's footsteps and fly to San Francisco to visit friends and run the Bay to Breakers. While running, of course, I will be dressed as Elvis Presley, who disliked hippies, mostly, but did lots of drugs and sang about Love.

Mark Twain famously said, of the Bay to Breakers, "I think that much the most enjoyable of all races is a steamboat race; but, next to that, I prefer the gay and joyous mule-rush." He finished in 44:30, about a six-minute mile, and was so mad at not winning that he rent his gold lamé shad suit asunder and attended the after party in nothing but a boater, socks, and garters. Of that party, he said "It is not nakedness that gives the sense of immodesty, the modifying the nakedness is what does it." He then began attempting to get everyone else to take off their clothes, slurringly admonishing anyone who would listen that "Modesty antedates clothes and will be resumed when clothes are no more. Modesty died when clothes were born. Modesty died when false modesty was born." And everyone was pretty cool with that and several traditions were born.

Elvis, on the other hand, said of Mark Twain, "cats were born to give you acne," then stumbled into a completely disjointed version of "I've Got a Woman" before launching into his famous tirade against newspapers and newspapermen, particularly Twain. Presley's time in the Bay to Breakers was a sad showing in his later years; he finished his final race a full seven minutes slower than the PR of 50:36 set in 1952.

You can read about the race here. I would like to return to many comments lauding my time, whatever it may be.

8 comments:

Lebo said...

Game on Sir. Game on!

wcs said...

I lived in San Fran for many years before I realized it wasn't the Beta Breakers.

Antonia said...

This is one of the funniest pieces of Internet I've ever read. Please post photos when you come back.

Primer said...

Good luck Braine! Have a ball.

Amy H said...

Good luck - and FABULOUS photo of you as Elvis on your Flickr account!

Suzanne said...

I would also like to put in my request for pictures. Good luck!

Amy H said...

I looked. I did not find! Did you run under a code-name? (I checked "presley" too!)

Bill Braine said...

Aha, yes, well, update! I completed the course eventually, but didn't cross the starting mat. Elvis has people to do that for him. I also finished after the course was officially closed, so no official time.

Real update and links to Flickr documentation to follow.