Monday, October 9, 2017

The Space Alien Runs a Marathon

Your Editor walked into the insanely busy editorial office of the Space Alien Gazette and found the Space Alien flipping through a photo album.

"What are you looking at?" she asked.

"These are my photographs from Marathon!" said the Space Alien.

"You got them developed so fast!" cried your editor.   How did you do that?

"These are not from the 2017 Chicago Marathon the other day," said the Space Alien. "They are from the real Marathon, the first one, where in 490 B.C. a soldier named Pheidippides ran about 26 miles from a battlefield near a village called Marathon all the way to Athens to let the Athenians know that the Persians had been defeated there."

"You were there?" asked your editor.

Pheidippides runs from Marathon 
to Athens
"Of course," said the Space Alien.  "Pheidippides was so brave, and in such a hurry to get the news to the worried Athenians.  I told him 'Look, Pheidippides, you need to take a little rest -- it's such a hot day!  Sit in the shade for a bit and have a drink of water.  Here, you can share mine!'  but Pheidippides was in such a hurry and wouldn't stop, and the poor fellow died right after he delivered the news!"

"What a sad story," said your editor.

"Some people don't think this is true," said the Space Alien, "but I'm pretty sure it's not fake news, because I was at Marathon with the Athenians.  Pheidippides was a runner for the Athenians delivering all sorts of messages between Sparta, Athens and other places, as well as Marathon."

And here, loyal reader, is more information about that:

"And you say you were with him when he made that famous run in 490 B.C.?" asked your editor, incredulously.

"Yes," answered the Space Alien.  "But while some of my Marathon photos survived, it was so hot that day that the film melted in my camera when I tried to take a selfie.  So I don't have any pictures of me with Pheidippides.  You'll just have to believe me!"

 As your editor nodded sadly, the Space Alien picked up a battered cell phone.

"Just look!   Here I am competing in the 2017 Chicago Marathon!  Some onlookers took these pictures and kindly shared them with me!"

"Well you aren't exactly running," said your editor, "but how did you do?"

"Oh, I was careful not to travel at my customary tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, or even at the more sluggish supersonic speeds.  I didn't want to scare anyone with the sonic boom or break windows, so it took me as long as ten minutes to finish the course!"

"Well that sounds like a winning time" said your editor.  "Did you get a medal?"

"Not exactly" said the Space Alien.  The judges didn't notice when I crossed the finish line, and somewhere along the way I lost my bib number.   I think it may have been when I stopped to eat."

"You had time to eat?" asked your editor, incredulously.

"Sure!  I had a taco, some pizza, a plate of blintzes, and some pierogi, dolmades, corn bread,  a few samosas, sushi, wonton and even some lovely crepes suzettes!  

So Much Great Food in Chicago!
"There were so many great foods in the neighborhoods along the way," exclaimed the Space Alien, "but I think I may have used my bib number for a napkin."

"I've noticed you often like to eat and run!" said your editor.  "But you still crossed the finish line first!"

"Of course!  Will there be a story about me in the Space Alien Gazette?"

"I'll discuss it with our Sports Editor," said Your Editor, "and we'll see!"