Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Round Tuit

I've never been one to procrastinate. Generally, one of my mottos is "Don't put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today." I've learned through the school of hard knocks that usually if I don't do something, if I keep putting it off, one of two things will happen.

Sometimes good things will happen because putting something off has actually resulted in a fortuitous break or outcome. For example, like putting off a purchase for no apparent good reason except laziness and then having that very item go on sale. I like to attribute my delays in these cases to... ahem...having a good sixth sense or premonition.

But more usually, bad things will happen because putting something off has actually resulted in the situation or circumstances growing worse. Like not making that purchase for no apparent good reason, but really needing to make that purchase, and then having a catastrophic failure of the item that the new purchase would have replaced. Now it's possibly an emergency repair or replacement. Never a good thing to be behind that eight-ball, as it usually results in costing more money. In these cases I kick myself for procrastinating.


Now, what does all this have to do with today's Blog entry? Well, here's the story...

When I run, I chew gum. The longer the distance and the hotter the temperatures, the more important this is to me. It keeps my mouth from getting dry, which happens from all the mouth breathing that goes on when running, and it helps to delay or eliminate all together the need to take water breaks.

I ran the Flying Pig half marathon in Cincinnati last weekend and stocked my bag with gum - Trident to be exact, my favorite. Two wrapped pieces went into that wee little zippered pocket on my favorite running shirt as part of my race preparations. Also in there went my hotel room key, my drivers license and my health insurance card.

I was "packing" two pieces because this would be a long run - 13.1 miles - and sometimes (not always) I have chewed the life out of the first piece of gum and like to replace it with a fresh piece. Especially if the run is not going well and I'm desperate for any change or diversion that will distract me from my misery.

At the start line of the race I took out my first piece, unwrapped it, and popped it in my mouth just minutes before the gun went off and we were surging toward the start line.

Trident Original Flavor is my favorite. I'll take Trident Spearmint in a pinch. The original flavor will last me a very long time, a couple of hours of serious gum-chewing at least.

When I reached mile 7 or 8 I took a Power Gel break, and removed the gum from my mouth temporarily while I sucked the gel from the little foil pouch. Then I debated whether to pop the gum back in my mouth or throw it out in favor of a new piece. I reflected on this for a moment then decided I hadn't masticated all the life out of this current piece, yet, so stuck it back in my mouth and continued on.

So...when I crossed the finish line I still had that unchewed, still-wrapped piece of gum in my wee little zippered shirt pocket. When I made it back to the hotel room, I emptied the pocket of the little zip lok bag that contained my room key, driver's license and insurance card but forgot to remove the gum. While taking a shower I remembered it. "I must remember to remove that piece of gum," I thought.

Out of the shower and dressed, I then turned my attention to packing my bags, dealing with the sopping wet running clothes and juggling everything through the room door and down the hall. I forgot the gum.

Once to the car, I put my bags in the trunk and spread the wet running clothes out across my luggage so that they could dry. And I forgot the gum.

Driving to the restaurant in Erlanger KY for lunch, I remembered the gum. But when I got there it was raining, so I dashed into the restaurant, vowing to deal with the gum later. Lunch and visit with MTF friends over, back on the road, driving to Bowling Green KY where I'd spend the night, I still had forgotten about the gum.

Putting my small tote back in the trunk the next morning, the gum was the furthest thing from my mind. Even stopping in Memphis to visit with a friend's mom, take her to dinner, spend the night there, I was not thinking about that gum. Nor was I as I drove from Memphis to Houston and home.

But when I unloaded the trunk of the car, I scooped up the now-dry running clothes, brought them into the house and piled them onto the washing machine along with my dirty clothes from the trip. Then I remembered the gum, and reminded myself to be sure to remove it from the wee zippered pocket on that running shirt before I did the laundry. But I didn't do it then because I had other things to deal with, like an overly full kitty litter box, phone messages, mail to sort through, cat hair to vacuum up, and suitcase contents to put away.

Two days later I got around to doing those loads of laundry. I did the "light" clothes first, which included the running clothes. Into the washer for a full cycle. Into the dryer for a full cycle and, when dry, remove, fold, put away.

That's when I noticed the dark spot - rather, a stain - on the side of my favorite running shirt. The sudden realization hit me! Oh no! It's that gum!! Quickly I unzipped that wee little pocket and found the gum glued to the bottom. I could peel away much of it, but quite a bit of it remained on both interior sides of that pocket.

That ol' round tuit has struck again!

The old ice cube trick came to mind, so I tried it. I'm here to report that it really doesn't work. Well, maybe for one nanosecond it does. Then I remembered something I'd learned a couple of years ago, from an equally brain-dead blunder I'd made. I purchased a couple of UnderArmour shirts but didn't notice they had stickers on their fronts before I threw them, brand new, into the wash. When they came out of the dryer they had a sticky mess where those stickers were. It was then that I discovered that paint thinner would remove the sticky residue quickly with no side effects.

Paint thinner to the rescue of that favorite running shirt! Gum is gone, stains are gone. Another cycle through the washer and dryer and it's like new.

One would think that we'd all learn our lessons from that pesky ol' round tuit. But I guess not.


  1. Paint thinner for gum...That's a new one on me!
    I'll get round tuit and write it down so I don't forget ;-)