PART 2 - The Beer Garden
I forgot to mention the seemingly unending string of inappropriate comments that spewed from our mouths as we ran the race, dressed as The American Border. You can use your imagination, but perhaps the worst was "Look out! Kolleen the Mexican is making a break for it!" "That's OK, let her go. The glass ceiling will take care of her."
This was, sadly, only the second-most offensive thing I've yelled during a Redondo 5K race. The first came last year, when a spectator yelled something in Swedish at me as I jogged past, dressed at a plundering Viking. Summoning the only Western European reply I could think of, I shouted back "Zeig Heil!" at nearly the top of my lungs. Quickly realizing my faux-pas, I rapidly followed with "Um, just kidding! Sorry, kids," to the roughly 50 school children I was running the midst of.
After the race came the Asahi Beer Garden, which, as I've mentioned, is about as close to heaven as one can get on this secular sphere. To the left is a picture of the madness from last year -- essentially, imagine a big grass area next to a lagoon, where every 5K bib can be exchanged for 4 Asahi beers (yup, that's about .8 Asahis per K)... plus any you're able to scalp from young children who don't want theirs. Like I said, heaven.
And let me tell you, boy-o-boy, having an unlimited supply of Japanese beer didn't help the racism.
Taking you back a moment, in our house every beer gets its own voice, which kindly (or demandingly) requests that you drink it, and often takes on the un-PC ethnic stereotypes of whatever country the beer comes from. Well, you can imagine what Asahi's voice sounds like. I took the opportunity early on to remind everyone.
ME: (in a submissive and terrible Japanese accent, using an Asahi can as a puppet) A-ha, it be my a-preasure for you a-drink me. A-sank you.
That was strike one for my burning in hell after all.
After several consecutive trips through the beer line (the line gets really long if you wait until the 10Kers come in), we had amassed a pretty impressive tower of yet-full beer cans. Eric commented that Asahi had really over-sponsored the event; giving each person 4 free beers was probably overkill as far as getting their name and popularity out there.
"I know," I responded. "I didn't need four beers to love Asahi - one would have done just fine. They had me at "Herro".
An empty-can tower soon replaced the full-can tower, as we joined forces with a neighboring group. We had a pretty impressive pyramid going…
…until it collapsed, which I believe I described as "A Nagasaki-level tragedy". Strike three, I'm out.
We headed off to Sharkeez and the Pier (where Gabe and I finally DID drink beer out of a Viking helmet)...
...but not before Gabe stole a flower and a second 5K shirt from beer garden (despite the fact that he was obviously already wearing one), about which Kolleen commented that he "was really showing his Jew-stripes on that one." Strike one for Kolleen.
At last, a day of fun, beer and racism had come to an end (it was now about noon), and I, like so many rejected Mexican costume ideas, went home to chase a nap.