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Welcome to my story blog. I will post one new story here every day. You are welcome to comment on any or all of them. Enjoy!
                   --Lee Pound

Day 89 - Why Johnny Ran

Johnny knew nothing about running. The farthest he’d ever run was from the couch to the television set and that was only because he’d left his beer on top of the set and he was thirsty.

If you’d asked him, Johnny would have called it more of a two step lunge than a run. The word simply never crossed his mind. That’s why he was surprised when the invitation came in the mail.

The event was billed as the run of the century, five miles around downtown Long Beach, California. Johnny lived in Long Beach. He lived two blocks from the route of the run. The invite must have gone out to everybody in the neighborhood, he thought, and settled back into the couch to watch his favorite show.

On the day of the race, Johnny was curious. He rose early and found the invitation. On reading it, he discovered that he had been invited to run, not just to watch. Well, that was even more ridiculous, he thought. But, with nothing better to do that day, he put on his jacket and cap and walked two blocks to the beginning of the run.

There Johnny found a table with two women behind it. Half a dozen people stood on the street corner looking bored. They wore running suits. Johnny asked one of the women when the race would start. “In a few minutes,” she answered. “Are you running?”

“Doesn’t look like it, does it,” Johnny said.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” she said. “Entry fee is $5.”

“But I said…”

“Five dollars,” the woman said. 

Johnny backed away from the table. “Wait a minute. I can’t run. You can’t make me. I never ran in my life.”

“It’s five dollars,” the woman said. “You showed up. You can’t back out now. It’s mandatory.”

Johnny looked at the two women, at the six or so other runners ready to go. All of them glared back, as if he had committed a crime or something.

“I don’t know how to run,” he said, shaking his head.

The woman stood up. The other runners moved toward him.

“Uh, oh,” Johnny said. He backed away some more, then turned and in a panic ran as hard as he could run, all the way back to his house three blocks away. He raced inside, locked the door and collapsed on the sofa.

“I’ll be damned,” he thought. “They got me to run after all.”

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