I frequently run, bike, and walk on the path through the forest preserve near my house. After doing this for more than five years, I have come to “know” many of the regulars. I am actually able to identify some people at a great distance by their gait. Although I see many of these people at least several times a month, I don’t know their names, and I haven’t spoken to them beyond “hello” and maybe another sentence or two about the weather. I have, however, come up with my own pet names for many of them.
- Friendly old guy with the hat: This is pretty self explanatory. He’s elderly. He’s friendly. He always wears a hat. He wishes me a nice day.
- Dorky guy: I feel a bit bad about this one, but well…he is always wearing chinos that are just a little too short for him and goofy-looking glasses that are a bit too big for his face. Oh, and he has a comb-over. I try not to judge, but sometimes it’s hard.
- Izzy Mandelbaum: This guy bears a striking resemblance to Lloyd Bridges, and whenever I him see chugging along in his shorts and headband, I can’t help but think of his portrayal of Izzy Mandelbaum on Seinfeld. Maybe I should ask him if he wants to race. It’s go time!
- Cell phone woman: I don’t think I’ve ever seen this woman not talking to someone on her bluetooth headset.
- Joelle: I call her this (in my head) because she looks like a hybrid of two people I know: Joanna and Michelle.
- Slowpoke: I, with my short legs, generally walk faster than this guy jogs, which leads me to wonder why he doesn’t just walk.
- Hot mesh: This woman alternates between walking and running, and whenever I see her, she is wearing a long (almost, but not quite, ankle length) denim skirt, a polo shirt, and a white mesh vest a lot like the one on the picture. A long denim skirt strikes me as very odd (and hot) choice for workout attire, but it’s the vest that really confuses me. As far as I can tell, it’s not a reflective vest (it’s always daytime when I see the woman anyway). Is she on her way to some sort of scrimmage? I can’t seem to work up the nerve to stop her and ask her to explain her unusual clothing selection.
- Oxford guy: I have only seen this man half a dozen times or so, but he made an impression on me because he was always dressed in a pair of shorts (sometimes regular track shorts, sometimes madras plaid shorts) and a long-sleeved (with the sleeves rolled up), button-down, oxford shirt. What the what? Who goes running in an oxford? Oxford guy does!
- Look, ma, no hands!: This guy obviously has an aversion to touching the handlebars of his bike, or I assume so because I’ve never seen him do it. Of course, then how would he hold his newspaper? Yes, he sometimes reads it while bicycling.
Now I’m wondering if the people on the trail have a pet name for me.