(Guest Blog from Wayne who recently went on a jaunt with Hannah!)
A few weeks ago I was contacted by my run buddy Kerrie. Out of the blue she mentioned that a lady she's running with, Hannah Phillips, was a runner and blog writer. Apparently Hannah had read my blog and liked it. She asked if it would be ok to introduce us, as Hannah wanted to have a chat about it. I said yes and didn't think much else about it. Fast forward three weeks and I find myself pulling on my new barefoot trainers and getting ready for a 5k run.
As I walked through my living room door I noticed my wife, V, hunched over our dining room table and muttering to herself. "What you doing?" I asked. As she turns around I notice the pen in her hand and the newspaper on the table. "Just filling in the '20 Traits of a Psychopath' quiz" she answers as she looks me up and down. "Going running are you?". "Yes. You're not a Psycho by the way" I tell her reassuringly. "It's not for me. It's for you". "Not this again! You're going to give me a complex." I reply. Over the last few years, whenever there is something in the paper about "How to Spot a Psychopath" or "Are You Living With a Serial Killer?", I get sideways glances from across the room, as V scribbles and nods furiously, whilst throwing toiletries into a bag for life. This is usually followed by an ad hoc trip to her Father's house in Birmingham.
"I thought you'd given up running. You haven't been for ages" she comments as she ticks off trait number 5, Lack of realistic long term goals. "I'm meeting the people from IRun Wales in Abertillery park. They want to talk about my blog". "Mmmm. I'm not sure how you can go out like that." she says. "Like what?" I reply warily. "Wearing a tight, homoerotic top and short shorts. You're one step away from being wipe clean... I find it extremely attractive and it's only natural that everyone else will to. Wayne, YOU are a sex god...". This last part is in italics due to the fact that whilst V was talking, I spotted three sheep outside and Monty (the voice in my head) screamed "SHEEEEEEEEP" and started making baaing noises. Therefore I've made an educated guess as to the natural conclusion of that conversation. After I'd wrestled Monty back under control I was just in time to hear V say "...and meeting strange men by the bins in Asda". "Sorry. What?" "You weren't listening to me were you?!?" she growled. "I was! Admittedly a few sheep went passed the window and I wondered where they were going but I caught most of it". As she ticked off Poor behaviour control and Failure to accept responsibility in quick succession, she squints her eyes at me and says "I said that not only do I have to put up with you meeting random men by recycling bins, I now have to put up with you meeting them in parks as well!". Well I wasn't having that! "Firstly, he isn't a random man! His name is Kevin" I told her as I mounted my high horse. "And secondly, I'm meeting a strange woman I met on Facebook! So there". As the words fell out of my mouth and into my ears, my horse bolted for the backdoor and V declared she wanted a divorce. This was followed by her putting a big circle around Promiscuous sexual behaviour. "That went well" announced Monty.
I finally made it to the park. I was a bit nervous, as I have a terrible track record of social interaction with people on a one to one basis. As I pulled up I noticed that Hannah was driving a van. "Why is she in a van?!?" panicked Monty, "Perhaps she's one of those kidnappers who sells people into sex slavery" he adds helpfully. "This is why I don't have any friends. Now shut up" I tell Monty as I mentally prod him back into his cage. "Sure sure. That's MY fault. If she offers you sweets and tells you she has a litter of puppies in the back, don't say I didn't warn you". I took a deep breath, looked at the laminated "20 Traits of a Psychopath" list V had given me, ticked off trait number 1, superficial charm, and went to say hi.
After we said our hello's Hannah enquired after my new shoes. "Are they barefoot shoes?" she asked. "Yeah, they're new. I bought them when I was drunk" I replied as I give my feet a little wiggle. "Did you put Vaseline on your toes?". This set Monty off again. "Danger Will Robinson! Danger! DAANNGGEERR!" he shrieked. "I don't think so. Though I'm pretty sure I'll be fine". "Shall we go?" Hannah asked. So we did. "When did you start running?" Hannah asked as we rounded the bend. "About 2 years ago. I started with TFR (Total Fitness Recall)" I reminisced. "Was that with your quilted jogging bottoms?" she mocked. "Yes! Why call something Jogging Bottoms if they're not suitable for jogging in?!? They should be done under the trades descriptions act!" I whined. "How are the shoes? Did you read my blog about ACTUAL barefoot running?" I was asked. "The one with the Ethical Chef? Yeah I did. It was good". "He's stunning! The first thing I said when I saw him was if I'd known he was that beautiful, I would have waxed my mono brow. Also his feet are so soft!" Hannah gushed. This made Monty below with laughter. "She never said that to you did she Gorgeous George!! And you thought she was going to kidnap you!". I ignored the lunatic and kept on running. "So why are his feet so soft?" I asked. "It's because of the roads. They act as a pedicure." "Really? What about dog poo?" I asked dubiously. "I'm not sure that's any good for a pedicure is it?" Hannah asks confused. She then chips in with "I've had a terrible year". I politely asked why. "It all started when George Michael died" Hannah replied. "Big fan then?". "Not really, but I'm still blaming him. He popped his clogs and my life went down the pan." "I see. Shame about Brucie wasn't it?" I offered up. "Wasn't too bothered about him to be honest, not like that b*****d George". Hannah said with venom. "My wife thinks I'm a psychopath" I reply cheerfully. "Really? How come?". "She does those online tests. According to Mark Zuckerberg I'm also a Sociopath" I say with a mixture of pride and concern. "Oh I've done those. I'm a happy psychopath! I've also self diagnosed myself with Parkinson's this year as well" Hannah mentions. "Funnily enough I dropped my keys 5 times last week and according to Google I've got MS" I say.
As we run on, we pass a steep banking with a river running through the middle. "I wouldn't want to run around here on my own, would you?" Hannah says, "Not because I'm afraid of being sexually assaulted but you could end up dead in the river and nobody would know". This set Monty off again. "Oh here we go! You're to be a blood sacrifice at the altar of George Michael! Clever" Monty cackled. I've read a few books on Norse gods recently, and Monty seems to think that all of life's issues can now be solved by a blood sacrifice. Our internet was down for three days in July and we had to send the dog to the dog sitters for protection.
We finished our run back at the car park. It was my first run after about 3 months of being lazy and it felt good. As we said our goodbyes, I thanked Hannah for inviting me to run and got in my car. I closed my door and drove off. Halfway across the car park I wound down my window and I'm pretty sure on the breeze I heard the sound of several small dogs yapping and Hannah's voice saying "maybe next time my pretties...".