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This was my dream.

I arrived at the start of a 10K race clad in shorts and running shoes, and was surprised to discover that I was the only apparent participant. Even so, the race officials were very eager to get me started. They urged me to get behind the start line and fired the starter's pistol the moment I had done so.

I trotted off all by myself while the spectators cheered me on. I wasn't familiar with the race's route, but occasionally saw crude arrows chalked onto the pavement and followed those. These seemed to be keeping me on course, as there were still throngs spectators around. But as I reached the third mile or so, the people stopped cheering and began to get impatient. "Come on!" they started to yell. "Hurry up!"

Finally I found myself running inside a shopping mall, unable to find any more arrows to guide my way. Just as I became frustrated, I saw a race official and jogged over to him.

"First of all," I asked, "How come no one else showed up for the race."

"Actually, thousands of people are running it," He told me. "But instead of running the race all at the same time, everyone is running it sequentially, in alphabetical order. As a 'Baldwin,' you were the first." (Apparently Pamela Anderson was not participating.) "They are waiting for you to finish so the next guy can start."

"Oh, great!" I cried. "And I don't even know where I'm going. I can't find any more arrows."

The official gestured toward an Old Navy bag that was lying on the ground nearby. I went over, picked it up, and looked inside. It contained hundreds of jigsaw pieces."

"When assembled," the official told me, "the puzzle will show your next destination."

Psychoanalysis we will leave as an exercise for the reader.

Posted on May 03, 2004 to Misc