For those who aren’t familiar with Festus Mbuva or his famous Midnight Runs, let this be your intro. This story that you ‘re about to read here isn’t exactly a midnight run, but it’s still a great story. I don’t want to spoil it at all with the intro but I’ll just say that my reaction after reading it was ‘I need to go for a Saturday morning run with these guys sometime soon.’
Here’s a Saturday morning with Festus…
So today my little friends at the animal shelter sent me an anniversary card. For those who aren’t aware, exactly a year ago, I lost a goat to them. Last summer we had developed the habit buying goats from the farm after our Saturday runs then slaughtering them in my backyard for several reasons. First, it was cheaper and we got to make mutula (intestines sausage), and also make soup out of the head and bones. Perhaps most important, it made us feel like Kenyans again.
So this particular Saturday we arrived with the goat and pushed it to the backyard. I went into the house to get the beers with some of the other Kenyan runners while Titus pulled the goat inside. Something happened while we were upstairs. Titus says he forgot to close the gate but John insists that the goat not only overpowered Titus but it also ran him over on it’s way out. A pursuit ensued around Mt Vernon St then as the goat turned onto Broadway St, a full chase was underway. Imagine six or so Kenyan runners, still in running attire in pursuit of one determined goat. I was still holding a PBR beer and Titus still had the knife in his hand. Kimaiyo, Australian marathon champion, came closest at about ten yards but the goat allowed no further. I lingered around 12 yards as we slowly closed.
Amused neighbors peeked out as drivers slowed to watch the unfolding drama. We ran by the police precinct and I guess that got their attention because a hundred yards later, a cop car pulled up and the guys came with guns in hand shouting “drop the knife”… Titus immediately dropped the knife and I threw the beer to the side. Only then did I realize I was holding an empty can. Eyes still fixed on the goat, I watched our lunch slowly fade into a Lowell side street. It never looked back. Never once looked back. The cops wanted to know why we had a knife, etc. but then asked why we had a goat. We amicably agreed to give up the chase and cut our losses but we weren’t finished.
First, we went and got another goat then three hours later learned that the goat had run itself into the animal shelter by some miracle. I led the troupe there to claim our prize and sure enough the goat was the first thing I saw!!! Receipt in hand, I asked them to hand over my “pet” but unbeknownst to me, I was up against vegetarians who weren’t about to watch an herbivore turn into dinner. I couldn’t produce immunization records or permit to have a goat. With a sinking heart, I admitted defeat and a few weeks later the goat was sent to some goat zoo. Today I was reminded of my “donation”.
One can only imagine what was going through that poor goats head as the group converged on it. “OWW Fuck me in the goat ass!” is probably a safe assumption. Since that is a very old reference, it was probably one of the better lines of Adam Sandler’s career, and Oscar worthy (or Emmy in this case?) compared to that ‘Grown Ups’ shit. Now I need to find some time to get to Lowell on a Saturday morning.