Friday Funny 1506: Barefoot Runner Wants Acorns Picked Up

>> Friday, October 12, 2018

In a recent City Pages article, a barefoot runner named Eric Curtis shares the woes of running during acorn season:

"Hey Northeasters!" he wrote in the popular Facebook group "I Love NE Minneapolis," which has almost 28,000 members. "Lately I've noticed that the sidewalks have been LITTERED with acorns. As a competitive barefoot runner, this makes my training sessions very difficult."


The photo Curtis posted.

Curtis urged homeowners to sweep their sidewalks; he gently threatened to turn those who don't into the city. The since-deleted post was not well-received.

As Alex Conover cataloged on Twitter, neighbors gleefully teed off on Curtis, whose acorn complaint was widely deemed ridiculous. A previous post from Curtis, where he briskly sought out "SERIOUS" unicycling clubmates, resurfaced and was similarly mocked.

"If only there were something you could put on your feet to protect against the acorns and other debris," one person joked.

"Run with a leaf blower," someone else suggested.

"This is a joke, right?" another asked incredulously.

At one point, Curtis posted a screenshot of a complaint he was apparently submitting to the city; it called out the sidewalk acorns, plus "cyberbullying and threats from the community."

Conover's screenshot rundown of the nutty drama has been re-tweeted nearly 30,000 times. Twin Cities sports talk radio station KFAN addressed it, as did national tech website Gizmodo.

Curtis doesn't find the situation so funny.

"I’m surprised it’s gotten this much attention," he tells City Pages via Facebook. "But I’m grateful because now maybe people will see the level of discrimination that exists against the barefoot running community."

Is this performance art satire, some sort of high-level trolling effort by Curtis? Impossible to say.

He reports being afraid for his safety, citing threats of sidewalk Legos and being told to "go run on the freeway." The names Curtis was called by fellow Northeasters -- "wackadoodle," "nut," "Nancy," and "pansy" among them -- amount to cyberbullying, he says.

"I was planning on doing a barefoot run tomorrow morning but I now fear being targeted," he adds. "I won’t be unicycling this evening either. Apparently that post has gone viral as well."

Oh, and if you're wondering, here's his post about the "serious unicycling:"



So you're welcome to make up your mind about Curtis' predicament. It seems to be a joke, right? No matter how you feel, people didn't need to start with the derogatory bullying.

But yes... it's a joke.

Since the City Pages article was published, they've added that they NOW know it's a joke (they didn't know when they published it). Of all the possible news outlets that covered it, Buzzfeed was actually the one to question Curtis enough to realize things didn't add up.

He said he lived on the west coast before moving to MN, but they couldn't find any record of that. He was vague about races that he's raced barefoot, and he wasn't able to produce a photo of him running barefoot. When he was asked about his unicycle, he couldn't remember the brand or any other info. He finally admitted to being a (well-committed) troll; he made the whole thing up. In this Buzzfeed article, they noted he was good natured about being caught. Here's a quick part of that article:

"Just goes to show. You can't fool journalists, unless they are from the Washington Post or Esquire or Gizmodo or Fast Company or Upproxx," Curtis said in a Facebook Messenger chat.

Asked if he had any final message, Curtis said, "I can’t believe BuzzFeed was the one who actually fact checked."

Neither can I. This was a glorious ride.

More funny stuff posted all week long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.

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