Thursday, August 21, 2008

Riding Coattails

From an email I just sent to Mr. Whitfield....

I was in renewing my car insurance and when I mentioned to the agent helping me that I had just moved to Burnaby in the last year. My agent, of Chinese descent with perfect yet slightly accented english, asked me where I had lived before. I told him Victoria. He queried me further as to why I had lived there - "Education?" he asked - but I told him I that I had moved there to train at the National Triathlon Centre, but that I was only at the NTC for a couple of years and that was definitely a while ago now. Well, you can imagine where that went on the heels of your race. Smiles, talk about Beijing, and questions filled the air. He asked if I trained with you; "Well, training with and racing with are two very different things, but we did train together some of the time," I replied. His face lit up.

"Are you trying to go to the Olympics, too?"

I thought to myself, 'Dude, I am standing in front of you renewing my car insurance just having told you I moved AWAY from Victoria!', but said, "No, no, no. I just run now." He smiled and continued taking my money for another minute or so, leading me to believe that the exchange was over. During that time he and the other the employees had great things to say about your race, as did I. I signed my name about fifty times on thirty different pieces of paper. I had been lulled into a comfort when he dropped his final bomb. The flame that lit the wick was a co-worker reemerging from the back of the office.

"Hey, Steve! This guy is an Olympian!" my agent's finger firmly pointed toward my chest as he yelled across the office.

My head about exploded. What?!? Where, in the details of my life that I shared with him, did he determine that I had been to the Olympics? Steve's eyes lit up and my agent's smile grew ever wider; there was no doubt in his mind that what he said was the truth.

I returned the pointed finger, aimed at the my agent's heart, and with a smile said, "Hey Steve, this guy's a liar!"

We figured things out and I cleared the air and everyone continued to gush over your race. I left the ICBC office, much lighter in the waller and heavier in debt, but with a smile on my face. Riding coattails can be quite funny sometimes.
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