Who Dressed Keith?

By John A. Dodds

[Prior articles in this series: Dodds starts it | Deb Responds]

Group with Keith Knipling at right, Deb next to herLittle did I realize when I jotted down a few observations from a couple post-ultra gatherings that Keith Knipling would become the center of attention. Actually from the accompanying photo, Keith is not in the center–he’s on the far right. But it seems that, based on his attire, he’s the center of attention no matter where he is in the picture. Keith is probably still wondering why, despite the fact that he’s out in the Midwest minding his own business studying the elasticity of titanium at extremely high temperatures (or whatever it is he’s spending all his money on besides race entry fees), he’s been dragged into all this. Frankly, I’m wondering that, too.

Gary, Marcia, Karen, and JohnKeith. Now Deb has asked, “exactly who dressed you, Keith?” Most people would think this is a negative comment casting aspersions on Keith wearing blue shorts over burgundy tights. But there are an informed few, me being one of them, who think that what Deb meant was that Keith had picked out a really cool outfit. I say that because at the Buzzards Marathon last March, I myself wore blue shorts over burgundy tights. It’s probably a little hard to tell from the photo because Karen, prima donna that she is, is showing off a little blood caused by her straddling a branch of some thorn bush. Anyway, is it possible that Keith saw this photo (it’s actually Gary’s photo taken with his camera) and then went out and bought burgundy tights? Or is Keith just a cool enough dude to have thought about putting this outfit together all on his own?

Keith Knipling Let’s go back a couple years to Hardrock to check out what Keith was wearing then. Check out the color of that jacket. The crayola company still hasn’t been able to duplicate that color in its laboratory. I have to ask, “exactly where did you get that jacket, Keith?” Most of you know that Keith doesn’t like to stop unnecessarily during a race. At MMT this year I saw Keith blast through the Shawl Gap aid station without missing a step (captured on film at Steve and Deb’s site). In a previous email to the group, I’ve recounted his misadventure at the Gap Creek aid station during the same race. Keith has also been experimenting with various devices to preclude stopping for, shall we say, “taking a leak.” You’ll notice in the photo the strategic position Keith is carrying his water bottle. Is this why they call him “Fast Draw”?

Deb Pero Deb. The more I thought about Keith’s jacket, the more I seem to recall seeing something like it before. And then I remembered. Deb! It was at MMT this year. Now, I have to ask, “exactly where did you get that jacket, Deb?” You’ll notice that Deb is not wearing the optional urinary device.

Karl. And don’t just think that Keith is the only Knipling that has an eye for the latest style. How about Karl who had to fend off the women at Camp Hardrock last month? Check out the black fleece jacket with reinforced shoulders with Bighorn Trail 100 embroidered on it. Karl Gets the BabesAs Deb might ask: “exactly who dressed you, Karl?”

Gary. To avoid any confusion that Gary can be considered in the same style category as Keith and Karl, let me just say that Gary’s antics fortunately distract people from noticing what he’s wearing. Take a look at this race photo where Gary didn’t quite make the hurdle over the log, and like soldiers in olden times, had to be literally carried from the field by his teammates. Now you know why Gary now prefers to crawl under trail obstructions.

Gary on a Log

Shorts. I know most (if not all) of the women who read this article (all three of you) think it’s perfectly fair for Deb to dredge up an old photograph of me wearing a perfectly acceptable pair of shorts and then ask “What color are those shorts, John?” I’ve heard of taking it in the shorts, but this is a particularly low blow. Anyway, it’s actually a very difficult question to answer, but here goes: light pink, dark pink, light purple, dark purple, light teal, dark teal, medium teal, burgundy, light blue, and navy. They’re awesome! With just one pair of shorts, I can match all the bandanas Deb has. Madras was invented for people like me. You should see my bathing suit from the same era.

What’s the point? Lest some of you misconstrue the point of my articles: I’m not being critical of women because they wear “outfits” and like to be color coordinated. I’m merely stating my observations (which I have to admit are pretty insightful) without being judgmental. I do have to say though that holding me and Keith up to ridicule is way off target. Why not pick on Gary instead? Or Keith Dunn? No matter how hard Tom Corris tries, he still can’t get Keith to get the right bend in the bill of his cap. And speaking of Tom, someone should let him know that singlets and shorts come in colors other than black. Same goes for his bandana. I think deep down, Tom is a big time Johnny Cash fan. (Deb, would you mind letting Tom borrow some of your bandanas from time to time?) Back to the point: we must heed criticism in a positive manner. Therefore, I think us men (actually, that should be “we men”) should do a better job of picking out our clothes. But let’s not call them “outfits.” Let’s go one better and call them “ensembles.” And let’s be daring. We need to pick out clothes with such colors as lime, sunburst and mango. Take Quattro, for instance. How about that eye-blinding sunburst t-shirt he wears? “Dazzling” would be an understatement. I get retinal damage every time I look at him. Or Jim Cavanaugh–his red bandana matches his water bottle carrier as I recall–a nice touch. If you guys have any doubt about what goes with what, please give Deb a call.


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