There seems to be some difficulty with terminology going on in these negotiations. I see guys with nuclear arms at the gym every week. I ignore them and they ignore me because it’s a simple rule of international relations that guy who doesn’t look you is going to be hard to relate to.
That is seemingly the problem between Iran and the United States as well. If this photo of the national leader on the cover of the Chicago Tribune is any indication, America is going about these negotiations all wrong. When it comes to talking with Iran, our nation needs to replace its leading diplomats with a bunch of Amish dudes who look like they can get along fine in Iran. Keep John Kerry home and send Angus the Amish dude from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
I know about these things. I lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and went to elementary school with Amish kids. They wore funny shirts and smelled a little like manure some days, but other than that, they were weird. That’s how kids look at things.
Hot dogs and Naugahyde
To the Iranians, we probably smell like hot dogs and Naugahyde, and that’s a bad combination. So it’s time we found some truly common ground. I am here to suggest that we use the sports of running, cycling and triathlon to open new lines of communication with the fair nation of Iran.
The name of the country alone lends itself to some really cool-sounding events. Let’s start with a whole series of races titled Iranathon! The Iranathon 5K, 10K, 13.1 and 26.2 series would be a perfect place to start. Add in the Triranathon and the Tour of Iranathon and we’ve got a real foundation for athletic inspiration.
If you don’t think it will work, then you haven’t look at a map of Iran lately. With seas on both its northern and southern borders, and a huge swath of mountains curling under around its borders, Iran could be a the next Colorado if it took this proposal at all seriously.
Yes, we’d probably have to clear a few roadblocks and rip out a few landmines here and there to make it safe to run and ride. But you know, the Saudis and Qatar and all those other funkmeister countries get along with the US as long as we give them things like hopped-up Chevies and golf course architects. This isn’t rocket science people.
Let’s not forget Israel
Oh sure there’s that little problem with Iran stating that the nation of Israel should not exist. That is a sticky-wicket, to borrow a British term to communicate the unique form of colonial dismissiveness we call American Exceptionalism. Our pseudo Jewish roots are always showing, you see. It’s always like we showed up to a running race wearing street shoes and black socks. For all its supposed training in World Wars I and II, America is still pretty much a rookie at this World Power thing. Hell, our recent rookie mistake in getting mixed up in Afghanistan is proof enough that we don’t know what the hell we’re doing. Blame that one on the childish ebullience of George W. Bush, who ran around acting like he was the Billy Mills of international diplomacy but didn’t have a finishing kick worth shit.
Dressing up diplomacy
Let’s bring in someone capable like Chicago Marathon Race Director Carey Pinkowski. Let him set up a really cool race series in Iran and send a few thousands dopey American athletes over there to dress up in tight clothes and wear compression socks so that the Iranians can see we’re all a bunch of harmless weekend warriors rather than a pack of merciless despots trying to shove Big Macs down their throats.
And if all else fails, at least the Amish can teach them how to cheat in religion by making excuses to use generators in place of actual electrical hookups. Because in the end, it’s not really about what you believe, but what you can jury-rig to fit your faith that counts.