Bobnit Tivol’s Diary 9.1.26

Fictional athlete Bobnit Tivol is one of very few fictional athletes to have kept an entirely nonfictional diary, though quite how it came to be written is anybody’s guess. Here is what he got up to on this day in 1926:

Bounded out of bed spry and sprightly and cut two or three brisk Boswellian capers around the room before plunging my head into a pail of ice cold water. Then I was out at the cinder track. Being fictional, I do not need to travel from A to B, I can simply be in one place and then a moment later in another place. Generally speaking, that other place is the cinder track, unless I am taking part in a competition, when I might materialise in a field or a stadium. Nor do I need to eat breakfast, or indeed any other meal, except for fictional purposes, for example if a sense of drama is wrung from me having stomach cramps from overeating seconds before an important qualifying heat in an important sprint championship.

Today I was in training for just such a competition, the Pointy Town All-Comers High Speed Breathless Panting Round And Round A Cinder Track Trophy. Those who follow my fictional career know I placed in the top seventeen in this contest in 1922 and 1923 and 1924. Last year, of course, I was attacked by a swarm of hornets on the eve of the final and was unable to compete.

My coach, the irascible chain-smoking Old Halob, who is as real as I am fictional, was nowhere to be seen on this fine cold January morning. I missed his reassuring presence, but did my practice sprint anyway. I ran round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round the cinder track at high speed, panting breathlessly, all day. This is where I have an advantage over nonfictional athletes, who would collapse in exhausted heaps after a few laps. Being insubstantial and, some have said, unkindly, one-dimensional, I only collapse if there is a sense of drama to be wrung from my doing so. This usually occurs in important races, such as the final of the Sawdust Bridge One Hundred Mile Flat-Out Sprinting Cup, and not when I am merely on a training run.

I would have kept on running round and round the cinder track after the sun went down, but it was at that point, as night o’erspread the sky and all was plunged in darkness, that Old Halob appeared. If he was not real I might think he was a vampire. He looked at his stopwatch and blew his whistle and coughed up an unseemly amount of catarrh and led me away to a nocturnal pole-vaulting area. I had completely forgotten that I also had to get in shape for the Pointy Town Nocturnal Pole-Vaulting Challenge Ribbon!

So all in all it was a pretty good day, and night, as my days and nights go. Eventually found myself tucked up in bed at 5.59 AM, just in time to spring out of bed spry and sprightly at 6.00 AM tomorrow.

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