the take

‘Run, Fat Boy, Run’: Europeans Just Figuring Out Jogging

Courtesy of Picturehouse

In the new comedy Run, Fat Boy, Run, Simon Pegg plays a pot-bellied Brit who, in order to win the girl, promises to run. For 26.2 miles! In a row! As Ron Burgundy said circa 1977, “I believe it’s jogging or yogging. It might be a soft J. I’m not sure, but apparently you just run for an extended period of time. It’s supposed to be wild.” It’s also apparently still a source of bafflement and hilarity across the pond.

This summer the newly elected French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s morning jogs had les bien-pensants in a lather. “Western civilization, in its best sense, was born with the promenade,” a “leading intellectual” sniffed on French television in July. “Walking is a sensitive, spiritual act. Jogging is management of the body. The jogger says I am in control. It has nothing to do with meditation.” Quelle vulgarité!

Meanwhile, over in England, researchers recently discovered that most Brits figure, health-wise, you’re better off taking a stroll to your local pub than going for a run. (You’re not, by the way.) And earlier this month a jogger in Hartlepool, England, was pegged in the ankle with a frozen Mars bar hurled from a passing car. Jogging, it would seem, is all the rage over there. Welcome to 1981! Would Simon Pegg like to see our treatment for a movie about a few cads who attend yoga class just to scope the girls? —Ira Boudway

In France, Jogging Is a Running Joke [WP]
Contrary to Research, British Believe Moderate Exercise Healthier Than Vigorous [ScienceDaily]
Jogger attacked with Mars bar [Hartlepool Mail]

‘Run, Fat Boy, Run’: Europeans Just Figuring Out Jogging