On a recent mild Friday night, a group of runners set out at 11 p.m. to run through some deep dark woods all night long.
The next day, the weather turned cold and rainy, perfect for a gang dressed in funny costumes who plunged into an icy lake in Raleigh.
Later that Saturday night a group of men, following their youthful dreams of fun and glory, some in costume, and one sporting a large python, engaged in physical combat in the theatre of old school wrestling.
All of this actually happened in a bizarre 24 hours span – starting at 11 p.m. Friday February 27 and careening through time until wrapping up at 11 p.m. Saturday, February 28.
I am not making this up.
It all started when five intrepid runners set off to run 12.5-mile circles in some local woods. In the middle of the night. They were planning to run these circles eight times. Wearing halogen headlamps, they looked like a merry band of glowing woods nymphs as they trotted into their dark journey. I stood and watched them, and could see their bright glow bobbing through the trees for a long time, until it disappeared around a bend.
It all ended when a wrestler “wrassler” named Jake “The Snake” Roberts thrust a live Burmese Python, head first, down the pants of Sudden Impact, the foe he had just demolished in front of 300 adrenaline-infused fans chanting “snake! Snake! SNAKE!” throughout the five-minute ordeal.
Sandwiched in between these events, a polar bear, a gang of escaped convicts, bathing beauties, Gilligan, the Skipper, the Howells , and Santa Claus plunged into an icy lake on a cold rainy day. The air temperature was 52 degrees. Water was a tepid 49.
It was like Monty Python meets Alice in Wonderland.
And Miss Congeniality was there the entire time, witnessing every event, and documenting the excitement, the chills, the thrills, the snakes, and the snake charmers.
Over coming days, this space will be devoted to 24 bizarre hours in February.
Here’s a preview: