© 2020

WHIPPETS

By Eric Anthony Kallins

I’ve had several experiences with doctors over the years, but some of them had one thing in common: Those doctors were whippets. You know those dogs which are built for speed – greyhounds, salukis and whippets. Zero body fat; powerful oversized chests and almost aerodynamically streamlined physiques. Those dogs are amongst the fastest animals on earth, reaching speeds over 40 mph. And there are people who look like that, and in my nomenclature, I call them whippets. One doctor’s voice mail said he was the orthopedic for the Oakland A’s. Another’s resume said he did the same for the NY Yankees. Quite impressive! The only problem is I’m not a professional athlete. Quite the contrary, I’m a man who, in this later stage I’m in, has let his body “relax” into a comfortable state, and I’m comfortable with my body. I don’t look fat, but I’m hardly the walking rail I used to be in my 20’s & 30’s. I was 5 foot 8 inches and weighed about 128 lbs. I gleefully ate and ate and never gained a pound. Trouble is, I acquired a taste for eating, even as I did gain a few pounds (well, more than a few).  So a man’s age and weight are something polite society never asks about (actually, that rule is for women), so I won’t go into the details here. I don’t appear fat; I like to describe my figure as “chunky”.  Nonetheless, I still seem to attract women, and more importantly, my gay downstairs neighbor describes me as presentable, and being a guy man, his opinion counts.

When I went to the first Dr. Whippet, he told me many pregnant women complained about lower back pain, but when they delivered the pain went away. This is logical because essentially, they were losing a 10 pound bowling ball from their abdomen. So when I asked about relief from my back pain, he suggested the South Bay Diet. I will give him credit for finding the cause of my pain from X-Rays: the discs between my lower vertebras were worn down to nothing – I had bone-on-bone friction. When asking about possible surgery, he told me he would have to go through my front, and going through all that fat would be “icky”. I certainly didn’t want to put him through “icky” surgery on me, so I gave up at that time. I think the point is that a “normal” person should be able to get medical care without having the body of a professional baseball player (and some of them are a bit “chunky” too, like Pablo Sandoval). Not all of us can be whippets, but we do feel pain (in my case, crippling & excruciating back pain).

So, that said, I’ve seen other Doctors like this, but also noticed large clusters of similar humans, especially around Woodside, CA. This wealthy enclave is just west of Stanford University, up Hwy 84 as it winds through the redwoods towards the Pacific. As the town’s namesake, it’s woodsy and towney and horsey and moneyed in a “aw shucks, just us folks living here” kind of way. Near the restaurants, there are small clusters of human whippets in colorful spandex outfits hovering over $8,000 bicycles, ready to ride up the steep highway towards the summit. Their sinewy legs look like anatomical muscle models at med school, their skin stretched tight over every defined muscle on their shaved legs. These men just reek of success & wealth, I’m sure bonding with their fellow CEO’s and captains of Silicon Valley. Saddling up on their bikes in a cacophony of clickety clacks from their titanium campagnelo derailleurs, they start pedaling up the road. I follow this herd of perfect humans in my car as they downshifted, their legs rotating in unison as they accelerate up the first hill.

I’d like to pass them, but of course, their riding two & three abreast on the narrow lane, so I’m left behind them; I guess I’m supposed to be in awe of their super-human condition. I’ll give them credit in that they were hitting over 20 mph on human power. There was something amiss, though at first I couldn’t put my finger on it – it was the light on that summer morning. The sunlight was coming up behind us through the trees from the East. But the bicyclists seemed to be glowing; their brightly colored spandex shirts & shorts seemed illuminated in an unearthly way. Then I heard a silent sound, although an oxymoron, I could better describe it as feeling a presence. Then a shadow passed quickly over my car and stopped above the whippets. A few of them looked up, just as I did – and saw an alien spacecraft – a flying saucer – a perfect disc of dull gunmetal hovering over them silently. A port opened at its bottom and a beam of blinding light shot down over them, and in an instant, the human whippets were pulled up, their bikes dangling from their feet and falling back down to the road. For a few pregnant seconds they tumbled like ragdolls in midair, and then one-by-one, they were sucked up into the port about 100 feet above them. The light stopped as suddenly as it went on, the port closed in a spiral aperture. I heard the faintest whoosh the saucer elevated straight up 500 feet, silently banked to its left and disappeared over the trees. Sitting in my car, I was left looking at an empty road, empty accept for a jumbled pile of expensive bicycles.

I was not dumbfounded, for it made perfect sense to me: If the aliens wanted to abduct human specimens, why not grab the best that they could get? These whippets were not only in inhumanly perfect physical shape, but their brains were abnormally intelligent, and they were rich and successful. If the aliens wanted to study (or experiment on, or genetically reproduce) humans, why not get those people who, by their own standards, were the most perfect people around – Whippets! My only dilemma was what to do with the bikes. Between the six left, I was looking at around fifty thousand dollars worth of bicycles. The whippets couldn’t use them, flying off to who knows where in another galaxy.  Sure, they probably had wives and families, but they sure had bigger problems than six bikes. And if left there on the road, it would create some kind of mystery that would stymie the cops for years.

So having a nice Yakima bike rack on my car, I gathered up all six of the Italian racing bikes and stacked them on my rack. The biggest problem on my mind is what to do with them all? I guess I could ride them, alternating between days of the week – a Monday bike, a Tuesday bike, etc. I couldn’t explain how I ended up with them; who would believe me? And the next Dr. Whippet who asks me how I am exercising, I’ll tell him I go for bicycle rides, and I ride as fast as I can.