A Pint and a Fag

8 March 2008

Allow me to introduce you to Buster Martin. Buster was born in 1906 when King Edward VII (son of Queen Victoria) reigned over England. He just turned 101 years young.

He’s not the sort of guy who idly watches the EastEnders, dully awaiting the inevitable. He works a regular schedule at Pimlico Plumbers in London and has been honored as the oldest employee in the United Kingdom.

This man is tough. He famously refused to take the day off for his 100th birthday. When mugged last year by three men, he fought back, kicking one poor chap square in the gonads. He’s fathered 17 children and holds a side-job that would make most males three-quarters his age jealous. He’s a special contributor for FHM magazine. Really.

And his name is Buster, which automatically makes him tougher than you.

Apparently Pimlico Plumbing fails to offer Buster a full range of excitement. He recently completed the Roding Valley Half Marathon, downing at least one Newcastle along the way. Like many successful half marathoners, he has set his sights on the full marathon, and intends to run London this year. If he finishes, he plans to celebrate like any properly knackered Brit, with “a pint and a fag.”

Yeah, he still smokes.

The public hail Buster’s unique drive toward the marathon record books. I want to love this guy, but I’m not quite ready to genuflect. Fellow runners, what will happen if he completes London? I’ll tell you: We may never again receive the awe and admiration of our peers. Tell me you’ll love Buster when you’re at a cocktail party and someone says, “Oh, you ran the marathon? Didn’t some 101 year old man do that?”

So keep Buster’s achievements under your hat. And for Prefontaine’s sake, don’t tell anyone about the Joggler, or all will be lost.

– Dean

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