Calvin Coolidge said it best: "I do not choose to run."
That's the welcome manifesto of Vic Ziegel and Lew Grossberger authers of the new spoof, "The Non-Runner's Book."
"We're just a couple of mild and jazy guys who got fed up with the jogging craze and decided to retaliate," explained Grossberger.
"We were trampled from behind in Times Square in broad daylight by a herd of berserk runners. We suffered multiple contusions and confusions. This is our answer."
To the millions of Americans who ask. "Is it all right if I don't run." Ziegel and Gurossberger answer, "Why not not-run?"
After all, Gen. William Tecumsech Sherman, Staunehly noon-tenis as well as non-running, vowed. "If nousinated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve."
Even Chairman Mao. floating inertly down the Yangtae River, said, "Down with the running dogs of capitalism.
Braced by their gospel of non-running, Ziegel and Grossberger have addressed dozens of difficult topics in their 114-page paperback opens (Collier Books, $2.95):
Non'running for beginners (-Whoa not so fast.")
How to avoid the baston Maratnoa (Think of pheidippices the first marathoner, who shouted. "Rejcice, we conquer." And then dropped dead.)
The Non-Runner's Diet (Monday: Ext all you can. Try not to stop. NO one ever got stomach splints").
Staying Out of Shape (Practice your Wait Training as taught in "Pumping Irony" by Added Shortsmicker.)
Non-Running and Non-Being: The Totality of the Whole ("I sit, therefore I am.")
A Nap With a Champion (Imerview with Walt Torpor voted "Least Likely to Move a Muscle" by Sitters' Werid magazine.)
The Nine Greatest Non-Running Movies (First place "Run Silent, Run Deep." Wait until the runners find out it all takes place in a submarine.)
Where Celebrity Non-Runners Non-Run (The Beach Boys: "Do we non-run." We do non-run dedo [WORD ILLEGIBLE]
Sex and the Single Non-Runner ("Runners say they are better lovers. Our reply is;: Where are the pictures? Play us the tapes. Show us the phone numbers.")
Ziegel and Grossherger wish to make it clear that they are men of serious purpose, all kidding aside.
"We wrote this book to save the art of conversation in American," said Ziegel. "Can a nation long survive when it only new outbreaks of running."
"We feel people should know that all profits go to the Institute for Non-Running Research, Department of Stationary Medicine," said Ziegel.
Where is that institute located?
"Our apartments," said Ziegel.
Ziegel and Grossberger feel that science still knows little about sitters, leaners, nappers, procrastinators, TV - watchers, popsicle-lickers and, of course, the totally immobile.
"We're meeting resistance everywhere," said Ziegel. "I attended the New York marathon last week. What incredible media distortion! Why were the 11,000 runners more significant than the 2 million who sat and watched?
"Typical of the harassment we get is this personal letter from Dr. George Sheehan (guru of running literature)," said Ziegel. "Lemuse read this darn letter to ya."
"This is the prefect non-book," began Sheehan's letter. "It has absolutely nothing to say and says it at length . . . It has been superbly edited to remove any indication of crudition or research, wit or humor . . . There is no need to open it, much less to read it. The authors have followed Pascal's dictum, "If you can keep from writing a book, do so."
Ziegel sat back in shock. "That gives you an idea of a typical runner's sense of humor," he said. "And I can't believe he mispelled pascual's name. I knew Camilo back when he pitched for the Washington Senators and he'd never have said that."
The authors listed their "previous books" on the flyleaf. These nonexistent classics include:
"You Can Learn Punk Guitar." "The Zen of Microwave." "Amy Carter of Georgia: A Political Biography." "Sex for Clones." "Have You Got Your Ears on, Jesus? (The CB Prayerbook)." "The Sanerkraut Cookbook." "Whip Me, Little Girl." "Get Out of My Way or I'll Kill You: A Guide to Self-Assertiveness."
"The Library of Congress telephoned our publishers," said Ziegel, "and said they needed some help in cross-indexing our previous books.
"Some people," said Ziegel sadly, "just never understand."
Competitive, compulsive, indigestive, runners become obsessed with crossing finish lines and counting laps. They wallow in linear thought.
"Non-running gives the overstructed and overdirected life a needed sense of freedom and purposeleasness. Non-runners understand the beauty and power of slow. They reject the pseudo-adventure of the road. They do not traffic in traffic.
"Theirs is the spirit of the glacier. Grass grows under their feet and it tickles, and that's nice. Baby ducks are not frightened by their passing. They are non-runners.
"And they know it."