Anniversaries, I fear,
Are hard to count. It’s rarely clear
How many years have been amassed
Since something happened in the past.
The ordinal’s what’s problematic.
People often give me static
When I say, “You’re nine today?
Well, have an awesome tenth birthday!”
But, think about it: When you’re one
Your second year of life’s begun
And, likewise, on the day you’re two
It’s birthday number three for you.
Remember, you were zero on
Your first birthday; so forth, so on.
The anniversary, however,
Varies from the year, well, never:
When you’re married for a year
You celebrate the first one. Clear?
It’s sports events that need the most
Assistance here. They’ll raise a toast
To ten years running, and they’ll claim
Their tenth event is just the same
As their tenth annniversary.
That’s simply an absurdity!
Let’s say the first’s in ’91.
In ’92 the next one’s run.
That’s number two, right? Check the date:
Two/’92. We’ll keep that straight
Without a problem, both have “two”
Right at the end. It’s hard to screw
The math up that way, right? Let’s see,
Now what’s the anniversary?
The second? No! It’s just the first!
How ’bout the next year? We’ve rehearsed
This sequence, so I know you know it:
Third race, two years in. Don’t blow it…
That’s it! You’ve got it! Follow me
On down the years to twenty-twelve’s
Edition…talk amongst yourselves…
It ends in two…how many races?
Twenty-two! They tied their laces
For the tenth in Y2K
(Ninth anniversary), then they
Did twenty in two thousand ten.
Which anniversary was then?
That’s right: The 19th! You’re on fire!
All right, if you’re asking, “Why’re
We discussing math so late?”
The answer is that on this date
Just 39 short years ago
Was born the sport we all now know
As Ironman Triathlon:
18 February, on
A chilly beach in Waikiki,
Two people very dear to me
Debuted the race they co-created.
Though over time the tale was freighted
With testosterone and ego,
That’s not what we see when we go
Back in time to seven-eight
Where Judy and her handsome mate
(My daddy, John) shot off the gun
For Iron Man Triathlon One.
That’s one year short of forty. Any
Guesses on the count? Jack Benny
Would have gotten this one wrong
‘Cause he refused to move along
Past 39, but there’s a twist:
An extra race threw off the list
In ’82, when they raced twice—
October’s when the weather’s nice
More often than it’s not, so they
Ran number six the Saturday
That came the nearest that full moon.
Sixth race, fifth year, no wonder soon
The ordinal got lost to time!
I only keep it straight ’cause I’m
A sibling of the race itself
(We share our parents). I was twelfth
The second year (read also: last;
I’m known for going long, not fast).
So, Happy Anniversary
To Ironman! Your brother, Me.
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