Disaster was averted this afternoon by a quick thinking teen out running with his father.
Joey Lollar, 14, and his father, Alex Lollar, 43, were out jogging through the neighborhood at 5am.
“I’ve always been a runner,” explains Alex, sitting on the back of an ambulance. “It just energizes me for the rest of the day. Every morning at 4:30, my alarm goes off, and I get out there. I smell the fresh air and watch the sunrise. I used to jog with my father every morning as a kid.”
“I like it, too,” replies Joey, not making eye contact with his dad. “It’s a good bonding experience, you know? Plus, he said if I get up every day each week, he’ll buy me McDonald’s on Friday when we finish. Oh, and if I make the track team, I can have a trampoline!”
But this fateful morning, there would be no McDonalds, and certainly no trampoline.
“We were about four miles in, coming up this long, steep hill, right before Quinn Road,” explains Alex, pointing in the air to try and demonstrate the location he was talking about but not succeeding.
“Now, I like to switch up my running routes, but I’d been this way hundreds, if not thousands, of times, and never had a problem. Nothing felt different, I was feeling strong, and I was happy to know my son was out with me, even if he couldn’t really keep up and I was off my pace.”
Suddenly, Alex said he ran into, what can only be described as, a figuratively literal brick wall.
“It was like Thor punched me in the chest,” said Alex.
“Dad, Hulk can punch so much harder than Thor.”
“Shut the fuck up when I’m talking to the reporter. Anyway, all of sudden I needed to stop, it was getting difficult to breathe. It felt like something was squeezing my chest. Then, my left arm started to tingle. I was scared.”
Luckily, little Joey wasn’t far behind.
“For most of the run, I had my head down, trying to stay out of the wind,” Joey said, still sweating profusely, hours after having stopped running.
“I looked up, and it was like my dad ran into a brick wall, literally. Wait, I think I mean figuratively. Anyway, I tried to sprint the rest of the distance between us.”
“And you still took forty-three seconds,” added Alex.
“By the time I got to him, he was laying down on the sidewalk, gasping for air. The veins on his neck and forehead were bulging out. I asked him what was wrong.”
Alex Lollar was having a heart attack.
“I knew immediately what was going on, but I have never been in this sort of situation before,” said Alex, flexing his biceps. “I’ve been in shape all my life, and we eat healthy, so why would I be having a heart attack at 43? I have heard that taking aspirin as soon as the symptoms start can help, but of course I didn’t think to have any when we left the house.”
Joey Lollar acted quickly, and used his elementary-rhyme knowledge to find a solution.
“It’s a common fact that everyone should know – beans are good for the heart. I only remembered because I would sing the nursery rhyme all the time when I was younger. ‘Beans, beans, they’re good for the heart/ The more you eat, the more you fart/ The more you fart, the better you’ll feel/ so eat baked beans for every meal.’ I knew how to save my father.”
Joey ran – well, more likely, jogged slowly – back to his house, and headed to the kitchen pantry. He was stopped by his mother, Paula Lollar, [age undisclosed].
“My son burst through the door, and my first thought was ‘there is no way he beat my husband back to the house’ so I knew something was very, very wrong. He asked me for baked beans, so I didn’t even think; I just grabbed one of the many cans of Bush’s Country Style Baked Beans we keep on hand, and got into the car with my son.”
Joey and Paula rushed to Alex’s side, but the sight was not comforting.
“He could barely get any air in his lungs,” said Paula. “Joey had never run so hard in his life. And Alex was looking even worse!”
“I just started pouring in the beans,” said Alex, his clothing soaked completely through. “I knew it was the only thing that could save him.”
The moment those beans touched his lips, Alex began to feel revitalized.
“I was still mid-heart attack, but I wanted to run a full marathon! The beans really took over, and I was certain I’d be ok.”
After drinking the entire can, Alex sat up, tousled Joey’s hair, and told him the last one home would be a rotten egg. He then took off running.
“I would’ve followed him, I really would’ve!” Cried Joey, clearly about to recite a planned excuse. “But you know the other half of the rhyme: The more you eat, the more you fart. I did not want to be anywhere behind him.”
“Yeah, the farts actually reduced my overall split rate!” said Alex, with a twinkle in his eye. “I might have to incorporate it into my morning ritual!”
At publishing, Alex had made a full recovery, and Joey has given up running forever.