Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Not An Event

We just returned from a trek to the Great American Desert to see 19 of the 25 total of immediate family. Those in attendance included all eleven grandchildren. It was hot, dry, sometimes windy, and, need I say, hot. And this was at a place with an altitude of around 8,000 feet. Highlights included the sighting of a female moose, tennis instruction to four of the grandkids, and a family version of a table game that reminded us of both good and not-so-good events in our family's history.
I heard something else from one of another branch of the family that helped me realize just how big the gaps in opinion can get between two apparently reasonable people. Our nation, she said in so many words, was now so full of evil (pornography leading the list) that we didn't deserve Mitt Romney as president. I thanked her for giving me a reason to not vote for him. We might speak again in November. Might not.

Yes, I know not everyone cares about sports, but, having admitted that, I think that people with no interest in the broadcast of the Olympic Games should be checked for a pulse. We're not even halfway through, and it seems there are new highlights every day. Last night, for example, NBC did its usual job of all but putting their cameras up the noses of the "women's" gymnastics contestants, almost all of them undersized teenagers. The network was looking for what another network used to grandly call "the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat." They got it. Weeping Russian girls offering sympathy to each other, while our little American darlings hugged each other in victory.
And I've got a nominee for the Snappy Name List that's sure to move up pretty quickly. The USA women's volleyball team features a tall, powerful spiker named Destinee Hooker. And I'm not forgetting the always appealing Lolo Jones, either. She'll be on next week running hurdles.
I had another thought. There are some events, bocci ball, for instance, that just aren't on the Olympic program. I understand that it's just not possible to include everything, but could still think of several possibly interesting competitions that someone besides the IOC will have to put on. Here are a few, with possible national favorites for the medals along with longshots:
     Mountain Climbing - favorites - Switzerland, Austria, Nepal. longshots - Netherlands, Fiji
     Grenade Toss - favorites - Iraq, Syria, Pakistan. longshots - Sweden, Denmark
     Creative Banking - favorites - Cayman Islands, Switzerland. longshots - Japan, Cuba
     Tunnel Digging - favorites - Mexico, North Korea. longshots - Tonga, Monte Carlo
     Deregulation - favorites - USA, Somalia, Haiti. longshots - UK, China
     Gratuitous Violence - favorites - USA, Afghanistan, Iraq, Columbia, Syria, Mexico. longshots - Japan, Sweden, UK
Wow. A guy could spend some time on this. I haven't even mentioned square dancing, slam poetry, machismo or creative resume writing. Who's the best? Well, as they say, that's why they play the games.          



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