Saturday, August 20, 2016

Just Put Me In A Speedo And Call Me Steele Johnson

Ah, the Olympics! The very greatest athletes in the world are on display, flipping, diving, taking a stand against gravity, poinking flea-like into the air, and being named Steele Johnson. It's impossible to watch all this human glory and not wonder: which of these events would I, personally, least suck at?

So many choices here. Track and Field is altogether out of the question. The starter pistol alone is likely to make me shit my pants and run in the wrong direction, which would suck. My only value to the team would be in the payoffs from off-track betting, where I'd produce a sturdy cash flow in the over-under for how many times I'd be lapped before I keel over at, if not beyond, the finish line. Even worse would be the power events. Your shot put, your discus, your javelin--all those things the athlete tries to get as far away from himself as possible? Not my sport. We learned this in softball when I'd run down a ball at the fence and pivot and give it everything I had, and it would ploop a lazy arc in the air and thunk down in center field. Not only do I have linguini where my muscles are supposed to be, but also I'm a little fuddled about the letting-go part. There's no guarantee the objects I'm throwing aren't going to land behind me. None whatsoever, Dave would agree--he's the one with the imprint of the pipe wrench in his forehead. I've taken out my own teammates at horseshoes. For sheer entertainment value, watch that audience reaction when I spin with a discus! The second time.

Ordinarily you'd expect I'd be even worse at the swimming events, due to my inability to swim, but in reality I'm an all-around threat, competing equally well in the 50-meter freestyle, the 200-meter flappy-insect, and the thrash-and-sink. I can stand at the edge of the pool and wobble my arms like nobody's business. And I am unsurpassed at that bit at the end of the race, where you cling to the floaty ropes and breathe hard and grab onto the person in the next lane. It's only the middle parts where I struggle.

Similarly, I show some promise in beach volleyball, because I've had so much experience sticking my butt out, tugging at my underwear, and falling over.

That leaves gymnastics, where my lack of height works in my favor, if we ignore the hooter factor. Floor exercises are not likely to be a strong point. I have occasionally been able to complete 1/8th of a flip, which is remarkable given my three-inch vertical leap. Unfortunately, it is not distinguishable, from a spectator's viewpoint, from a face plant.

Which brings us inexorably to my best event. Yes: the balance beam. The balance beam is four inches wide and I am statistically certain to fall off a city sidewalk several times a year. I will be routinely awarded degree-of-difficulty points just for walking from one end to the other, due to my handicap (lack of ability). I will have a premature dismount just standing on the end of the beam doing the swishy ballet moves with my arms. And I will totally stick the landing. Not necessarily on my feet, but I don't roll far.

I'm not aspiring to gold, anyway. I don't want to fall off any podium higher than the bronze.

31 comments:

  1. Okay, Murr, knowing of your challenges with staying vertical on two feet, let alone one, I have a question concerning the first picture: How many times did you have to assume that position before Dave could finally take the photo before you fell over? Or did you possibly use a stunt double or CGI?

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    1. Oh, you know me too well. Hmm. Stunt double: that is a fine idea.

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  2. I believe we all think this way if we are truthful with ourselves.

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    1. Although, being truthful with oneself is overrated.

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  3. Judging by the last picture you at least didn't poop your pants when you fell. That should be worth some points.

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  4. So funny. I think our Olympic skills could use a tune up.

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  5. I wouldn't do QUITE as well as you!! Would you visit me at the hospital?

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    1. Yeah! Absolutely! If it's real close by and I didn't have to go out of my way!

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  6. I'm totally impressed with your balance-beam expertise! My best sport is extreme couch-sitting, where I take silver to Hubby's gold. But I always beat him in the beer-drinking event!

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    1. I could beat almost anyone in that event, except Dave. Keeps me humble.

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    2. Miss Henders, happy to see you have your priorities in order.

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  7. Hilarious! and uncomfortably right on the head of the nail for yours truly. I would win every time if they had a Duck When The Flying Object Approaches event, though.

    I bet you had more fun than an Olympian taking those pictures! We appreciate them :)

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    1. Dave used to lob eggs toward me just for the satisfaction of seeing me duck. He even cleaned up the floor afterwards. I guess the trick is supposed to be you lob an egg and the victim reacts by trying to catch it and it smooshes in his hand, but I never ever react that way.

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  8. I think you're selling yourself short, plus you're looking at the wrong Olympics. Think Winter Olympics......check out the Canadian curling team.

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    1. Oh: and how else could I ethically sell myself except short?

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  9. Big smiles. And rather a lot of recognition. I am an appreciator rather than a doer. Which requires no muscles. Or sweat.

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    1. I believe it is true that we can't all be Olympic athletes, and even, possibly, that most of us can't. I'm in good, reclining, company.

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  10. I'm with you on most events, although I'm not likely to fall off stuff and I can swim, sort of. I think we should enter the couch sitting event, we'd stand a fair chance of winning at least bronze in that, possibly silver, as long as we didn't fall asleep.

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    1. Falling asleep is less painful than other forms of falling.

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  11. Is there some sort of biathlon involving couch-sitting, then staggering to bed-reclining, all while carrying a full bottle of beer?

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    1. Yes. There are tons of degree-of-difficulty points in getting to bed without removing any beer from the bottle.

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  12. I want to be in one of those events that I've never heard of and say, "Is that even a thing?" If I find one, I'll let you know. We can enter the team competition in the "Whatever This Is" event.

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    1. What you said. I was going to do one of those posts where I make up absurd Olympic events but I couldn't top the ones that actually exist. Same reason I don't make more fun of Trump.

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  13. You capture my feelings upon viewing the event perfectly. Which is why I opt to watch birds and butterflies. Hello, Olympics? Got a dark horse in a new event here. LOVE the title. Really? Steele Johnson???

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    1. Synchronized birding! And yes. Really. Steele Johnson. Nothing about his Speedo suggested he was poorly named.

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  14. Ha! Well done. I'd definitely give that landing a solid 6. I snortled out loud at your description of you playing volleyball.

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    1. To be fair, if you put me in there with the other two six-foot bikini-clad players, nobody would notice me tugging at my underwear.

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