Well, it’s that time again: the Olympics.
Jo and I, accompanied by our friends and neighbors, sat down to watch them Monday night. What did we see? Swimming. OK, so we watched the Olympics Tuesday night and, again, what did we see? Swimming. Nothing but goddamned swimming. Swimming, swimming, swimming and more goddamned swimming.
Oh, we also saw a bunch of pixi-like children jumping and rolling around on the floor and swinging like monkeys from the parallel bars. Meh. But I did get a glimpse of Volleyball, beach style, with all the hotties in their little 2-piece swim (gaaack, there’s that word again) suits. Yum.
What I want to know is where’s the Greco-Roman wrestling? The hammer and discus throw? Archery? All the good stuff? I’ll tell you where; in the daylight hours so no one can watch them. All we get is a force-fed diet of swimming.
I hate swimming, and if you read my post of long ago, you’ll know why. But in that post, I was talking about a pool, like in the Olympics but the really hateful version of swimming is in a lake. The water is like pea soup – green and opaque – and foul things float in it. You get swimmer’s ear, pink eye, itchy skin, athlete’s foot from the changing room and you stink like dead and dying fish. To ice the cake, there’s always some debris on the bottom, lurking just beneath the sand and scum, and you invariably cut you foot on this stuff and end up with a raging infection. The beach is no better.
Of course, in the lake, just as in the pool, there is the sacrament of pissing in the water.
To close out this observation on the Swimlympics, did you see the male swimmers? To a man, they looked to have been manhandled by a squid. Red sucker marks all over the place. What’s with that?
Just before they go in the water, the male swimmers slap themselves silly like flagellant monks and begin to quiver as if hit by a Taser.
Finally, the big moment arrives and they jump in the water. Once in, they kick and thrash their ways across the pool, back and forth and back and forth until one of them touches the pool’s wall ahead of the others and the officials measure this timing down to a gnat’s ass. I saw one fellow beat another to the wall by 0.01 seconds – one one-hundredth of a second – and on the basis of that infinitesimal difference, one man goes home a hero with innumerable offers to endorse everything from jetliners to prophylactics. The other guy, the one who touched the wall just one one-hundredth of a second later, goes home a nere-do-well hump with his tail between his legs. The one man gets the gold and the glory (and all the women and all the money) while the other gets the silver, which means nothing. Its like the difference between a rib-eye steak done to perfection over an open flame, and a hamburger patty desiccated to a crisp on a McDonald’s griddle.