Humor Magazine

Remember the Olympics?

By Markkaplowitz @MarkKaplowitz

I want to thank the people at WordPress who were responsible for promoting my post, “Remember When There Was Only One Kind of Post-It Note,” to the Freshly Pressed page on July 25–26.  It was great being able to connect with so many new readers.

Two Sundays ago I was watching diving.  I had seen 70 or 80 dives that day—quite a bit above average for me—and I was being lulled by the narration of the newscasters.

“There she goes,” the sportscaster says in a whisper.  “A triple sommersault.  Toes pointed.  Oh—look at that line of sight.  Splendid.  Just splendid.”

After a few weeks of Olympics and Olympic-themed Google doodles,  I find it hard to just return to normal civilian life where hundredths of a second do not count unless you are trying to get a seat on the Long Island Rail Road.  Just this morning, as I greeted the large bear-like cat that comes to my stoop every day looking for chicken, I found that I could not snap out of Olympic-style sportscasting.

“Look at Mr. Jay-Jay,” I say in a whisper.  “Look at that fluffy neck.  He’s going to take the gold and…yes, the Judges have signaled that this is a new world record for fluffiness in the neck category.  Splendid.  Just splendid.”

I started seeing life through multicolored glasses of five interlocking rings.  The convenience store became a triathlon where the athletes competed in coffee pouring, doughnut selection, and scratch-off purchase.

“Grey suit has an edge over Yankees hat in getting the coffee top on, but Yankees hat is known to make up time in the doughnut category.  Of course, we all remember when he won the world championship by taking the unorthodox move of grabbing an apple fritter that was further away but better-wrapped than the closer cheese danish.  Absolutely magnificent.”

At the diner, I did a play-by-play for the proprietor spearing the checks through the metal spike.

“Her hand pivots gracefully, elbow down, careful approach…and…SHE NAILS IT!  Beautiful execution!  And the medal count continues.”

Even at home, my life-casting continued apace.  I was competing in my own event, the 400 meter setting the dinner table, and had no trouble narrating my own performance.

“He has always excelled at setting the table.  But last year some bone fragments were removed from his elbow and the recovery has added seconds to his time.”

“You know,” my wife says, “you really have to stop that.”

“You know, Greg, it is astonishing how these Olympic athletes are able to train amidst the many domestic responsibilities.  Family members have to make sacrifices as well.”

“Why do you keep talking like that?  You didn’t even watch the Olympics.”

And I realize that she is right, that I had just watched the diving that one day and pretended like that entitled me to bask in the Olympic-spirit with everyone else who had watched far more commercials and heart-warming stories than I had.  So with that I stopped my whispered narration, and started looking ahead to Sochi, Russia, where the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held under the motto, “Gateway to the future.”


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