Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Ridiculous Olympics

Olympics alert: Boys to men doing strange stuff. Why high diving? Why synchronized high diving—was that a double-dog-dare-you stunt in the beginning? Why the steeplechase without a horse? To show you can clear a mud puddle? Or a triple sand jump? Why not the monkey bars?

Are these Olympic-sanctioned sports any different than the more realistic boy-man adventures from daily life? Why, I ask, are the prettied-up boys in mankinis forced to perfection of a 10.0 when boys prefer destruction and slouchy shorts? Why not a category for who can make the loudest underwater fart or the biggest belly flop or survive the worst head butt off the diving board? I cheer for the divers who make the biggest splash. It’s so much more akin to my reality. 

I have not watched so much water polo in my life as I have during this summer’s Olympics. Those shaved hairless, muscular men in bonnets with sashes tied in bows beneath the chin--they’re strangely appealing yet appalling. And the girl-women elbowing each other to the point of drowning—now that makes sense.

But honestly, I prefer the “Ridiculousness” episode on MTV about whiskey throttle—when on a dirt bike you give it more gas instead of brake—because I’ve done it myself. Who can get nearest the point of destruction without getting hurt is the goal on such reality shows, and much closer to our real lives than the pursuit of Olympic-sized perfection. I know why the Olympics are played only every four years. These Olympians are out there doing normal stunts like the rest of us for 3.75 years, then cramming in a few months of perfect stuff to get on TV. I wish they’d show the bloopers or the cuts or the behind the scenes stuff. They better have a lot of flops to counter their pursuit of perfection. The agony of defeat is just what the average guy does everyday. And doesn’t expect a medal for it, but does hope to make an appearance on YouTube.

I sure wish they’d invite Extreme sports into the Olympiad arena—wouldn’t you like to see the grunge skaters and motocrossers whooping it up with the perfectionists in thongs? I’d love to see what happened. A whiskey throttle triple-point balance beam belly flop? We’d have to invent new difficulty levels. But for sure the winners would look a lot more like us, hairy chests and all, dirt caked on the face and Monster drink in hand.

I dream of a new kind of Olympic glory.

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