I wanted to say the Winter Olympics left me cold in memory of my friend and master punster, Mike Stoker, but I guess I'll have to wait until they hold the games someplace where they have a really heavy snowfall, like Virginia. Though the games got a little slushy at times, the Vancouver Olympics was an entertaining diversion from the usual fare, although I'm seeing skaters in my sleep; leaping, twirling, dancing, jumping, racing, skaters. I tried ice skating once when I was a kid but it hurt my ankles. It just wasn't a Southern thing. Melody and I particularly enjoyed the women's figure skating where they spin vigorously and hand-lift one skate overhead. I affectionately referred to these moves as, the "Multi-Lutz" into the "Here's My Vagina." The pairs added the innovative "Hogback Growler," and Johnny Weir did the "Nancy." Melody did get a little annoyed with me when each time a skater hit the deck, I yelled, "Down goes Frazier," in my best Howard Cosell impression. Boxing on ice should be considered.
The games began on thin ice. Ordinarily, I approve of any sport where there is the potential for fatalities, but who could have imagined that sliding down an ice chute at 100mph, feet first and on your back, would produce an injury? I thought this was the reason people attended auto races. This was like NASCAR, only without the car. Then, in addition to a lack of snow for the alpine skiing events in the always rainy Northwest, the opening ceremony suffered a mechanical malfunction when one of those giant Fortress of Solitude crystal things didn't inflate and some poor schmuck was left standing with his torch in his hand. The mystery of who would be the last torchbearer was disappointing when it turned out to be Wayne Gretzky instead of Gordon Lightfoot. Fortunately, the games themselves were exhilarating and they managed to get through both an opening and closing ceremony without a single appearance by Celine Dion.
Some of the winter sports are just plain goofy. There was the skating and shooting contest for potential militia recruits in the tundra, and what is this fresh obsession with Curling? For over a week, MSNBC forsook its' "The Network for Politics" moniker for the "Curling Network." This is a sport for the truly bored. I've been more thoroughly entertained in Boca Raton watching elderly Jews play Shuffleboard. If Curling is an Olympic event, then Senior Shuffleboard should be too. It's the most enduring summer sport of all. I know NBC is losing a fortune on this venture, but the sheer number of commercials seemed way over the top. At least we can thank Obama for reinstating the regulation that forbids advertisers from jacking up the volume on their television commercials. Now, when some red-faced, fat-ass in a cowboy hat starts to scream about the biggest auto sale in history, you don't have to lunge for the "mute" button quite as desperately.
The games had its share of characters and emotions, like the spoilsport Rusky figure skater and his cheerleader Vlad Putin, who learned that real men don't need quads, even if they're dressed in a black leotard with an embroidered snake around their neck. And the Dutch coach that got his skater disqualified should be an object lesson about questioning authority. The story of the Canadian skater who lost her mother was truly touching, although the series of subsequent interviews on every, single, NBC news or sports show bordered on the macabre; especially the Today Show interview where Ann Curry virtually oozed empathy. Of all the winter athletes, I learned that Shaun White is either Superman or the Tiger Woods of snowboarding. Perhaps I should rephrase that. And the Canadian National Anthem is far lovelier than ours, though not as tedious as the Russian anthem, which is longer than "Stairway to Heaven." I understand that Vladimir Putin reared his head and requested that the discarded old Soviet anthem be reinstated, so it's never too late to join my crusade to change our National Anthem from a Bavarian drinking song, to the Ray Charles version of "America the Beautiful." Yes, we can.
The hockey final between the USA and Canada was the most watched television event in Canadian history, proving the old rumor to be true that Canadians prefer their sexual congress in the canine manner so that they can both watch the hockey game. That's where the term "Mounties" comes from. When Canada won in overtime, I was happy for them. By the time announcer Al Michaels proffered, "This is a goal that will resonate throughout history," I had already forgotten about it. Though ice hockey's not my thing, this looked like another NHL All-Star game, and nobody I knew was broken-hearted that the U.S. won silver. I mean, it wasn't like the Tigers lost or anything. And it left the Canadians in a good mood for the closing ceremonies. The athletes were dressed in paper smocks that made them all look like colonoscopy patients or the front row at a Gallagher show. Then, a group of large men pushed giant, inflated beavers onto the ice, accompanied by dancing Royal Mounted Police and checkered-shirted lumberjacks, making the whole thing appear to have been choreographed by either John Waters or Monty Python. So finally, it's farewell to the Winter Olympics until Russia in 2014, (unless President Palin decides to boycott the games), and on to London, 2012, where we can return to real sports like ping pong, synchronized swimming, and bikini beach volleyball.