Are the Winter Olympics over yet?
No, seriously. I'm asking. Because I don't know.
I haven't been watching them. I have never watched them. Not the Winter Olympics. Not the Summer Olympics. I've never even seen the Special Olympics.
And I'm trying to figure out why that is, because I don't know exactly. It's not that I have something against sports or athletes. I mean, damn, I have a George Foreman Grill don't I? I watched the Super Bowl. (Although admittedly more for the commercials than the teams involved.) I like basketball and I'll watch Serena or Venus play tennis.
So why not the Olympics?
I wish I could tell you.
My earliest memory of the Olympics were the 1984 games (that was Los Angeles, right?) when I was being dragged along a hospital in San Antonio and I could see people running on the TV screens in the waiting room.
I didn't really watch it then. And I don't watch it now.
Maybe I just don't understand it. This year, I assumed they were having it in Salt Lake City because the events were being modified to somehow include a Mormon-influenced door-to-door-evangelism motif where the person who was able to get through the most doors per event, book in hand, was awarded the Gold.
I'm ignorant. Plain and simple.
And I don't understand why figure skating is such a big deal. Honestly, I don't. It's not that they're any more attractive than people in other "sports." (Oksana Baul, meet Anna Kournikova.) It's not that they dress any better. (Is that a costume or some sort of tinsel-twist from last year's Christmas tree?) It's not that it's any more graceful or athletic than anything else, really. People who froth and cheer for figure skating are the same people who would think ballet or modern dance was boring. The only difference is that it's on a rink instead of in a theater and that there's always the possibility that someone will slip on the ice and crack their head open. That's what it comes down to. Figure skating is popular because the world has some sick fascination with the possibility that some waifish girl with steel calves is going to slip and fracture her neck while wearing three rhinestones and a rubber band.
I'm sorry that I can't be more patriotic about it. "Especially now," as I'm sure you'll tell me. Fuck. I'm sorry. The terrorists won.
Maybe it's because I haven't watched it. Maybe that's the self-fulfilling part of it. If I don't watch the sappy life-affirming sports profiles, I can't get addicted to the heart-wrenching stories of these athletes.
Sports without multi-million dollar endoresement deals and shoes named after the athletes just don't feel complete. Televised sports without a helmet-cam just don't do it for me. Without John Madden to tell me what a bonehead the coach is, I'm lost.
And you know what else? Those brooms and the curling and the big stones? No. Fuck no. I don't care how popular it is in other countries. Female circumcision is popular in some countires too, and I don't see the IOC jumping to make that a summer event.
The other night, I did manage to catch a few minutes of the U.S.A./Russia hockey game. I'm not a huge hockey fan either, but I was rivetted for just a little while. I found myself chanting "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" and then I couldn't figure out if I was mocking the chant or actually enjoying it.
I think it might be jealousy.
I didn't have an Olympics foundation. Nobody sat me down and said, "Hey, it's been four years. Sit your ass down on the couch. We're gonna watch the shot put!"
Shot put. That's the one with the shoulder, right?
I think I'm secrectly admiring the folks who get pumped about the Olympics, the people who glue themselves to the TV set for hours and hours of taped and live footage while I flip between 24 and Futurama. How cool would it be to have something like that to look forward to every couple of years, to know that your favorite events will be back every time and that the world's best will be there, competing? To be spellbound by that athleticism.
I wish I knew how that felt.
I probably should be watching, right?
Maybe I'll check out the next Summer Games. That is, if there's not any really good episodes of Bernie Mac on at the same time.
We started rehearsals for our next LCP show this week. We've been writing since early January and our entire show is completely written, cast and put in order. Now comes the hard part. Making it funny. We should open in late March.
Remember when I almost got a dog? Well, it may end up being a second cat. Stay tuned. I should know in a few days whether it'll really happen or not. I may have a new member of the family named "Sudsy."
Deep in your right ear.