Remember the Olympics?

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 somersault.  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.”

13 thoughts on “Remember the Olympics?

    1. I’m sure you’re not alone. A person gets used to certain things. A series of events, a series of commercials. It’s hard to just turn it off like that. I think people need closing ceremonies of their own.

  1. I’m qutie amused by the announcers for the gymnasts. “Oh, she’ll lose a tenth of a point for that balance-check. Now for her landing, will she stick it?” Ha ha ha, I lose points all day long, as I’m forever balance checking, and yes, I can stick my landing… most of the time!

    I will miss the Games… we should be so very proud of all of our athletes; they represented our country very well!

    1. Yes, it looks like the USA cleaned up again, and we are right to be proud of all our athletes. Especially the people who do the decathlon, the decathoners or whatever they are called. I cannot fathom training for years for just one moment to shine. Or at least I couldn’t fathom it until I had to call my cable provider for technical assistance.

      How many things in life come down to hundredths of a second? I spend several minutes each day thinking about whether I need to buy more macadamia nuts. For something momentous, like whether to sign up for notifications of new products and deals, I will block off a week, sometimes two weeks if there is a family event I want to avoid. I will ponder the consequences of more email in my life, and conclude that I already have all the email I could ever hope for.

  2. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed. As you know, I said that was one of my all-time favorites.

    But now, Kaplowittz has to try to keep this up. He has to keep writing. Because for a few days, his stats were just mind-staggeringly awesome. If only he could write another one like that. Can he do it? Can he be Freshly Pressed again? Yes. Yes! I think he can. Everything depends on his ending and… Oh. Not today, MarKap. And we mourn together.”

  3. That was very well written and I like your sense of humour although I do sympathize with your wife. You’re lucky a cast iron frying pan didn’t do a forward dive on your head or you may have had to do a reverse dive in the tuck position! lol

    1. Thanks – yes, I am a very lucky man. And I made sure to buy her the lightest cookware, cookware with a little symbol in the corner of the box that shows a pan flying in to a person’s head.

  4. @The Good Greatsby. I was thinking the same thing. I was scheduling event dates on my phone “not to be missed!” But now, don’t even remember half the athletes names… already.

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