Well, the Olympics are winding down and we've had the opportunity to see them presented in a multi channel format.
Somehow, it doesn't seem that exciting to have more events to choose from. Maybe that's because the consistent style is one of breathless wonderment - whether it be of a photo finish, a winning leap or a speed skater putting on his pants one leg at a time.
For the next Olympics in two years, may I suggest an alternative to just a lot more of the same: a 'reality announcing' option. Let me give you a few examples.
"Spare me the excitement, Karen, but I can't tell a quadruple toe loop from a greased axle. This is Canada - let's stick to terminology we know. The Korean has pulled off a double double while our Canadian, Yvan Faceplante, has attempted four reverse dutchies. Meanwhile, the young Chinese skater has landed a backward cruller."
"You've got it, Jack. If they can't land a triple double these days they risk being shut out of the medals."
"And the puck drops for the critical Sweden versus Khazakstan game. The Khazaktsanians come out flying. There's Gotalotov shooting it in but not out, where, I think, number 19 digs it out from the boards. He kicks it back to some big galoot on the same team wearing a number that I can't quite make out. Now, over to some other player, number 7, who shoots. The puck is loose again, snapped up by, oh, heck, Makitupalot, who passes it over to, I'm flying blind here, Offdecuv, who shoots and scores. That's a great start for, whomever. Are we off the air? When do I get to go back to covering the Belleville Bulls?"
"Tommy McGuire is competing in his sixth and final Winter Olympics and is the sentimental favourite to win gold for Canada. But let's face it, why he made the team in the first place is a complete mystery unless he's got the goods on the coaches. The other competitors could stop for hamburge
rs halfway through and he'd still finish last".
"So we're here at the half-pipe freestyle snowboarding finals, and with me is, Canadian Olympic veteran, Johnny Gripper. Johnny, how do you rank Canada's chances?"
"Dude, it's like, dude, it depends on, like, how up for it they are. Do you know what I mean? It could be, like, totally awesome, or it could be a real downer."
"Next up is a skier from Andorra. Andorra? You've got to be kidding me. That's a kind of sweater. Don't treat me like I'm some sort of idiot"!
"Quite frankly, Dave, all these skeleton racers carry considerable adipose tissue and those skin tight suits hardly flatter them. Matter of fact, they look like penguins when they flap their hands on the ice to push off."
"George Tempest, here, we're going to watch the final game of the round robin between Italy and Scotland. As you can guess, I'm the junior guy and got the dullest assignment. I haven't a clue what the hammer is, never mind who has it. Right now,
I'd rather be a cameraperson for the paint-drying channel: no one's listening anyway. Just to confirm that, I'll... let me see...me, me, me, me...tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes curling
Seriously folks, a funny thing happened to me on the way to the rink tonight. What was the funny thing that happened to you, George?
The brooms told me Canada would sweep the curling medals. At this point there's a sound of improvised drum roll.
Hey Mom: sorry I forgot your birthday again this year."
"And Gretzky clambers on the back of the truck in the pouring rain. Frankly, he looks scared out of his wits. What's he thinking? Who got me into this gig?. Bobby Orr stays warm and dry in the stadium and makes a fortune doing car commercials. I'm soaked, a sitting duck to get egged by some anarchist while everyone is looking for me to fall off the truck or drop the torch. I think it's time for Janet to make another "Police Academy" movie."
"I'm Jim Lemming back at Olympic Control. Look at me; I have a nifty logo shirt on: it'll fetch 50 bucks on E-Bay when the Games are over. Bet you wish you had my job. Wait, someone handed me this bulletin. Organizers of the closing ceremonies are working feverishly to avoid criticism of the sort that followed the opening ceremonies. To keep Francophones happy, former Montreal Expos and current Montreal Canadiens mascot, Youppi, is going to sing "Alouette"; and a modern dance troop from Nunavut will do a balletic recreation of the invention of poutine. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will also make a one of his regular surprise appearances, on piano, to play a Beatles song, "Helter Skelter."
Now, be honest: which channel would you rather watch?
Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose, not infrequently laced with savage humour. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Mike Barnacle, the late Jimmy Breslin and Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington, Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.
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