Sunday, February 26, 2006

Team Canada Olympic Theatre Consultant

With the Olympics having just come to a close it's time to share a few thoughts on it.

I must say I'm rather happy with Canada's results on the whole. Our medal count was high. More so than normal. Whoopie. Truth is there are only four medals that matter to me. Let me explain.

In my view there are only four winter Olympic sports; hockey, curling, throwing one's self down a hill and hurling one's self across the ice. Of these I only care about the team sports. I'm not one to throw myself or hurl myself anywhere. The two team sports become four due to gender segregation. In these four events Canada took three medals, much to my delight. Two gold (men's curling, women's hockey) and one bronze (Women's curling).

Unfortunately we missed out on the single most important medal when our men's hockey team fizzled out like a brief dry fart. At least I can say we deserved such a fate the moment we put that criminal shit-for-brains Tod Bertuzzi on the team. Thank god he didn't try to kill anyone at least. That would have been embarrassing, eh? To think he might have attacked a Fin or something and ended up in an Italian jail with an Austrian cell mate who he might also have beaten up. What dark times are these for Canada - choosing Bertuzzi and Stephen Harper in the same year as representatives of this country? Cheers folks. Here's to losing our collective minds.

Anyways - three out of four ain't bad. I'm proclaiming Canada Land-of-the-Team-Sports-of-Winter. So there. I'll be passing out copies of the new national anthem lyrics whenever I get around to making the changes.

How about the Canadian girl who won the cross-country skiing gold medal after breaking her pole early in the race? The coach of the Norwegian team handed her a spare pole of their own. How nice was that? What a sweetheart! Did you know that a thank-you was quickly organized in Canada in the form of a few crates of Canadian maple syrup being shipped to the Norwegian team? It's true. It was on the news. They gave us gold. We gave them tree sap. We're classy. For sure. I suggested we build them a statue of liberty but I was told that's been done before and we shouldn't cheapen the honor of the current statue of liberty by contributing to a proliferation of them.

"No-no," I said. "This statue of liberty would have a ski pole in her hand. Not a torch. It's completely different!" They wouldn't listen. Whatever.

Unfortunately there were no Norwegians hovering around in the air to help the Canadian aerial jumper dude - or whatever they're called - who lost both his skis in mid air when he launched into a back-flip - or whatever it's called - literally shooting his skis off his feet and straight up into the air.

How funny was that? He had the presence of mind to land on his rump, not his feet, thus avoiding injury and to wave to the crowd as he slid to a halt, letting everyone know that he was A-okay and not to be alarmed. He did not, however, have the presence of mind to remember that his skis were half a mile above his head and were also subject to the forces of gravity. They came crashing down around him while he was sitting there grinning and waving.
How bloody ironic would it have been had they come down on his head and killed him while he was busy telling everyone that he was just-fine-thank-you. That would have been some first-rate irony, my friends.

I watched the bronze medal women's curling game between Canada and Norway hoping that Norway would bust a broom in half just so that we'd have the chance to repay them with one of our Canadian brooms. Wouldn't that have made for good headlines? They should have arranged for this to happen. It would have been great theatre. Don't people understand that in this age of information/misinformation it's not what you do that counts? It's the theatre! It's what the news people say you did that counts. You got to get to the front page, my friends.

The Canadian Olympic Committee should hire me as their theatre consultant. Don't you think? I could have made all kinds of cool things happen! For instance - the men's curling team. Ray Gushue, father of Canadian skip Brad Gushue was always in the stands wearing a white tee-shirt with the words 'Brad's Dad' scrawled on it in black marker. Now, at first I did not approve of this look. I mean - couldn't he have at least got a shirt or two professionally crafted? There are lots of merchants who do that. The first time I saw this I thought, 'Wow! What a Cinderella story. This poor kid growing up in a trailer park becomes the leader of the Olympic curling team!'

In hindsight I realize of course that the shirt thing was a last-minute inspiration and Ray surely had too busy a schedule to go running around Italy looking for Luigi the custom tee-shirt vendor. But here's the point. As Canada won the gold medal and headed for the podium I was waiting for Brad to remove his Team Canada jacket and reveal a tee-shirt beneath with the words 'Ray's Son' scratched on it. Didn't happen. Why not? They didn't hire me as Team Canada Theatre Consultant. That's why. Oh well. I'll be there in Vancouver in 2010 for them if they want me. I'll make up some business cards I guess.

A few more words on the throwing one's self down a hill event.

A Canadian downhill athlete was talking about a specific run in which his teammate 'impersonated a yard sale'. I howled at this. Nearly laughed off a testicle. Brilliant imagery. We mustn't lose this excellent new lingo. I hereby propose we add two official terms to the dictionary of downhill sports:

1. Yard Sail: To catch three feet of air after hitting a mogul.

2. Yard Sale: A particularly ugly spill, in which the athlete and his equipment come to lie in pieces along the ground, as if on display for potential purchasers.

Brilliant. I love it.


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