Sunday, August 14, 2016

Olympic Games

After a week of watching I’ve had enough. The problem is they’re all too good, too practiced, too beyond anything I could ever do. My memories of high school gym class have been purged from my album of happy moments. I played my heart murmur card to get out of running the mile or was it the half or quarter mile? Rope-climbing was a spectator sport along with all the other devices designed to humiliate guys like me.The perfection of these world-class athletes is of such a level I’d give them all a gold medal and send them home. They give us mere mortals a complex.

This morning I started to tie my shoes and could swear there was a Bulgarian judge over my shoulder taking off points for the circumference of my loop. The degree of difficulty for my double knot was insufficient to pass another guy named Norm Levine from Sri Lanka. Big points were taken off for the aglet missing a shoelace hole on my sneakers, for the creased tongue in my shoe and for my unsteady fingers. And then, God help me, it was revealed that my socks don’t match and there’s a hole in one of them.

There is something faintly fascistic about synchronized diving or synchronized anything else. Truth be known I am a secret agent sent from some elsewhere place where asymmetry is a virtue. I’m told my left leg is shorter than the right or is it the other way around? Chiropractors love to deliver that news. I lean. So what? I slouch. I don't always agree with myself. The right hand doesn’t know what the left one is doing. My right fingers have been where my left ones never dreamed of.

I would have a counter Olympics where motley is the only wear, as the Bard put it. After all, weren’t the gods on Mt. Olympus famous for their constant squabbling? Zeus was nothing if not a mischief-maker. He would have cheered for each wobble and bobble. Sent bolts of lightning in celebration for every landing not nailed. Look what he did to Icarus with the hubris to take wings.

Where but in this paean to perfection do we punish a splash? Here’s to the art of the stumble and fumble. The mis-step. The typo that improved the poem. The sandwich left out overnight that gave us penicillin. The hand not placed over the heart during anthem. The hundredth of a second that means nothing to messy humanity where Hillary, the flawed candidate with the besmirched record is much preferred over Trump who is not only a blight on the office but can’t find his way out of sentence without dropping breadcrumbs. 

As Putin never said to Mussorsky, That's Gudunov, Boris.


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