Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Coulda been a contender

When will the Olympics offer events for the 99 percent of us who lack the training, time, and talent of Simone Biles or Michael Phelps? If there were a medal for crossing items off a to-do list, I know I'd be a contender. If the International Olympics Committee wants to encourage more people to be participants rather than couch potatoes, they should create events like these:

Cleanin' Jerk: Watch me tilt chairs, roll rugs, and shove a massive sofa out of the way so I can sweep the floors. (But will she stick the landing?)

Uneven Parallel Barriers: Contestants vie to be the first to emerge from the maddening health insurance obstacle course, designed by those devious experts at the International Denial of Claims Organization (IDCO). No medal has ever been awarded in this event because no one has ever made it all the way through the course.

Academic Pentathlon: Start with the Book-Boxing event, which requires relocating a professor's library to a new office two floors and three buildings away, and then move on to the Faculty Meeting Dash (first to make it to the comfy seats without spilling coffee wins!), then Committee Composition Whack-A-Mole (make sure every committee includes at least one competent worker bee and no more than three whiners), the Hoop-Jumping Tenure Course (miss that invisible hoop and you have to go back to adjuncting and start over), and the Final Grading Marathon. Extra style points for regalia that doesn't look as if it's been serving as bedding in the rhinoceros house at the zoo. 

Synchronized Storytelling: Put a three-year-old in your lap who demands that you tell a story about a big fish, and after you've spontaneously created a big fish story out of the blue, she demands a totally different story about a little fish, and then she wants one about girl and the fish going on a picnic with a capybara. How many stories can you invent? (I'd win this one hands down--but then, I've had a lot of practice) 

Turkey Dressage: Prepare a complete Thanksgiving dinner for an extended family of 16 people, being careful to avoid offending anyone's intolerance for gluten, lactose, peanuts, carbs, and libertarians.  

I don't know about you, but I'd watch events like these. In fact, I wouldn't even have to turn on the TV!   

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