I'm still here for a couple more days. Come on over!
Greetings and salutations from the 2010 Winter Olympics! I've been here all week, on assignment from Piano Teachers Unleashed, the quarterly periodical for people who never leave the house and in fact show no active signs of life but aren't sexy enough to be vampires.
What? You doubt the veracity of my claim? Well, knock it off! I'm totally coming at you from downtown....umm....hang on, I gotta Google something....Olympics, Olympics....ok, here we go VANCOUVER! Which, I recently learned, is in Canada. And get this: It turns out Vancouver is located three hours north of Seattle, Washington, where I lived for seven years. Huh. Too bad I'm a piano teacher and therefore never leave my living room. I probably would have liked it up there, er, I mean, here.
Oh, and guess what else Google told me? There's another Vancouver three hours south of Seattle, right across the Columbia River from Oregon! That explains the gaggle of stoned video game programmers wandering the streets of Portland, pestering Asian girls for their autographs and asking what a "salchow" is. Those wacky stoned video game programmers!
The news from the Olympics is hot, hot, hot, people. Sadly, that's also been the weather. For a time, the temperature was so high, organizers toyed with setting up the giant slalom inside a local Dairy Queen. However, upon studying the potential environmental impact on the native ice cream cakes, it was concluded the risk was just too high. "Hot fudge doesn't grow on trees, you know," one organizer was quoted as saying, upon conditions of anonymity, which was judged by all to be a wise move because, according to another anonymous organizer "it was a stupid thing to say."
It turned out to be a moot point, as the temperature dropped in time for the ski competitions. In what has been called "crazy weird, eh?", the gold medals in all downhill ski events were awarded to one Gustav Zamboni, driver of that big tractor thing that smooths out the snow between events. This was due to the unfortunate fact that every single skier crashed and burned three feet out of the gate, leaving Zamboni as the only person to make it to the bottom of the hill upright. Rumors that Zamboni had laced the ski run with banana peels were later disproved, and I was warned with an armed escort out of the city if I didn't stop making up things like that.
No Olympics is complete without a scandal of some sort. Long-time fans will no doubt remember the Tonya Harding / Mothra battle which all but leveled Tokyo, or the Beijing Olympics where it was revealed that the Chinese Women's Gymnastics team was made up entirely of really bouncy embryos ("they're 14, we swear!").
These games are no exception. While there were attempts to hush it up, this reporter has learned that the German female bobsledding team was smuggling bratwurst into the country in their ginormous thighs. Canada has had laws against the import of animal byproducts masquerading as food since the dread "Ballpark Franks" epidemic of '96. The athletes involved were initially fined, but were later let off with a "we totally understand, we'd have done the same thing" when the brakeman, er, woman, er, scary lady who rides in the back with her head resting on the bum of the scary lady in front, muttered something about annexing Nova Scotia.
Of course, all American eyes were on Shaun White, the snow boarding savant who has the distinction of being coached by the known inventor of the fist bump. When the fist-bumping went on so long the coach inadvertently stepped on the board and joined Shaun on his quarter-final run, screaming like a girl and bumping his fist repeatedly against his head, judges deducted three-tenths of a point from their combined score, narrowing the gap between Shaun and his nearest competitor to a mere sixty three billion points.
Shaun was temporarily disappointed, however, when he learned that members of the Olympic Curling team were not, in fact, hairdressers, as he had hoped for a nationally ranked shampoo-set before returning to his home planet of Neptune. "Yeah, I'm kinda bummed about that," he said, "but at least they've kept the Olympic Village nice and tidy. Those guys are freaking animals with a broom."
In other Olympic news, Sven Kramer of the Netherlands was disqualified from, you know, that really long speed skating race - I think it's like a thousand miles or so - when, eight laps from the finish, his coach inexplicably ordered him to execute a quadruple axle /triple toe loop. Judge Chielle Frigidaire of France said in a press conference, "We don't know what that coach was thinking. We have never allowed quadruple jumps in speed skating. Have you seen those? They're HARD!"
As of this morning, Dutch response to the disaster was limited to the coach's neighbors tossing all of his wooden shoes into the canal, although the possibility of public execution has not been ruled out.
And finally, we turn our attention to figure skating, where for the first year since its inception, Ice Dancing was not so hideously boring it had tree sloths reaching for their cyanide pills. Experts agree that changing the rule prohibiting skaters from letting go of the wall has really improved the entertainment value of the sport. Famous American former Ice Dancer Tracy Wilson was hopeful that by the 2014 games, partners will be permitted to "hold hands" and "go kinda fast".
American skater Evan Lice-check or whatever received a Fans' Favorite commendation for being the athlete trying hardest to broadcast that he's not a sissy. There was some controversy surrounding his long program, where he planned to wrap himself in a live python and fire an AK-47 at the judges following a difficult sit-spin. Eventually he compromised, Bedazzling his costume with feathers and glittery fake snakes and stuffing teammate Johnny Weir into his locker. "Let 'em call me a girl now," Lycacek sneered over his apple-tini.
And that's all that has happened in the Olympics. Every single thing. Oh, wait, the U.S. beat Canada in hockey, which really frosted the Canadian fans. Some of them even raised their voices. It was pretty intense. And there was this Chinese skating couple who won a gold medal despite the fact that the woman was twice flung into the stands by her homicidal partner. And I'm pretty sure this Korean mega-star is going to win the gold in women's figure skating, if the rumor that she's actually the thirteenth incarnation of the mystical ice-bending avatar "Spin-Li" is to be believed.
At least, I hope folks believe it. I worked really hard on that one.