A day of atonement for men.
Yes it's that time of your life again. If you are a married man, or have a girlfriend of any length of time, it's payback time.
Remember those hours and hours of Toronto/Tampa baseball game highlights that you forced her to sit through to see if Carl Crawford got a stolen base, for the 3 hours you made her watch the Hula Bowl to gauge NFL draft picks that she will never get back, for every six year old WWF replay on TNT that you paused on for those 30 extra seconds during commercial break surfing that made her miss a few seconds of Everybody Loves Raymond.
Today the bill becomes due.
You will have to watch female gymnastics.
And you will have to sit there and shut up and not get within 10 feet of the remote. And most importantly, you will have to like it.
But do not despair. With these little bits of information, you will be able to make it through the night while resisting the urge to reach through your television set and grabbing whatever passes for Bob Costas's spine through his throat and pulling it out of his mouth. I need to point out at this time, that I do not understand female gymnastics as a sporting event. It is phenomenaol what these women can do and the mind does tend to wnader into innappropriate areas (more on that later) but the judging of the event remains a complete mystery. As far as I can tell, the judges are supposed to focus only on whether the competitors stick the final landing and stay in bounds. Exactly what transpires in between does not seem to matter that much, especially if the competitor keeps their legs together. Please do not give give me any further insight into this. I am fine wallowing in my ignorance.
The good news is that the new "do or die" format is sure to cause some serious cracking in these tiny little prima donnas. Unlike past Olympics, the women's team event will feature each team sending up three women to each apparatus for a do or die performance. Every score counts and so the liklihood of little princess breakdown is immense. Not to wish misfortune on any competitor mind you, but, much like the car crashes in a NASCAR event, there is nothing wrong with watching the makeup crack and the full body shivers of a tiny distraught gymnast.
As far as the American team goes, know this now, you simply have to root for them or else. That is not negotiable with your wife. There can be no objectvity or sincere appraisal of ther performance. Every 9.5 should be a 9.7. Every bobble should be ignored. And if, god forbid any of them accidently step out of bounds on the floor exercise, you must rail against the stupdity of the rule that forces the judges to detract points for stepping 2 inches away from where they should have. They will probably not win, they should medal, but know that anything less than first means they have been robbed. (Extra super bonus points from the wife if you can somehow blame Bush for this.)
You will not be able recognize any of the American female gymnasts, so don't even try. There are about a dozen Courtney's, 8 Carly's and three Brittney's. If you can distinguish betwixt them then you are a better man than I. If you desperately feel the need to drop some knowledge on the spouse for points, one gymnast who can be spotted is Mohini Bhardwaj, who has an Indian parent. On the plus side, it is fun to chant Mohini! Mohini! Mohini!
The biggest threats to the tiny American queens of the gym are the Russian, Romanian and Chinese teams. The Russian chick to watch is Svetlana Khorkina. She is in her mid twenties, is in her 13th olympic games and aspires to be Paris Hilton. She has been in the games so long that in every one of her routines she performs at least one move that is named after her. Point this out to the wife while watching. Trust me. Then later, after the broadcast, you can ask your wife if you two can try out a "Khorkina" or two. It should be a grab bag of fun. Most interesting about Khorkina, however, is what she has going on in her pelvic region. This is probably a point best kept to yourself while watching. Now I don't pretend to be an expert at the technology of the the women's gymanstics leotard, but I am fairly certain that it should leave a little something to the imagination. Not so with Khorkina, who may have gotten some sort of promotional deal from a waxer in Moscow to sport her skin tight ensemble.
The Romania Team is simply fascinating. Somehow the Romanians have mastered malnutrition and genetics to create a master race of tiny little women who are immune to effects of puberty. One of them is 35 if she is a day, but because of the Arnold Drummond/Webster gene she is only 4'2', and 75 pounds. When puberty does eventually hit her it will be with the force of a freight train roaring through her loins.
Keep your eye on the Chinese team. First and foremost don't be distracted by how much fun it seems they are having. Whatever you do don't get sucked in by their genuine smiles and vivacious demeanor. Or the fact that, unlike every other team, they actually look their age. It is all a communist conspiracy to win hearts and minds of soft Americans. Also, I am pretty sure that only two of these girls are actually competing in the events. After each exercise they all hug and mix together and surreptiously exchange numbers then the same chick comes out to do another routine.
The bad news is that this event will be stretched over 8 hours tonight mixed in with about a thousand commercials for feminine hygiene products. The worse news is that in two days you will have to sit through the whole thing all over again for the women's all around and the individual disciplines.
There is a silver lining, however, if you survive the event, you will have bought yourself a two year reprieve until the women's figure skating in the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
A day of atonement for men.