Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Wordy Wednesday: Not Playing

It occurred to me, as I went for my 15-mile run (to wind down after a strenuous workout at the gym), that the British Olympic Selectors had let the country down badly be not picking me to compete in the decathlon. Still, when the next one comes, I will be at my peak physically and mentally...

Don't worry, I'm not on anything - I've not even started drinking yet. I know you're used to being able to take my blog as gospel truth, but the above paragraph is of course completely made up and false, apart from the bit about them not selecting me. Unless they decide to make sloth an Olympic sport, I'm not likely to get picked either, and even then I suspect I wouldn't be a world champion at it. Those people who sit around and get so fat that they have to get people to knock down walls and winch them around if they need to go anywhere would be getting all the medals. If they could work out how to get them to the stadium.

Thousands of years ago, the Ancient Greeks had a big competition. They used to gather every four years, strip naked, cover themselves in olive oil, and participate in sports such as running marathons, throwing the discus, and wrestling (the olive oil was particularly useful, making it harder for your opponent to rip sensitive parts of your anatomy off, or gouge your eyes out).

The whole thing probably looked ridiculous, and so it didn't really catch on anywhere else. Until a couple of thousand years later, people decided it had actually been rather a good idea, and decided to revive it. Luckily, they'd invented shorts by then.

Anyway, I'm sure that the whole spirit of competition and stuff is great, but personally, sport isn't my thing, so I won't be participating in the great viewing marathon. Although, in addition to their athletes, Cyprus has sent this chap to Peking:

He's one of their champion pianists, and he will be playing at a concert during the Olympics. I suspect, however, that they won't interrupt the swimming and basket ball for live coverage of the piano playing.

Talking of live coverage, my favourite TV channel has had to stop broadcasting on the internet for the duration of the games, due to legal issues. They will apparently still be on between 6 and 7.15 my time so I can get my usual fix of the news, but yesterday they didn't remember to turn the streaming on until half-way through.

Another non-participant is my favourite newsreader, who in addition to having weekends and public holidays off, also appears to get leave, presumably for her summer holidays. Not that the other newsreaders aren't perfectly good at their jobs, it's just not the same.

In order that the athletes are able to breathe in Peking, they've closed down all sorts of industry, so a lot of the people presumably aren't working. I hope they still pay them.

Oh well, in a couple of weeks it will all be over, and everything and everyone can start working again...


Bee said...


or as Dan says firts!

Bee said...

You had me going! I really thought you were sweating.

I was reading about Greek culture and I have to admit to being a little DISTURBED by some of the things they used to do. Where it was okay for a wealthy male suitor to befriend a young boy. YECK!

I am told by a friend who married a Greek that men still consider it okay to um, you know, another guy as long as they are the ones doing the pole vault IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

Okay. Enough about The Olympics.

catscratch said...

I wish I was off for the Olympics, not that I'd be watching, but it would give me some time to relax and do nothing at all.

Sully Sullivan said...

Yeah I read an article about the ancient Olympic games. EVERYONE had to be naked. That's both intense and disgusting.

It's a wonder how they never had a longest dick event.

Sully Sullivan said...

Yeah I read an article about the ancient Olympic games. EVERYONE had to be naked. That's both intense and disgusting.

It's a wonder how they never had a longest dick event.

for a different kind of girl said...

I've watched a bit of the Olympics this year. Sure, these are some athletes in peak form, but for the most part, very few of them do I wish to catch a peek of without the clothes on.

Except maybe those male swimmers. That would be ok.

Jean Knee said...

I like the olympics. And I would so beat your ass in the sloth category. giving them a flash of the craft hoard would put me over the top. over the top my friend

Brian o vretanos said...


Hmmm, I suspect I'm far to innocent to know what you mean...


If the capital of China during the Olympics sounds relaxing, you must be having a hard time of it.


The Greeks always exercised naked, but this was mainly just men. I remember a funny passage in Plato's Republic where he says that the fact that women don't work or fight is a terrible waste of labour, and whilst of course a woman could never be as good as a man, in an ideal society they ought to keep fit. However, he says, this would take some getting used to because it would mean seeing women naked in public, and not just the young attractive ones, but the old wrinkly ones too...


And I'm not in a hurry to see gristly muscle-bound and flat-chested female athletes either...

Jean Knee:

That's fighting talk. I'll see you at the next Games, and we'll find out...

Bee said...

Yeah, people are always saying how my mind is in the gutter while everybody else is/are innocent little lambs.

Brian o vretanos said...


That reminds me of "Rear Window", when Thelma Ritter says something gruesome about the murder cutting up his wife. The others look at her, shocked, and she says "Well, that's what we're all thinking".

Tracy said...

Ohhhhh Say Can You Seeeeee
Who is eleventhunnthhhh
For So Proudly We Hailed
It was the magnificant Tracy!!!

Tracy said...

I just broke out my creative side on you Brian. You're welcome!

Tracy said...

When I read that first part about the nakedness, I got this mental image of these shiny men running around all nakes with their wobbly bits jiggling all the way.
I can only imagine that it wasn't a pretty sight.
Maybe that's the reason it didn't catch on.

Tracy said...

Or maybe that's what inspired the person who invented shorts to invent them.
Wobbly bits are not a pretty sight.

Bee said...

OMG TRACY!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I am laughing SO hard!!!!!

Kat said...

The good ole Olympics. No dope-no hope!

Brian o vretanos said...


You sang that beautifully, thankyou.


That's another problem with the olympics - they're pushing so far on the boundaries of human achievement that they can't do any better without drugs. Which is pointless. I'm faster that all the runners. In my car.

Dan said...

Are you saying that it's okay to pitch but not to catch? EEEEEWWWWWW
Not that there's anything wrong with that........who am I kidding? EEEEEWWWWWWWWW

There're several women events that I would like to see naked, vollyball, gymnastics...strike that I just remembered the girls are like eleven.
Running, swiming actually I think all the events would be better to watch naked.
I'm watching vollyball naked now, sitting on my leather couch.

Brian o vretanos said...


I don't imagine that the spectators were expected to go naked - after all, they'd have to carry their ice-cream money, tickets, etc.