Scott Free

Scott Peterson

I keep trying to imagine the ancient Greeks watching badminton in the Olympics. They’d be laughing at us.

Is that a sport? And they’d say things like, “You already had volleyball, so why have beach volleyball? You already had basketball, so what gives with three-on-three basketball?” Why not have guys sitting in folding chairs at the end of the court throwing balls at the hoop at the opposite end? Call it one-on-one and pass around the medals so everyone gets one!

Is there no one left who can say no anymore? It’s like decorating our Christmas tree every year. What could one additional ornament hurt, right? Until the tree is sagging under the weight of them all.

I mean they even have skateboarding, complete with a fake urban environment that looks like a video game. You wonder if the ancient Greeks were here, they’d throw a hammer at the thing and say no, this is not Olympics.

I don’t want to meddle in the medal business, but it does seem to be like I could have made a game like my sisters and I played growing up. Can you walk completely around the living room on top of furniture without stepping on the floor? We played it routinely, much to my mother’s chagrin. We were ahead of our time!

Maybe I should get an Olympic medal for safely navigating so skillfully with a remote through the cable television, over-the-air and streaming stations and online options to catch all the nearly unlimited Olympic coverage coming out of Tokyo.

They can show a picture of Nancy in our home sitting on our coach and applauding as I flip stations so adroitly to keep from watching commercials.

And what about a medal for Nancy? Leading up to this moment, she cooked a main entrée and four side dishes and dessert for us, and had everything ready so we could eat before the Olympic games came on the television. And it tasted good on top of it! I think that deserves at least a green triangle! And, you know, why not a separate sport for mothers with big families: Mothers-of-5-or-more cooking! They deserve it!

Nancy could also earn gold for changing the sheets, doing all the laundry, fertilizing the garden, scrubbing the bathroom and finishing a pastel painting in a single day!

There has to be some kind of medal, too, for me for getting up early on a Saturday morning to get the oil changed, stop at the liquor store, pick up a week’s worth of groceries, drop by the bank and pick up a prescription at the pharmacy, buying sweetcorn at a roadside stand and getting back home by noon to take my wife out to lunch! You laugh, but the bronze medalist took until 1 p.m. This isn’t easy, you know. I had to make sacrifices. There was hours of planning and years or practice just to get the schedule this close.

C’mon, do I at least get the breathless interview by some wide-eyed reporter who can’t get over my prowess? Or how about a graphic simulation, tracking my moves with GPS so they can be replayed for a nation hanging on every turn?

I mean what is next cribbage? Bocce ball? Sheepshead? Rock-paper-scissors? Cue the Olympic theme song!

Maybe an office Olympics measuring how many sheets of paper can be held together with a single staple? How about how long can you write with a pen before either your hand or the ink gives out? How many glasses of water can you drink at the water cooler before you need to hit the restroom? How many spins on the office chair before you get so dizzy you fall off? How about three-on-three with guys in wheeled chairs guarding the “goals” in their cubicles to keep “the enemy” from tossing a crumbled up ball into their wastebasket.

Answer: Medal, medal, medal, medal and, for sure, a medal!

My goodness, even our baking flour somehow is wearing a gold medal. And not just one. It must have been a tie, because every bag on the shelf at the grocery has one.

You can see the day coming when there are no Olympics at all. It will all be virtual.

They will play them all as video games and we will all sit on our phones and watch other people play games on their phones, and it will not only be call fun, but Olympic fun! Pass around a virtual bowl of medals and enjoy!

I think Andy Warhol was not quite right when he said that in the future everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. What he meant to say is that in the future everyone will be a gold medal winner. You’re darned right. I just turned off the lights when I left the room. That has to count for something, right? If my dad were alive, he’d appreciate it anyway. I would not get the medal though; he would tell me I would need a chest to pin the medal on.

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