Thursday, August 19, 2004

La La La I can't Hear You

A thousand apologies for the acute posting malaise. But unlike your normal, benign posting syndrome, I'm currently suffering from a particularly rabid strain that only pops up every 4 years. You could call it Olympic Fever, but in the age of the internet, there are new symptoms that aggravate the disorder to an unprecedented degree.

As any Olympic-watching freak knows, all Olympic moments don't actually take place between 8pm and midnight EDT, and I'm sorry to say, aren't all actually narrated by Bob Costas in real time. This was never a problem for, say, Barcelona '92. We just went through our day, watched the NBC coverage in the evening, and clipped out photos the next day of our current Olympic crush. (I had it bad for Tommy Moe in '94. Went so far as to compare our relationship to the far more laughable and immature relationships my friends were having with their real-life boyfriends. I was a freshman. And I was sad with a capital S!)

Anyway, so round about Nagano '98, the cursed Internet came along and ruined my life. The time difference was too much and a innocent act such as checking the weather on the internet during the day caused my unbelieving eyes to see headlines that utterly RUINED the upcoming NBC broadcast. Suspense was shattered, days were jumbled, and my Olympic moments were ruined.

You don't have to get burned too many times before you learn your lesson. So for the two weeks of Olympic games, I go into Total Information Blackout. I'm not messing around. Cotton stuffed in ears, websites of newspapers completely off-limits, local and national TV news broadcasts shunned like a motherless child. Even friends must be treated with suspicion. You are safe nowhere. Around every bend is someone waiting to ruin your Olympic moment. Hell, even at Pub Quiz, somebody's team name was a spoiler. But I heard "Michael Phelps..." and the hands dutifully clapped over the ears, and I was none the wiser.

Because of my great aforementioned ear-clapping reflexes, I got chills last night when I watched Paul Hamm battle back from ignominy and defeat to pull off an amazing comeback and win an improbable, unprecedented gold for the U.S. I yelped along with him when they told him he'd won gold, because just like him, I didn't already know. I watched my gals on the 4X200 shatter the oldest world record in swimming, and I was in delicious suspense when the men's 4X200 came down to the last, agonizing inches to determine gold.

I have No Idea what is happening outside Athens city limits. Iraq? shrug. The presidential campaign? Don't look at me. For two weeks, all this is white noise. If it's not about the triumph of the human will over adversity and rippling torsos, then count me out, buster.


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