Our household has watched more television in this past week than in the preceding four years. It’s Olympics time, and like most other American households we’ve been glued to the games at every available moment. The overexposure to the games is beginning to get to me.
It’s the announcers. They are affecting my life, and it isn’t pretty. To ensure the events generate the maximum amount of excitement for the viewers they are narrated by people who are specially trained in the use of superlatives. I’m guessing all network announcers for the Olympic Games possess at least one post-graduate degree in superlative adverb and adjective management. The truly sad thing about it is the condition is contagious, and after the past week I’ve started talking just like them.
Me: “I’d have to say that toast was nonpareil. Yours was an unexcelled effort in the flawless spreading of the butter, the perfect diagonal slicing of the bread and exquisite presentation. It culminated in an immaculate setting of the plate. You nailed it. This has truly been the paragon of culinary experiences. May I have some more coffee? It stands alone on the podium as the standard by which all other coffees are judged, with its scintillating bouquet, its unmatched body, its…”
Mrs. Poynor: “You’ve had enough.”
Of course, things have gotten complicated because there’s never just one announcer. Two faceless voices narrate every aspect of every event. The combination of my compulsion to emulate the announcers with every word I speak and the fact there are always two of them makes for an almost schizoid atmosphere around the house. The other night, during the luge competition and with only sixty seconds of break time in which to make the round trip to the bathroom, things got a little weird.
|Loo run seat penalty!|
Me announcer #1: “No doubt about it, Bob. This is going to be a tough run.”
Me announcer #2: “You can say that again, Pat. Poynor is poised to come off the couch. He’s got the best couch launch I’ve ever seen. He can shoot from sitting to full stride faster than any other guy on the block. He is acknowledged as the epitome of loo runners.”
Me announcer #1: “Yeah, if he’s got one problem area, it’s his turn. Wait. Here comes the break... AND HE’S OFF!”
Me announcer #2: “Look at that acceleration, Pat! He cleared the coffee table and was into the hairpin around the end table before the duck even got out his first ‘AFLAC’! He’s like a Titan rocket!”
Me announcer #1: “He’s in the loo for the turn. And now he’s out, heading back into the living room. Wait, Bob! He didn’t put the seat back down!”
Me announcer #2: “A seat penalty! Tough break, Pat! Poynor has to make up some time for that, and it looks like he’s going for a... a... YES! A JUMP RESEAT! Right over the back of the couch, and into position before the Olympic song played.”
Me announcer #1 (practically screeching): “An unbelievable effort! As he cleared the back, he twisted to catch the chips when they bounced. Poynor showed incredible coordination on that gutsy move. He must have picked up two-tenths. If it hadn’t been for that unfortunate seat penalty, we’d be looking at a new record. What control! What poise! What conditioning! What…”
Mrs. Poynor: “What crap! Shut up and watch the games.”
I managed to hold it together and keep my mouth shut until the figure skating came on. Mrs. Poynor is mesmerized by figure skating. She sacrifices sleep to ooh and ahh her way through every performance. Her eyes never leave the screen until there is a commercial break. Her passion and excitement were too much for me, and my inner announcers escaped when she made a dash for the kitchen.
Me announcer #1: Georgia-Carlene is next. She will be skating into the kitchen to the fast beats of the Chevy Cruze ad. What a great entry! Maximum points for that entry.”
Me announcer #2: “You mean the way she held her arms straight out, Scott?”
|Great crippled toe whoop form!|
Me announcer #1: “No, it was the way she didn’t fall down. She’s continuing the slide, slipping by the sink, tripping over the rug, and spilling her soda. A beautiful triple klutz! And it looks like she’s following up with a Johnson’s wax slide with a slippery spin. And now... oh my God, I don’t believe it! A CRIPPLED TOE WHOOP! She really nailed it! Right there on the corner of the bottom cupboard. You could almost hear that puppy crack!”
Me announcer #2: “Was that a compulsory move, Scott?”
Me announcer #1: “No, just something extra she threw into her bonus time. She’s wailing now! She’s gone into a sits/spin. Good rocking motion. Stupendous emotion. Nobody does a crippled toe whoop and sits/spin combo like Georgia-Carlene. You can almost feel her pain.”
Me announcer #2: “Indeed, a truly memorable performance.”
In the final analysis, the Sochi Winter Olympics have been educational for me. Until just very recently, I had no idea duct tape was involved.