You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's All Downhill for the Lynx

As the 2010 Winter Games nears its end, one stinging question still hangs over Vancouver like an out-of-date slab of back bacon: Where are all the animal competitors?

Before you think I've finally fallen for one of PETAs latest crackpot marketing ploys*, let me assure you that I'm merely referring to the scandalous refusal of the International Olympic Committee to allow willing animal competitors to participate in the Games.  Who wouldn't want to see penguins in the skeleton competition?  They're so clever, they wouldn't even need sleds. What about polar bears in the skating events?  They're at home on the ice and let's see how physical those short track skaters are with a hungry Ursus maritimus gliding alongside them. Finally, how about lynx in the alpine skiing events? "Lynx?" you sniff, inbetween goblets of Ch√Ęteau Margaux and toast points slathered in sevruga caviar.  Yes, lynx, you effette snobs.

As it turns out, the lynx are highly interested in the downhill event. A lynx was spotted checking out the downhill course the week prior to the start of the Olympics. Luckily, I was able to contact his agent and set up a phone interview.** 

Earl: Thanks for agreeing to this interview... um, I didn't catch your name.

Lynx: Lynx.

Earl: Lynx the Lynx?

Lynx: Yes, that's right, but you can just call me Lynx.

Earl: Isn't it a bit strange to be named Lynx?

Lynx: Nah, we're all called Lynx.  Simplifies things.

(long pause)

Earl: Well, okay! So ...Lynx.

Lynx: Yes?

Earl: What were you doing on the course the Wednesday before the games?

Lynx: I was checking out the turns in the middle part of the course.

Earl: Because... ?

Lynx: Well, I wanted to see how steep the gradients were going into each turn and whether or not they'd be drastically affected by any sudden wet snows or temperature changes. With an El Nino effect, it's pretty unlikely we'll see consistent, packed snow throughout the games.

Earl: Fascinating. (Cautiously) And ...this was ...because?

Lynx: (Patiently) Because I didn't want to fall down on my short-tailed butt when I was skiing in the competition.  Man, you're slow on the uptake for a biped.

Earl: You were planning on skiing in the competition?

Lynx: Did I stutter? Yes, you goof.  I was entered for Canada. Downhill and Super-G.

Earl: I thought the Canadian team was decided upon and was, well... human.

Lynx: I was the first alternate.

Earl: Okaaaaay. So, why did you run off the course so erratically when you were spotted?

Lynx: Element of surprise, mister opposable thumbs, element of surprise.  If the Austrians, Yanks, and Germans knew I was in the competition, they'd start digging up mountain goats, pumas, bears, ducks, yak, koalas, and screech owls, and then where would the advantage be?

Earl: What exactly is the advantage of being a lynx in alpine skiing?

Lynx: I handle the jumping easily, and I can dig those claws in on the tight turns.

Earl: Shouldn't you be digging the skis in, instead?

Lynx: You're a real know-it-all for a comedy blogger. I mean my top claws. Helps me get around the gates.

Earl: Fine. So you never did get to compete.

Lynx: Nah, everyone was healthy.  I thought about savaging someone so they'd have to let me ski, but my conscience would bother me too much. I took the Olympic Oath, you know.

Earl: Really?  I didn't see you at the Opening Ceremonies.

Lynx: Well, I couldn't just march in with the rest of the team.  No, I was disguised in a moose costume.

Earl: A moose? You're not that big.

Lynx: I had lifts on.

(Long pause)

Lynx: Really big lifts.

Earl: So, what's the future for non-human participation in the Olympics?

Lynx: I figure by mid-century all the major sporting nations will have at least 50% of their athletes from various parts of the animal kingdom.

Earl: What makes you so confident?

Lynx: Well, we've threatened to eat the federation officials if they don't agree.

Earl: Now, that's negotiation leverage.

Lynx: No, we're just really hungry all the time.  We may eat them anyway.

Earl: Remind me to stay out of the sporting business.

Lynx: Stay out of the sporting business.

Earl: OK, I will.

* For one thing, PETA would never let the fragile little dears near anything that smacks of competition, lest they be "exploited." For another, I'm contemplating this while digesting the tasty 1/3 lb. burger I cooked earlier this evening.
** For my own safety, of course. Given my diet, I frequently smell like bacon or burgers, and there are many members of the lynx community who couldn't resist taking a nibble out of me.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Update

In today's Winter Olympics update we look at a couple of faux paus sticken performances from Vancouver. The first involves the Russian Ice Dancing duo of Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin whose Aboriginal themed dance drew the ire of local Aboriginal leaders and those from their home country.

Canadian aboriginal leader Ugulu "Moosebite" Shaw took great offense at the aboriginal garb and outdated face paint. "I mean, come on eh, what year do these hosers think it is, 1997? We stopped wearing that sort of thing ages ago, and I mean, you could freeze your keister off this time of year in a get up like that. The face paint is ridiculous, that stuff would be smeared off after one visit to Tim Hortons."

In a posting to their Twitter account the National Canadian Aboriginal Association wrote,

"Don't miss any of the Big Monday action as UConn takes on..."
whoops sorry, wrong NCAA,

"What a bunch of Russian keener's eh, FWIW we at the NCAA must say FTL because
IOX it is a bunch of hockey pucks. We are raising a protest with the IOC board of governors and will be sure to let them know"

The next tweet was something about an ice fishing tournament sponsored by Molson in Skagway. Needless to say other skaters were on their watch keenly aware that all eyes were on them awaiting another slight against a people group. Stay tuned tomorrow for updates on Johnny Weir's Al Jolson inspired routine.

In other news from the games, the Denmark curling team will potentially lodge a protest over the Canadian fans' rowdy behaviour during their latest match. "It is with abject horror that I watched the latest match between our women's curling team and the side from Canada," said Lord Stonely of Swishingdon head of Denmark's curling alliance. "Do these savages not understand that curling is a gentleman's game." When reached for comment Ted Wilson with the Canadian curling alliance took things in stride, "Somebody tell old Swishy to get a life eh. I realize he is a hero of some elderly renown, I mean h.o.s.e.r, but he needs to understand when you've got 5000 Molson swilling Canucks at a sporting event... I mean come on."

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bum-Bum-Da-Bum-Bum, Bum-Bum-Da-Bum-Bum

It's Winter Olympics time and so engrossed have I been with curling and ski pole dancing (a demonstration event at these games, or so I've been told) I've neglected to blog about the exciting events.  So, if you've been too busy following l'affairs Tigre or unimportant things like politics and government, here are a few updates and capsules to give you a fresh and spicy taste of the Vancouver Games.*

  • The International Figure Skating Federation removed the Lambada from their compulsories, claiming that it "wasn't trendy enough any more." However, the Macarena, Hustle, and Funky Chicken still required components of the compulsory dance.  In a related story, dancers will no longer be automatically be disqualified for "wardrobe malfunctions," as the Federation feels this will "jack up the television ratings."
  • In response to audience demand, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was considering combining ice skating, baseball, and mixed martial arts into a single sport.  These plans fell through though when the Committee realized they had such a sport at the Games already: ice hockey.
  • Four man Bobsled USA Team II was accused of using an illegal propulsion unit on their sled, when flames were seen coming out of the back of the sled during a practice run.  The controversy was settled quickly when the USA driver Crash Slipalot revealed that "the guys in back were just clowning around during that run and lighting farts."  This also resolved the mystery of reports from the Russia II team, who had reported the smell of burning borsch on the track.  It turns out they had been following the USA II team in the practice order.
  • Cross-country skiers have had to deal with unusually warm weather for Vancouver. Temperatures have climbed into the 50's (F) forcing the race organizers to have snow trucked in to the course. This has made endurance difficult for the racers. As one racer explained, "It's really hard to keep your heart rate down when you're breathing in all those truck fumes from in front of you."
  • Biathlon competitors were faced with unusual difficulties when they discovered that the biathlon shooting range was right alongside the ski-jumping venue.  Several biathletes had their shooting distracted by the ski-jumping in the background. This problem was compounded when a group of rowdy Canadian and American fans started shouting "Pull!" every time a ski-jumper came into view.  Fortunately, injuries have been limited to grazes.  In a related story, ski-jumping distances are down at these games, due to the warmer weather and bullet holes in a majority of the skis.
  • Olympic officials have been especially stung by accusations that they are changing events solely for television ratings.  In particular, they have stood by their decision to change Ice Dancing to Ice Dancing with the Stars, and have emphasized that Emmitt Smith, Cloris Leachman, and Donny Osmond are world-class ice people.
  • Anticipated viewership for the Women's Super-G skiing event went down significantly after the IOC put out several press releases emphasizing that that the name of the event had nothing to do with the outfits in which the participants would be skiing.

* As seen through the haze of someone who's rapidly becoming too obsessed with skips, hammers, hoglines, ticks, and other curling lingo** to pay attention to much else.
** Anyone else notice that curling lingo is also very similar to backwoods, anti-social loner lingo?

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