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BS: Olympic Humor

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SINSULL 15 Feb 02 - 11:03 AM
gnu 15 Feb 02 - 11:18 AM
Sorcha 15 Feb 02 - 11:28 AM
jeffp 15 Feb 02 - 01:52 PM
Dead Horse 16 Feb 02 - 02:42 AM
gnu 16 Feb 02 - 06:18 PM
Hrothgar 17 Feb 02 - 07:32 AM
SINSULL 17 Feb 02 - 11:52 AM
The Walrus 17 Feb 02 - 06:55 PM

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Subject: Olympic Humor
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 11:03 AM

My nephew writes an online column mostly for friends and relatives. Thought some of you might be amused. For those of you not amused, PM me and I will provide his email 63ress.

Neither Here Nor There Vol. 2 Issue 17

Up Yours, People

Every four years or so the world puts all of its differences aside, sits down on its collective couch, cracks open a collective beer, watches about four minutes of figure skating, realizes how boring that crap is, and goes back to fighting. Yes, the Winter Olympics are upon us once again and, like a burlap sack covered in crazy glue, we're going to have a tough time getting them off.

Maybe I sound a little bitter. I know, right now you're thinking, "He didn't make the Olympic gymnastics team last year, so he has every right to be mad at the Summer Games, but what did the Winter Olympics ever do to him? Also, where are my keys?"

First off, your keys are behind the radiator in the bathroom. You threw them there last night after drinking three glasses of absinthe and deciding to break all the windows in your house because they "don't know how good they have it."

Second, while it is true that my summer of training did not pay off and I was denied a spot on the Olympic gymnastics team, my bitterness toward the Winter Games stems from an entirely different incident.

In 1988, I was touring with the popular performing group 'Up With People.' As smiley dancer #3, I had to shoulder a lot of responsibility. One screw-up, one missed line, one pirouette out of turn, one sequin out of place, and the whole show could fall apart. Sure, there was pressure, but I thrived on it.

I don't know how many endless nights of practice, collagen injections and pulled hamstrings I had to endure to make it through that world tour. But looking back, I wouldn't change a thing since all of our hard work paid off when we were invited to perform at the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary.

I was thrilled. This was going to be my big break. Once I had this performance under my belt, I knew it would just be a matter of time before Hollywood, Broadway and possibly the Grand Old Opry would start beating down my door. But alas, it was not to be.

To make sure our Olympic performance came off without a hitch, we were going to have to make a few changes.

The first change had to involve our name. Just calling ourselves 'Up With People' wasn't going to work because there was another group slated to perform called 'Up Yours, People,' a Fame-esque dance troupe from Brooklyn. The names were too close, confusion would have ensued. So we had to do some serious thinking.

This being the late 80's, many people were briefly concerned about the environment. Hoping to capitalize on the short-lived popularity of caring, we wanted to do some kind of recycling or animal-rights-themed program. Since a recycling dance would have been too difficult to pull off (picture a thousand people dressed as tin cans and soda bottles flinging themselves into a giant singing, pulsating dumpster… we would have gone way over budget) we decided to go with the animal theme, and what better animal than a bird. So we became 'Up With People: A Salute to Parrots.'

Practice was hard. There was a lot of work involved in learning a new routine in just a few weeks time. But the people of Calgary, no, the people of the world, deserved our best. And we were determined not to disappoint. So we strapped on our green feathered, over-sized parrot wings, and wore our plastic beaks with pride the night of the opening ceremonies. Truly, it was our time to shine.

Things started out fine. Thirteenth on the bill, we patiently waited our turn. And when it came, our music hit with that trademark 'Up With People' techno beat and the soulful lyrics: "Polly Wanna, Uh, Uh, Uh, Yeah! Polly Wanna, Uh, Uh, Uh, Yeah! Polly Wanna Get Down!"

Bang. I was in the zone. Step, step, kick, kick. Step, kick, step, kick, spin. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was unstoppable. I was Jennifer Biels, Michael Flateley and MC Hammer all rolled into one. I was transcendent. I was a study in precision flapping. I was… I was… I was not paying enough attention.

Fireworks were going off overhead, exploding into parrot-shaped constellations. But unbeknownst to me, an errant firework was headed straight for us. As a consummate professional, I was letting nothing distract me from the task at hand so, naturally, the stray explosive hit me on the side of the head, igniting my Jeri Curl in a dazzling array of oranges, reds, mauves and faint, blink-and-you'll-miss-it teals.

As I ran screaming, frantically beating my head with my comically large green wings, I began to hear a sound, building softly at first and then gaining momentum until it seemed to wash over the entire stadium. It was laughter. Those idiot Canadians thought my cranial pyrotechnics were part of the show. To them, I was just some sort of combustible Carmen Miranda, flaming and gyrating for their amusement.

Even the public address announcer was getting in on the act. "Look at that little guy go, eh? He's with the American group 'Up With People: A Salute to Parrots.' Parrots, eh, looks more like he's from 'Phoenix.' Ha ha!"

Looking back, that joke was actually pretty funny, though I had trouble appreciating it at the time.

I ran from person to person, pleading for assistance, a bottle of Perrier, anything. But the beak over my face had melted from the heat, so all I could get out was "squawk, squawk," which didn't help my efforts to convince people that this was not part of the show. In fact, the only assistance I got was from the dancers in 'Up Yours, People' who beat me with large, fiberglass pizza slices after a spark from my head set their paper-mache sculpture of John Travolta ablaze. Unfortunately, their beatings only succeeded in spreading the fire to my wings.

Still running and begging for help, I spotted a large white cauldron on top of a raised platform. Thinking there was a chance that it was filled with water, I headed straight for it as fast as my blazing wings would take me. Praying that sweet relief was just seconds away, I ran up the steps and launched myself into the air.

I awoke to find myself in the burn unit at Calgary General, which qualifies as a hospital only because people sometimes die inside its walls. Standing at my bedside were my good friends Cristo, the 'Up With People' choreographer, Sylvester Stallone, action superstar, and for some reason, Betty White of Golden Girls fame.

They gently explained that the cauldron I had dived into had been filled not with water, but with natural gas. Unwittingly, I had lit the Olympic torch with my flaming head.

Neil Young, famous Canadian and intended torch lighter, has never forgiven me for stealing his thunder.

More later Sullivan

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Subject: RE: BS: Olympic Humor
From: gnu
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 11:18 AM

Neil Young was the intended torch lighter ? Was there a big set of hot knives there ?

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Subject: RE: BS: Olympic Humor
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 11:28 AM

I love it!

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Subject: RE: BS: Olympic Humor
From: jeffp
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 01:52 PM

Brilliant!!! I loved it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Olympic Humor
From: Dead Horse
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 02:42 AM

After consultation with the French judge, the Gold goes to The Igor Bliminski Formation Nudists Leapfrog Team. The parrot got silver.

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Subject: RE: BS: Olympic Humor
From: gnu
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 06:18 PM

Irish bobsled team ? IRISH BOBSLED TEAM ? Jamaicans I can understand, but what the hell are the Irish smoking ? It must be for a lark, no ?

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Subject: RE: BS: Olympic Humor
From: Hrothgar
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 07:32 AM

You still can't beat the real world. There was the Aussie speed skater, stone motherless last - and everybody in front of him fell over!

Australia's first gold medal at a Winter Olympics!

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Subject: RE: BS: Olympic Humor
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 11:52 AM

Slow and steady wins the race - Aesop.

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Subject: RE: BS: Olympic Humor
From: The Walrus
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 06:55 PM

Yeah, but getting the opposition drunk helps.

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