Harley Hay

Harley Hay: Olympics for everyone

Finally! Something decent to watch on the boob tube (which these heady days I’m figuring is any screen including iPads, laptops, desktops, phones and other tube boobery). Everywhere you click or swipe or type, you’ll find a screen full of relatively young, excruciatingly fit and impossibly determined athletic humans competing for global glory and prototypical personal achievement in the iconic Olympic Games.

I’m a big fan – I always appreciate a good excuse to avoid various chores and work and fresh air in favour of watching people on TV using up more energy in one event than I’ve had in the sum total of my entire life. I really enjoy marveling at incredible achievement of fellow humans in anything and everything including the Guinness World Record for Cycling Backward While Playing a Violin or a silver medal by our awesome Red Deer swimmer, Rebecca Smith, and the sheer diversity of sport and the world-dominating acts of athleticism found in the Olympic Games every four years really takes the cake. Or, perhaps, in this case, really takes the fruits and vegetables.

But while we may rejoice in the amazing achievement of Olympic athletes from the safety of our well-worn chesterfields many of us are way past even thinking about any challenging activity such as a trip from the family room to the fridge, or (heaven forbid) a slow stump around the block. I know I am.

But many of us are still competitive and game to go, if only in our hearts and minds. So I’m thinking there should be an Olympic Games for us regular folk. For everyday non-buff, non-driven, non-talented people. “The Everyone Olympics” if you will.

I’m thinking we could start with events like:

l Solo Dishwasher Unloading. A timed event, with a qualified, impartial judge (no spouses allowed) to rate the placement of dishes and cutlery in cupboards and drawers. Penalties for breaking anything.

l Team Mowing. Men’s, Women’s and Mixed divisions. Two competitors per team – one mowing the front lawn, the other, raking, bagging and weedeating. Fastest three pairs vie for Gold, Silver and Bronze accordingly, with bonus points awarded for leaving attractive mowing patterns.

l Speed Remote: Co-ed teams. Male competitors must cleanly change as many TV channels as possible in one minute, while female partners must recall as many revealed programs as possible. Points deducted for pairs arguing with each other over the clicker.

l SUV Marathon: The family athlete driver (together with four children, either related or borrowed) must sequentially and continually drop-off, pick up and drop off kids to soccer, dance lessons, baseball, swimming, music lessons, sleepovers and Sylvan Lake in under four hours. Bio breaks not included.

l Breakfast Relay: Competitor #1 starts the waffles, tags #2, who begins frying the bacon and tags #3, who starts grinding the fresh coffee beans. Kitchen athlete #4 waits, poised (with syrup and ketchup) to serve to the judges. Points awarded for fastest time, best taste, mouth feel, plating, and presentation. Points deducted for incorrectly paired maple syrup.

l Power Napping: Each nap-alete must snooze on command for a ten minute interval. Judges check for illegal faking by twirling a feather in the facial area or by poking the torso. Bonus points for snoring.

These are just a few of the possible events in The Everyone Olympic Games. Now all we need is a highly paid, under-worked Everyone Olympic Committee who will travel the world and stay in fancy hotels and have fancy dinners. In fact, I’m volunteering right now.

Meantime, I know you’re dying to know. A guy named Christina Adam set the Backward Cycling-Violin Playing Guinness World Record. Sixty kms in five hours nine minutes, playing J.S. Bach.

Pure gold.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. Send him a column idea at harleyhay1@hotmail.com.