Going for Gold

It’s never too early to be thinking about the 2020 Summer Olympics. My neighbor was out this morning (not the curmudgeon) training for the games, where it is rumored that there will be competitive lawn mowing for the first time.

His son was out with him, so he’s obviously going for the synchronized mowing event.

“How far down are you going?” the boy shouted over the roar of the engine.

“Just to the big wheel.”

Judging is based on uniformity of grass length, precision of matching up the individual patches, and the beauty of tandem movements. Extra degree of difficulty is awarded for fire ant mounds and low-hanging branches dripping with spiders the size of miniature schnauzers. Judging is done by a panel of Homeowners’ Association police.

It has taken a good deal of lobbying to get this event approved by the Olympic Committee, as several of the members live in neighborhoods where the front lawn consists of dirt, rocks, and the occasional land mine. I won’t get all snooty and say the Americans have it tied up, but really world, just look at our lawns! They are green, pristine, and notably lacking in explosive devices.

Other events will include the lawnmower slalom, 100 meter freestyle, and (of course) competitive edging. If you have suggestions for other Olympic events, by all means, let us know. I’ll get a petition going, right after I finish my yard work.

Games of the living dead


Synchronized dangling with a 3.4 degree of difficulty.

Synchronized dangling with a 3.4 degree of difficulty.

I think I’m turning into a zombie. Each time I stand up, my knees lock, I drag one leg behind me, and an inhuman groan rises out of my throat. After a few staggering steps, the stiffness goes away and order is restored. I think, in honor of this new decrepitude, AARPers should band together and form the Zombie Olympics.

Games would include the La-Z-boy Lunge. It would involve those new recliners that lift up to help you stand. Strategically placed booster rockets would propel the couch potatoes across a twenty foot sand pit. Athletes will be judged on grace and distance. The East German judges will mark you down if you don’t stick the landing.

My personal favorite is the Clean and Jerk. Contestants must get on their hands and knees to scrub dog vomit off the carpet. The first one that can push himself back up into a vertical position wins. Extra points are awarded to those who don’t need Ben Gay and an ice pack afterwards.

The Lavatory Dash is a crowd pleaser. Contestants must sit in an airplane seat for two hours, drinking diet soft drinks and/or cheap wine. They must then drag themselves over the lap of their neighbor, stagger down the aisle, and leap the beverage cart to get to the lavatory. Few seniors have succeeded.

The games will end on a high note with the Rise and Whine. The Americans have dominated this event for years. The rules are simple. The first one to climb out of bed and stumble down the hall to the bathroom wins. Points are deducted for careening off the walls, stepping on the dog, and not checking to make sure the toilet seat is down.

The Zombie Olympics would be sponsored by Metamucil, Viagra, and Depends. Instead of gold medals, pain meds and a date with Harrison Ford are awarded. Silver medallists get Clint Eastwood and a bottle of Tylenol.

I’m starting to train now for the Clean and Jerk in the 2012 games. This involves sitting cross-legged for ten minutes, then feeding the dog leftover pizza. My rugs are not too happy about it, but Harrison Ford is totally worth it.