Aye She’s A Curmudgeonly One

I only cared about the Olympics once. It was the summer of 1988 and I was watching for a high diver named Dave Flewelling. I am unsure of the spelling. He had been part of an ensemble called The Great American High Diving Team (I am humming their theme song as I type) that performed at the Pacific National Exhibition 5 times a day in the summer of 1987. I was working as a grounds sweeper at the PNE the summer of 1987 and had plenty of opportunities to sit at the back of the bleachers, feigning vigilence over every tossed cigarette butt but really admiring the toned, tanned, writhing-in-the-air physique of young Dave as he dove, dove dove.

(If I knew then what I knew now I would have moved on to the Superdogs because Dave is an impossible name to love.

Sorry, all you Daves.

Do I have any readers named Dave?)

In that crazy way that 14 year-olds love, I was obsessed with DF the diver. One day late in the Fair, I actually got him to sign my uniform hat. This was something we did, we grounds sweepers. We got autographs on our hats; kind of like a yearbook. There was no internet or I would have been watching his facebook profile like a hawk. But one day I heard tell or remembered that he was part of the US Olympic Diving Team and I made it my mission, that Olympic summer, to see as much of him as I could. I think the Games that year were in France so I scheduled the VCR to tape high diving in the wee hours of the morning and then I watched it during the day and ate nachos. It was pretty boring and involved a lot of fast-forwarding because there were a lot of other divers competing and none was as cute as DF. I got over it pretty quickly. School started and I tired of doodling the name of a hero I would never see again. Grade 10 took over and I tried to get crushes on guys actually at my school.

I have not cared about the Olympics since. Go ahead and hate me. I don’t get it. I don’t follow sporting events the rest of the time; why would I follow the king of all sporting events, a bloated, over-hyped 2 weeks during which everyone and his terrier “is Irish” and claims opinions on medal counts in the areas of BMX biking, beach volleyball and god I don’t know competitive rain dancing? Is that a sport?

You love the Olympics. You have your reasons, your Dave Flewellings. I know. That’s cool. But I am avoiding them like the plague so I haven’t turned on the TV or the radio in a while. Which is how I missed all this actual NEWS, like the one where Tony Clement, the federal minister of Health, calls Canada’s doctors a bunch of know-nothing hypocrites (to their faces! I hope he doesn’t get any nasty infections anytime soon!) for supporting harm reduction measures in the area of drug addiction. He claims, in part, that Canadian doctors and nurses are culpable in the deaths of drug addicts, because they are letting people die by giving them a safe place to inject their drugs. He seems to think that if we let users inject their drugs outside, in the filthy alleys, using disgusting puddle water from underneath dumpsters, all by themselves, that it would somehow be better. I suppose if the people are outside then we are not forced to WATCH them inject themselves with drugs, especially if we just stay out of the alleys (and bathrooms and doorways and, well, the street corners). And if we don’t see them doing it then we don’t have to do anything about it. Aha – the onus is on YOU, addicts. Get yourself some help! No, not the kind of help that would suit your needs. The kind of help we approve of.

Dear Tony Clement: Guess what? Even if you can’t see them, they’re still there. You smug, misinformed bastard man. You should not be the Minister of Health if you refuse to acknowledge that sometimes Health looks different from how you see it in your pretty little world. I would write you a letter but then I know some poor bastard at ground level would have to respond to it and I’d feel bad for him because I don’t want a response where you claim you will revisit a policy or a practice but instead I want you to revisit your FUCKING HEAD which is screwed on sideways and I don’t believe any policy dude would be able to right it.

Reason #42 I don’t like the Olympics: They push all the real news out of the way and then I get sputteringly, frustratingly, incoherently angry.

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