By Suzanne Sparrow Watson
The quadrennial Summer Olympics are upon us this week. I have to admit that I’m a sucker for all things related to the Games. I like the schmaltzy stories about athletes overcoming physical challenges, dysfunctional families, and swimsuits that ride up. I even like the commercials the first time through and then, through the magic of the DVR, I whiz through the next several hours’ worth of their re-runs.
As magnificent as these elite athletes are they do have a big advantage: they practice. They devote endless hours to getting faster, stronger and more agile. Their family and friends support them in the effort. Shoot, there’s even a place on our tax form so we all can support them.
Compare that to those of us who are suddenly thrust into the indignities of aging. Without any notice (or, might I say, practice) whatsoever, we become slower, weaker and more awkward; we can’t see, can’t hear and noises come out of places that really should be silent.
I’m going to write the IOOC to suggest that if they really want to see people triumph over adversity they should establish a new event – the Senior Decathlon. Here are the 10 events for which medals should be awarded:
- Track: A gold medal to the person who makes the fastest nocturnal trip to the bathroom. Event divided into Walker, Cane and Wheel Chair categories. There would also be an Endurance award for those who can actually get through an entire night without getting up to pee.
- Conditioning: In this event the medal goes to the person who can spend the most minutes reading in bed. Points will be deducted for reading the same paragraph over and over.
- Best Reply to “How Are You Doing?”: A gold medal will be awarded to the athlete who can ramble on about the latest developments of their Disease, Condition or Procedure. Points awarded for a) the number of listeners who stay awake for the diatribe and b) showing scars from said Disease, Condition or Procedure that require the removal of clothing.
- Memory: We expect a lot of entrants in this event. The winner will be the athlete who, from a sitting position, can get up, quickly go into another room, and not remember why.
- Grooming: This event will reward the person who receives the most comments along the lines of “You Look Really Good”, which is code for “You look like you have one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel”.
- Digestion: The medal ceremony for this event will be held in the Food Court. Award will go to athlete who can most colorfully describe the foods that don’t “agree” with them anymore. Extra points for saying “I like it, but it doesn’t like me”.
- The Older We Get, The Better We Were: This event has two categories – youth and work. Awards will go to the athlete that can tell the most tear-jerking (yet completely fictitious) story about how things used to be “back in the day” and to the athlete who can most exaggerate how important/rich/influential they were at their job.
- No Sex, No Rock ‘n Roll, But Still Doing Drugs: Because of the Baby Boomer generation, this medal will be given to the athlete has taken the most pills after age 65.
- Aging Gracefully: Gold medals will be given in Men’s and Women’s Categories. Men will be judged on Longest Comb-over. The award for Women will go to athlete who has had a face lift and does not look like a dog with its head out the car window.
- Dental: Finally, this event will be won by the person who can still enunciate their words through dentures, bridges and implants. A special award will be given to anyone who still has all of their teeth.
So, that’s it. I don’t know if the IOOC is going to act on these suggestions but just in case, I’m getting my support hose and knee braces ready for Rio.