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Localizing the 2012 London Olympics
As the Beijing Summer Olympics wrap up this weekend, I will reflect on the greatness of star athletes such as Michael Phelps, Nastia Liukin and Misty May-Treanor. However, even though I have enjoyed watching the games, there was something missing for me this year. Call it Kansan pride, but I think we have a lot of talent right here at home, and it should be shared with the world. So in the spirit of Olympic greatness - - and the numerous examples I've seen lately in our community -- here are a few of the new events I'd like to see included in the 2012 summer games in London:1.Shirt On; Shirt OffThis competition is open to all male runners, lawn mower guys, dog walkers, hobby gardeners, and cyclists. If a man is outside in the public domain sans shirt, then add points for muscle tone, youth, and good looks. Double points for six-pack abs. Deduct points for flab, beer guts, man mammaries or double chins. Deductions would also apply to extreme ectomorphic physiques, where the bones are light, joints are small and muscles are slight. Drooping shoulders are double negative points. The judges' decisions are final; either the athlete will be required to put a shirt on in public, or he will be encouraged to leave it off and enter a second round of aesthetic competition among the female judges.2.Most Age-Inappropriate SwimsuitYou have probably seen many examples of these athletes at Bloomington Beach, the Alvamar pool, or any number of public and private water recreational facilities. It's not that they wear swimming apparel; it's that they wear swimming apparel that's not age-appropriate for their body types. For example, a punchy, middle aged male who sports a Speedo, or an aging leather-skinned honey with multiple folds who favors a two piece that doesn't hide what should be hidden to prevent frightening the youth. Add points for effective coverage of unsightly skin. Deduct points for failing to cover lower torso tattoos that have stretched, faded and scream for a one-piece suit.3.Most Annoying Dog OwnerThis athlete is coy and clever. When you spot him near your lawn with his Lab, he responds with a big smile and by saying something neutral, such as, "Great summer we've having this year," and to which you reply with an equally neutral, "Yep, sure is a nice summer... not too hot, for sure." It doesn't matter how long you spy on him and his dog after that, they'll appear to go on their merry way. It's not until later that day that you notice the steaming relic piled on your lawn as if to say, "My dog has marked your lawn as his territory again, neighbor, and you didn't catch us. Now we own you." Add points for incongruent behavior, such as friendly greetings paired with inconsiderate dog pooping. Deduct points for getting caught. Double negative points for having to scoop poop after getting busted.4.Best Church LadyVisit a place of worship:church, mosque, synagogue:it doesn't matter, the church lady is an archetype comprised of similar characteristics across beliefs, and she will hunt you down to join her in her cause. Using the minions of shame and guilt, she is well equipped to fend off any excuse when you run into her "accidentally" at the cleaners, the store, the gas station, the coffee shop, or any number of locations outside of a place of worship. I envision a competition of persistence and conviction. If the church lady continues to pursue her victim, despite all resistance, until absolute conversion is achieved, then plus points. If the victim escapes through avoidance or by surreptitiously joining a competing religious institution or cult, then minus points.5.Best LawnOops! I think this was a text orphan from an earlier draft list. After all, watching a lawn judging contest would be about as exciting as watching golf on television, only without the golfers and the little white ball that goes in and out of focus during a drive.I'm sure there are many additional examples you might include in the 2012 summer games in London. Go ahead and post them, so we can all share in the pride of our local Olympians.