Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Olympic torch

Legend has it that once the Olympic torch is lit, it never goes out until the Games are over. Apparently, that's not true. Not even close.

According to Sports Illustrated, the torch went out at least 44 times on its way to the Games. Perhaps this should come as no great surprise, given the torch went on a 40,300 mile relay before arriving in Sochi. 40,300 miles in better than one and a half times around the earth at the equator, roughly Chris Christie's waist measurement, or about the same amount of miles required to walk off the calories after eating a double helping of my world famous lasagna.

And oh my, the places the torch has been on its journey include the North Pole, underwater, and into outer space. Wait a minute....

North Pole? Who was supposed to see it there? Santa Claus? Hey, that dude just got done putting in some serious miles himself a month and a half ago delivering all those presents. Plus, according to the commercials, the poor old fellow has a bad back and needs pain pills. The man needs his rest. Besides, you really think St. Nick would pay attention to some torch passing through the neighborhood? Chances are, he's plenty busy right now trying to log on and figure out a health care plan for his elves.

Underwater? Well, duh, take a torch underwater and I'm betting it goes out every time.

Outer space? Just who, pray tell, were the Olympic organizers trying to impress? The Klingons? Are they sending a team to the Olympics these days? Beats me, but if so, it would certainly be interesting. I, for one, would love to see Worf doing a quadruple axel on the ice or flying off a ski jump.

This whole Olympic torch symbolism thing got out of control a long time ago. And what's the point? Run it here, run it there, but it keeps going out anyway. It was originally meant to signify the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus. Then again, Zeus was the head honcho, and when you get caught stealing from the Man, it's usually a good idea to start running. Maybe that's where it all started.

But the tradition of lighting the Olympic torch in Greece, then running/taking it all over God's creation, with its ultimate destination being the site of the current games, didn't begin until just before the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. That's quite some time removed from Zeus, Prometheus, and the ancient days. But nobody ever heard of a problem relighting the torch way back then. Maybe Prometheus had a handy dandy lighter with him, and quickly flicked his Bic whenever necessary. Those ancient Greeks were a clever bunch.

Regardless, 40,300 miles is a ridiculous amount of distance for the Olympic torch to travel, especially if it's gone out at least 44 times along the way.

One more thing --- don't tell Christie about my lasagna. If he gets word of that and shows up to chow down -- his measurement might not only go up to 50,000 miles, but I might be lucky to get even a small helping of what normally takes me about 4 hours to prepare and cook.

And neither I, nor my beloved yorkies, need that sort of aggravation. Torches be damned. We need to eat too, ya know.....

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