After a breakfast of pumpkin pie and oranges, the Brother and the lads got down to business. Olympic business. Eighteen days of curling. Twelve nights of speed skating. And what appears to be a hundred days of figure skating. Said it before and saying it again: Oh, my shattered nerves.
First, however, there was an outbreak of mild euphoria. Surfing the web, the Brother discovered that singer Sade is to release her first new music in years. Her ditty Smooth Operator is his personal anthem.
The lads, three shiftless louts and experts at dilly-dallying, named Gerrit, Gavin and Dave, wilted. "Say it ain't so," Dave said, with an expression of undiluted misery on his face. "I can't stand another rendition of Smooth Operator. I'd rather take up a sport. Horseshoe throwing is something I've always been tempted by."
The Brother looked miffed. "Every sport is a boulevard of broken dreams," he announced. "It is a timeworn ritual. That boulevard is littered with crushed hopes and broken spirits."
"Speaking of spirits," Gavin said, "is it too early for a tot of the schnapps?" A short discussion ensued, the gist of it being that, since it was late at night in Pyeongchang, and in order to be part of the Olympic Family, a round of schnapps was in order. I passed, pleading work and the reading of comments by trolls who detest my small efforts in this great newspaper. It's a bracing way to start the day. Like going to the gym.
Time passed. The cat, Rita, yawned on her warm perch on the radiator, known as Florida. Eventually, the TV was turned on. It was curling. (It's always curling, Rita was thinking, I'm sure.) Whether it was live, delayed or took place in a distant mountain rink yonks ago was unclear. Never mind.
The Brother and the lads look upon Norway's male curlers and their saucy, colourful Winter Olympic trousers with incandescent loathing. "They should have technical merit points deducted for wearing clown pants," the Brother declared, confusing figure skating with curling. We can all sympathize.
"Lindsey Vonn has a message for the haters," announced Gerrit, who was reading CNN on his phone. Intrigued, we all awaited the message.
"She sleeps well at night," Gavin pronounced.
"Lindsey Vonn is the most human of champions," said the Brother, who could have a career writing sports stuff for the online CNN.
The Canadian women's curling team's loss to Britain, and its elimination from the medal round, was now up for discussion on TV. "It's a crooked road, that boulevard of broken dreams," the Brother announced. He could also work for CBC Sports, I thought.
The women's bobsleigh was savoured over more schnapps. The sight of Kaillie Humphries and her brakeman, Phylicia George, winning bronze was a tonic. They were happy, touchingly passionate. "Emotional transparency," the Brother pronounced. "It's the Olympic spirit and the women do it best. Except for [Canadian skip] Rachel Homan, she was very gruff, there when she had to talk about the women's curling team being defeated. If she'd cried buckets nobody would have criticized her. It's a boulevard of broken …"
Then Gerrit snapped, "Shut up!" before things went any further down the crooked road of sporting clichés.
"At least they weren't beaten by Russia," the Brother wanted it noted.
"You can't call it Russia," Dave said with an edge in his voice. "It's OAR!"
The question, "What does OAR mean?" left everyone flummoxed. The schnapps had kicked in.
The women's hockey gold-medal game was looming. To get the Brother and the lads out of the house and give me peace, I sent them around to The Done Right Inn. When I went to retrieve them, I found Dave staring at a horseshoe on the wall behind the bar. The Brother was asking a very tolerant bartender, "What does OAR mean?"
Her reply was, "Organized Avalanche Response." The Brother was flummoxed.
"Or it could be Operational Assessment and Readiness," she said thoughtfully.
Then I heard the Brother ask her to play Smooth Operator in the sound system, and I ordered them out.
Ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir say they felt support from more than just Canadians as they won gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Virtue says she wants to “give everyone a great big hug.”
The Canadian Press