- Our Town
Olympics offer a boost to February blahs
I think it’s fair to say that February isn’t the biggest activity month on the calendar, nor is it the most fun month or the one that zips by the quickest, that despite having fewer days (we won’t get into that). But once every 4 years February gets a dose of pizzazz courtesy the Winter Olympics.
I’m here writing up at Artisan Eats, where I thought I’d find more interesting people than I to talk about the Olympics with. But as I eat my grilled cheese sandwich (they make the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever here) I’ve had an attack of shyness and haven’t found the courage to bother anyone.
Shyness!! Oh well, I’ll wax on poetically until I come around.
This is noteworthy: I can’t help but feel somewhat mean when cheering competitors in the Games. The whole competition thing makes me feel almost ruthless and, despite playing sports myself, I feel guilty and a tad foolish when ardently rooting for one group of humans over another. Were I to actually know the competitors it would be easier.
But the closest I’ve ever come to an actual Olympian was walking by Karen Magnussen at the North Shore Winter Club a few years ago. I have thought certain islanders would make great Olympians, like Mike Lightbody (he never wimps out on jogging, hit a homer off of Mike ‘the Cannon’ Carachelo and is almost as good at chopping wood as his wife) but to my knowledge no islander has competed at the Games.
Fact is that if a Canadian makes a final with a skater from Latvia, say, I might root for the Latvian because they don’t get many medals. I root for Kazakhstan, too, because not only do they hardly ever get medals, it’s an obscure country and it got made fun of in ‘Borat’ (which was, it must be said, very funny).
Time to find even just one person to talk about the Olympics with but sitting next to me is my best friend on Bowen, Paul Lieske, and I can’t ask him because he has been in this space lots lately and I really should find someone new. Mind you Paul told me a cool thing: he was calling Arizona about finding a home for his Father and the guy who answered, on hearing Paul was from Canada, went on and on about how our country is kicking butt at the Games.
Hooray for Canada!
Julia Cree is working hard, so won’t bug her. It is Susan Ping’s first day working here (I was the first ever to order a grilled cheese sandwich from her) and the last thing she needs right now is me asking her stuff about the Olympics. The other employees are working, too, obviously, so it’s gonna have to be a customer.
Finally, I approach a woman working on a laptop and take the plunge. ‘Hi, my name is Marcus etc. and I am writing a column in the local paper etc. etc’. Bingo! Klara McCallum is a kind human and willing to participate. She’s interesting and in fact we ended up talking about Bowen Island and kids and work as much as the Olympic Games.
Klara is a married mother of 3 and just moved out from Ontario, only arriving on Sunday, Feb. 9. Her TV has not arrived yet (nor has her husband and children, for that matter) and so, except for a workout at The Gym, which has TV’s set tuned to the Games, she can’t watch the Olympics.
“No TV but I would like one so that I could watch the Olympics,” she told me. “If anyone wants to invite me over I am definitely up for it.”
Out of space and having reached my goal, as I prepare to sign off it comes to mind that if Klara doesn’t get an invitation it will leave her dealing with February without her kids, husband and that shot of pizzazz the Games provide. Not fun but this, too, I think: it also leaves her not having to get all hopped up cheering for people that she doesn’t even know.