Ah the Olympics. It’s the only time I feel virtuous while watching television. How can you possibly feel guilty when you’re supporting your country and spurring our very own Aussies on to greater glory. Surely it’s our patriotic duty to watch as much television as possible during the Olympics.
This time twelve years ago I moved to the Sunshine Coast. Well, it wasn’t this time exactly, the Sydney Olympics were in September, but I digress. I’d given myself a couple of weeks to settle in and find a place to live. I spent most of that time glued to the TV in my temporary accommodation. There I was, a recent arrival in the most beautiful place in the world and I couldn’t tear myself away from the box. Somehow I managed to find an apartment and moved in with the few possessions I had while I waited for the rest of my stuff to arrive. Unfortunately I hadn’t had the foresight to throw the telly in the back of my car. I spent the next few days languishing in the electrical sections of department stores pretending to be interested in wide screen TVs. Actually I was very interested in wide screen TVs, I just didn’t want to buy one. Well actually, I did want to buy one, I just didn’t have the money.
At those Olympics, our Olympics, there was one very special event. You can still ask people “Where were you at the time?” and they could probably tell you. As it got closer I became increasingly agitated. This event was at night, all the electrical stores would be closed. I could have gone to the pub but drunk people are very odd, especially when there’s a major sporting event. How was I going to see this race? Thank goodness there were some people in the area who must have watched a lot of Neighbours before they started watching a lot of the Olympics. I had waved to them a couple of times as I scuttled off to stalk TV salesmen but we really hadn’t talked. But what could they do on that night of nights when I knocked desperately on their door like a junkie needing a fix. Luckily they took pity on me and gave me a cushion on the floor right in front of that cathode ray tube. And there she was, looking like a cheap alien from Lost in Space, in head to toe lycra. Our Cathy. And when she won gold good neighbours did indeed become good friends. I couldn’t help but jump about and give them great big hugs. What a celebration!
Twelve years later and there’s no Cathy, there’s not even a Thorpie and it’s not our Olympics. Ironically I do have a huge TV these days but all I want to watch is Game of Thrones. Hmm… Game of Thrones, that’s given me some interesting ideas for Olympic sports.