We got home and rushed to the television last night as quickly as we could after my daughters’ swimming meet–which they crushed, again, thank you very much–kicking the dog out of the way and stepping on both cats in a fervor to get the old set warmed up for…Team Ice Dancing. Hell, yeah.
That fervor was tempered somewhat as the first athlete we saw, an American from Michigan–I won’t increase his shame by actaully naming him, spent an inordinate proportion of his performance skittering sideways across the ice on his ass. Now, I’m only an ice skating fan for three weeks out of every four years, and I know this Team Ice Dancing thing is new, but I’m pretty confident that ass-skating is not an official, sanctioned event. Sigh. It’s hard to be an ugly, jaded American.
That’s the kind of jerk I am. To be honest, I started out being snarky, but it takes a cold soul indeed to watch these kids–and the things they can do with a couple of butter knives duct-taped to their boots–on the ice: Sow Cows (surprisingly, not a Pig-Cattle hybrid, but just think of the possibilties! Monsanto?) and Sopwith Camels–normal sized guys throwing muscular tiny women around like they’re rag dolls–and catching them. Most of the time. I immediately began cheering for the Americans and hoping the other teams would fall and sprain something, a horrific realization undoubtably rooted in my Cold War Youth–you damned kids with your damned walkmans and Ugg boots can’t imagine what it was like, waking up every morning and wondering if today was the day the Russians were going to nuke us into oblivion, our only hope for salvation resting in the hands of Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson, and a bunch of cheese-eating high school kids from Colorado.
At that point, skating is the WORST thing in the world–except out comes some 70 pound Japanese boy–literally, 70 pounds, this kid absolutely has worms–and pulls off an amazing performance like something from X-Men. The dude can fly. As my dad used to say: I shit you not. Flying. Without a jet pack. . Yuzuru Hanyu is his name; breaking the surly bonds of Earth is apparently his game, and 97.98 was his score. I don’t know what the hell that means, but it was a lot. And oh, yes, he’s about 12 years old. Amazing.
The couples came on a little later–we didn’t see the Americans skate, which is too bad because I’m absolutely certain that the top American skater is an Alien. She may be wearing American skin, but underneath is some sort of Avian Space Creature sent here either to protect us or prepare us for our future as a food crop for invaders from the planet Aeriexopeia. She seems really nice–one of the networks ran a TV special Wednesday night on how awesome Olympic athletes are because their parents are so incredibly awesome–and her mom seems nice too, so I’m guessing she’ll lead the fight to save us from the evil, aquatic Humidorians. I’m not the only one who thinks this. I’m a little disappointed by that, but…I didn’t say she looks bad, just different and, frankly, the longer I look the cuter she looks. I hear she doesn’t so much jump but levitate, lingering in the air for seconds at a time because her birth planet has a gravity that is 1.2 of Earth’s–but when she touches down, she skates like an angel.