FURTHERMORE AND THE OLYMPIC BOOMERANG
That brief tremor you just felt below your feet was my fault (pun intended) and I apologize. Actually, if the truth be known, it was Furthermore’s fault. I had just made a nice fresh batch of martinis (stirred, not shaken, because we think James Bond is full of it) and offered one to my bird brother.
He refused it. Hence, the level 7.2 quake felt throughout the American West. Now, I’ve toyed with just leaving it at that and not telling you the rest of the story - just for the suspense of the thing. Furthermore Raven says that would be a really dirty thing to do and, hence, is encouraging me.
Okay. You win. Here’s the rest of it.
Upon arrival deep in the caverns below our house last night, I discovered the nine-headed hydra clad in a white toga - actually bed sheets from our guest room - and holding a flaming torch.
Now, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even I know an Olympic setup when I see it. It was also clear that the hydra wanted to compete. So I told it to go deep for the javelin catch event. It did. It wound up getting two of the top three medals. What can I say?
Furthermore was just toweling off when I entered the main cave and headed from the bar near the iron maiden.
“Can I interest you in something in a fresh martini, Bird?” I asked as I stirred the gin and the vermouth molecule.
“No, thanks, scribe. Not for me. I’m in training.”
That would be the moment of the quake. I flicked debris out of the gin and sat down.
“In training for what?!”
Furthermore gave me one of his patented You’re-too-dumb-to-live looks and flapped up the top of the skull on the stone mantel. “The Olympics, twit brother! The Summer Olympics! They’re coming soon and I’m going to be ready. Not like the last time!”
I thought about it for a moment before deciding I didn’t want to know about the last time.
“What’s your event,” I asked, knowing that I know better.
“I haven’t picked one yet. There are some many great new ones!”
I must digress briefly at this point. You may remember that Furthermore is into the Olympics, especially since he discovered they involve games, too. He thought at first that the Olympics was a two-week series of glitzy television commercials broken up with tear-jerking stories about tiny gymnasts from Romania. That was okay, of course, because Furthermore is a great fan of tear-jerking stories and he’s absolutely mad about Coke and Nike and Haines underwear and Home Depot and so on. He thinks its really thoughtful that the Olympic athletes have a dedicated hardware store like Home Depot, just in case they need a screwdriver to loosen the supports on the uneven bars just before a competitor performs.
But the idea of competing is a new twist, even in his surreal world.
So I asked. “What new events?”
Of course, he had a list, some of which are new sports, some are under consideration and others are just Furthermore being weirder than usual. Co-ed tag team mud wrestling, for example.
He appears to be settling in on the boomerang throw, however. They ruled him out for the high jump and the long jump because he’s a bird, don’t you know? The boomerang thing really threw him, though.
It seems that the Australians have actually paid hard money to put a team of their countrymen on the road throughout the world demonstrating the proper use of a boomerang. Their stated goal is to make boomerang throwing an Olympic sport. My problem is how do you know if you win? I mean, it’s not like the shotput. You throw that and it stays put. You can measure the distance. The damn boomerang is sneaky. It comes back. You can’t measure a thing.
Naturally, Furthermore loves this idea. I, on the other hand, went looking for Home Depot. Someone around here has a screw loose. By the way, do you know what they call a boomerang in Australia that doesn’t come back?
A stick. (rimshot)
But I digress.
The sad part about this whole business is this: At this writing, we’re still weeks away from the Sydney Olympic games. Then we’ll have weeks of games. Then weeks of post-games reviews and commentary. Bob Costas will do all he can to make even boomerang throwing seem relevant, interesting and vital to the existence of the free world. Television will make sure we don’t miss a precious second, brought to you by some dot.com or another. With slow-mo replays.
While I was musing about all this, Furthermore was busily unwrapping a package that had just arrived. Don’t ask. I don’t know how, either. I’m not sure what happened next. Suddenly a blur of motion whipped past me, taking the martini right out of my hand, then the bird dropped to the table with a thud.
Sorting it out, here’s what happened. In the box was Furthermore’s very own Olympics-endorsed boomerang. He decided to try it out. It came back, as promised, taking out my drink before hitting him in the back of the head.
“I need a martini,” he muttered from the table top.
“You’re in training,” I replied. “No booze.”
“You want I should try again with the boomerang, twit brother?”
He was feeling better.
“No, please! Not that!”
“Give me the martini and don’t move. No one gets hurt!”
Anyway, so much for Furthermore’s Olympic aspirations and our first general commentary on the Summer Olympic games. We’ll get to the tiny Romanian gymnasts later.