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'Olympic games'...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
... for competitors who do not take the events too seriously. I was scrolling across the radio when driving this morning, looking for something to pass the time. Hoping to find a public radio station while traveling the interstate in the rain. Found something that was quite amusing.

It might have been a syndicated program that is broadcast nationwide, but the several people in conversation sounded like they have a history together, and enjoyed sharing the position announcing, talking about current event. They faceless people I was listening to had the same sort of camarderie you often see on sit-coms. Where the group involved will happily get a laugh at a co-workers' expense. Intending to gently poke fun at fellow participants quickly turns into something more rude, crude and not-so-funny. 

The topic they were discussing was current world events: talking about the upcoming competitions on today's calendar in Rio during the Summer Olympics. Things like kayak slalom, swimming, and badminton.They apparently started a mini-version of games for medal claiming. After they discussed scores thus far, one of the voices told the others that today's attempts would be in Bad Mittens.

Each of the participants sitting there in the broadcast booth had to put on a pair of mittens and attempt to pick up coins of various denominations. The coins could not be slid to the edge of the table, but had to be picked up wearing the mittens and deposited in a cup. The one with the highest total value of coins would be the day's winner.Each person only had thirty seconds to accumulate the maximum amount.  The first person to wear the mittens immediately went for the quarters, hoping for the highest score. So the last one in line, would naturally be stuck with nickles and pennies, with no hope of claiming the Gold for top score.

I do not know how the 'event' ended, as I drove out of range of the radio station, but thought it was both clever and amusing. The sort of endeavor that might be challenging for a children's party - simple in concept, but not as easy as it might originally appear. Plus you have to figure out a way to make it more 'democratic', so the first ones to put on the mittens with the timer going, do not get all the high value coins and leave the copper for the later gamesters.

It also made me think about the party game with balloons. My kids did years ago, when every one gets two inflated balloons, ties one on each ankle. The object is to stomp on everyone else's balloon while protecting your own. It can be chaotic, and slightly risky, so all the stompers need to be about the same size to keep toes from being mangled. Pretty funny - I think I still have a video of that...

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