Friday, May 2, 2014

Are you ready for the Average Joe Olympics?

There should be an Average Joe (or Josephine) Olympics filled with events that happen on a regular basis.
Just the other day I was in training for the Oh-darn-here-comes-the-garbage-truck sprint.
This is where you are sipping on your morning cup of java, reading the paper and getting ready for another exciting day at work when you hear the garbage truck come around the corner half a block from your house - 30 minutes earlier than usual.
This kick-starts a sequence of events: first you mutter a few (unprintable) words under your breath as you put down the coffee and scramble toward the front door.
If you happen to be wearing slippers, you will hopefully not injure your feet as you stumble down the front stairs onto the cement walkway and grab the cans full of discarded items.
If you are not wearing slippers, there is no time to grab footwear, so suck it up Princess.
You must then carry the heavily laden bins of trash to the curb. This is where the event would be broken down into various categories - like the 100- and 200-metre sprints in the real Olympics - because the distance you have to lug the trash cans depends on how long your driveway is.
Obviously, people with longer driveways will have to train harder than those blessed with short driveways.
There could also be the cut-the-lawn-before-it-rains-because-your-teenage-son-forgot-to-do-it-when-he-got-home-from-school-and-now-he-claims-he-has-too-much-homework-even-though-he-spent-an-hour-texting-his-girlfriend event.
This is good for your cardio as you push a 70-pound lawnmower around your yard as fast as possible.
Like the garbage event, there will be different categories to accommodate the different-sized lawns. 
But not all Average Joe Olympic events involve tests of physical prowess.
The we-have-to-have-our-children-in-different-places-at-the-same-time event requires a completely different skill set.
This one involves strategy, a knowledge of the destination routes and  clear thinking more than physical attributes.
Trying to be three places at once seems impossible, but I have seen my wife do it on several occasions and I am always amazed how she gets everyone where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there.
Team events could also include the clean-up-the-house-before-the-unexpected-guests arrive competition.
Teams would get a phone call someone will be 'popping by' in a few minutes and they must then tidy, vacuum and do something with the dirty dishes they 'were going to get to later.'
This one requires co-ordination, organization and above all a cool head. Panicking will not get things cleaner any faster.
My wife would excel at this event because when she gets into a cleaning frenzy, there is no stopping her.
Throughout the Average Joe Olympics there would be surprise competitions such as the I-need-to-bring-a-dozen-cupcakes-to-school-today event.
This is one of the most stressful of all the competitions because it will be sprung on the contestants 15 minutes before the child has to be in school.
Contestants must quickly weigh their options: is there any sort of acceptable substitute in the freezer? Can the cupcakes be taken to the school later if I make them now?
Competitors will get extra bonus points for either one of these, but they will also earn points by rushing to the store and picking up a dozen cupcakes while muttering under their breath.
Translations of these muttered statements will not be made public, so contestants can feel free to mumble away.
There will be substance testing at the end of each day's competition, just to make sure contestants are properly medicated.
Those not in compliance will be given a glass of wine and directed to the nearest couch, recliner or lawn chair.

copyright 2014, Darren Handschuh  

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