Monday 17 February 2014

The Magic of Sub-Zero Decision Making

After engaging in some of what the Australian broadcast of the Winter Olympics has had to offer two things have occurred to me: the first being that the countries that are good at ice hockey are also known for their bears. Proper bears. Not like Koalas, but the kinds of bears that are known for their dancing and their surly demeanour; and the second being that people seem to make strange decisions in the cold. Decisions that seem entirely set apart from any sort of useful understanding of physics, and the durability of the human body. As though parts of their brain just switches off once it drops below a certain temperature. Particularly the part associated with self preservation.

It just seems like there have been a great many decisions made that have lead to the whole existence of the Winter Olympics that involve velocities, acceleration and hard surfaces. There are also a lot of knives on people's feet and inordinate amounts of time spent away from the ground. And chutes! Have you had a look at those chutes games they play? Especially that skeleton thing? They didn't always do that face first. At some stage some guy thought to himself, 'I'm going to start with my face.'

There aren't many things you are meant to do face first. We generally reserve the term 'face-first' for when someone is doing something in a fashion other than what might be considered the general wisdom at the time. Or if we would like to ad an entirely additional level of doing something incorrectly. Except kissing. That is the exception. If you're doing it right, you're face should be employed at least somewhere near the beginning of the process. Perhaps it was inspired by kissing. Regardless of the thought process a decision followed. Then after that decision was the decision to keep at it. There isn't any face-first hurtling in the Summer Olympics of which I am aware. There could be. I don't pay a lot of attention.

The reason I bring all of this up is that I am concerned about the sort of life decisions these people might be making. The kinds of things that might fall into the 'Vodka Life Decisions' category. There is another one of those chute sports in which one guy lies on top of the guy that actually brought a sled with him. That seems like the kind of thing you think might be a good idea if you've been drinking vodka. Perhaps it is an example of the evolution of chute sports during an economic downturn. I'd believe that. I'm pretty gullible for that sort of thing. Perhaps there is a carpool chute. They don't use these chutes for commuting yet do they? Or anymore? I mean, it seems efficient. Two guys on a sled. It's low emission. Pedestrian casualties would be pretty low too. Just don't get in the chute if you're on foot.

I'm kind of excited about these colder climes now. I'm not really a big fan of the heat, and I've been to some cold places before, but I didn't get that whole Winter Wonderland experience that might be going on somewhere in the world. The kind of places where people say, 'Hey, nice dance bro. You should do it outside on that frozen lake!'

'I'll just grab my coat.'

'You'll be warmer in rhinestones.'


'Oh, absolutely. The thermodynamic properties of rhinestones are greatly under appreciated.'

How do these conversations actually go? Figure skating is high speed dancing on ice, which is commonly referred to as 'Winter's Concrete'. It isn't, but the potential for injury is insane. It is one of the far more brazen varieties of dance. Outstripped perhaps only by ambush tiger dancing of Southern India, which is both an increasingly unpopular pass-time, and entirely fictitious. It's unpopularity comes down to a combination of declining tiger populations, the fictitious nature of the activity, and that surprising a tiger is the sort of activity you only get to do the one time, and it is not often followed by dancing. This isn't a real sort of dancing, because it is stupid. You don't do it. Just about the only thing happening in the Winter Olympics that doesn't seem like you are going to do yourself a fairly serious mischief is curling, which has a whole other set of questions that need asking.

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