Now that the Olympic torch has been officially passed from NAGANO (be sure to pronounce this in a loud, guttural voice, as well as spray spit on everybody nearby) to SALT LAKE CITY, I've been reflecting on that conversation my brother John and I had several years ago when I told him that I thought it was a highly stupid idea for us (I mean the state of Utah - not me and my brother) to be hosting the Winter Games in 2002. Although my brother (who dearly loves the Olympics) has spent years dealing with my fits of contrariness, he was genuinely surprised by my unsportsmanlike comment. "Why?!" he wanted to know.
So, OK. Here's the main reason, which I did NOT tell him at the time. As I have previously noted, I am often socially inappropriate at parties, and since the Olympics is HEY! ONE BIG GLOBAL PARTY! I would obviously start doing a lot of socially inappropriate things such as leaving the ladies room with the back of my skirt tucked into my pantyhose and so forth. The bad news for me personally, of course, is that instead of doing this in front of a few people from Salt Lake City, I would be doing it IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE WORLD! For this reason alone, I truly believe it is a very bad idea for me and a lot of Olympic athletes with superior body def-inition to be hanging out in the same town.However, what I actually said to John went something like this: "Hosting the Olympics is a lot like doing some remodeling. Here's what happens. One day a couple gets the idea it would be great to work on a little project around the house together, so they decide to remodel the bathroom. Before you know it, the two of them are skipping around as happy as a couple of Smurfs, checking out wholesale flooring stores and feeding each other bon-bons because they're so much in love.
"After awhile, however, they start to disagree - he wants a jacuzzi, she snorts and calls him a gold chain-wearing jackass - after which the two of them start to run out of time and money anyway, even though there's no toilet or tile grout in their completely torn-up bathroom, which makes them both so crazy that they start looking for ways to take out contracts - on each other.
"Trust me, Brother Mine," I said finally, "I'm older and wiser than you, and I've seen this happen many, many times."
In light of these observations, you can imagine how I felt during the recent Olympics when I started to hear certain Public Persons say that maybe the Games were going to cost a little more than we'd originally thought and did we really want to be known as the Cheap Olympics anyway when for just 10 billion dollars or so more we could all have grout and possibly Jacuzzis in our bathrooms? (Author's note to Certain Public Persons: Relax. Nobody will think that you, personally, are cheap.) Of course what I really wanted to do when I started to hear this stuff was call my brother at work and say NEENERNEENERNEENER.
Since I am working on behaving like a mature adult for a change, however, I restrained myself. Instead, I did a very mature adult thing and decided to follow the advice of that famous philosopher (perhaps it was Friedrich Nietzsche or maybe it was Frederick of Hollywood) who said if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem, which is why I have come up with the following fiscally innovative plan to be implemented during the Winter Games: PUT THE MORMONS IN CHARGE OF THE FOOD! This plan has two major advantages: Mormons are used to making vast quantities of food for huge numbers of people, most of whom they are related to. Mormons are used to doing everything for free.
Over the years my friends who aren't Mormons have had a lot of (mostly) good-natured fun poking fun at me and My People and how we think Cream of Mushroom soup is one of mankind's most important inventions. I think that now, however, is the perfect time to put all joking aside and exploit one of our state's major natural resources, i.e., ME AND THE REST OF THE MORMONS!
This is what we'll do. We'll treat the Olympics just like it's a big old ward dinner, assigning people from the southern part of the state to bring the funeral potatoes (either fresh or frozen potatoes will be fine), those from the central part to bring the salads (pasta, three-bean or chopped cabbage with Top Ramen noodles), and those from the northern part to bring the sheet cakes (I'm personally suggesting German chocolate so that our German-speaking friends will feel at home). After that we'll make the Olympic Organizing Committee go to Sam's Club to buy the meat. Also, I'm sure our guests will be delighted to hear that they will be responsible for bringing their own beverages. Bon appetit!