Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Primer

It’s once again time for that “other” Olympic games, the spectacle that occurs in even years between the real Olympics held on non-slippery surfaces.

This year’s games will debut plenty of new sports in addition to the fun-filled, time-honored classics such as curling, biathlon, figure skating, bobsleigh (not to be confused with “bobsled,” which is, at last glance, the same thing), ski jumping and luge. For those confused by the various sledding sports, lugers career down the track crotch-first, while the aforementioned bobsleighers sit upright, cozily spooning one another in the vehicle, and the skeletors, competing in the skeleton, lead with their skulls. None of them have figured out how to stop.

Last month, Jacques Fraust, head of the International Olympic Committee’s Subcommittee on Experimental and Tentative Olympic Innovations (known as SExTOI), revealed the list of new events slated for the South Korea games. The following rundown includes the more noteworthy among them.

Snowman: Participants will be required to build the perfect snowman in 30 minutes or less. Entries will be judged on height, girth, roundness and symmetry, along with more subjective concerns such as consistency of distance between buttons and materials used for hat, eyes, nose, mouth and corncob pipe. Event organizers fear a dry snow pattern, which threatens to emasculate the effort but, curiously, provide a decided advantage to the team from Zimbabwe.

Snowballing: Billed as “paintball with snowballs,” this event features dye-treated, color-coded spheres used to peg and thus eliminate enemies dispersed throughout a wooded glen. Competitors will wear white jumpsuits that will evidence hits and provide effective camouflage. Teams caught cheating, or “wiping,” will have their countries immediately removed from the U.N.

Ice Fishing: The controversy surrounding this sport stems from the requirement that participants must be at least 60 years old. While waiting for their “tip-ups” to signal a catch, athletes will huddle in makeshift huts and simmer canned baked beans on hibachis. Medals will go to those with the largest fish and the least amount of frostbite.

Winter Triathlon: Modeled after the venerable Polar Bear Club, this event involves a two-mile swim in frigid waters followed by a 100-mile cross-country skiing adventure and a 26-mile snowshoeing trek. It is expected that, when crossing the finish line, most participants will, in fact, be dead.

Tongue Lifting: In an event destined to favor powerful Nordic athletes, competitors will lift ever-increasing amounts of weight solely with their tongues, which will be frozen to metal bars. Medal hopefuls will be eyeing the world record of 3.8 stone, held unofficially by Lars “The Lizard” Heidrostadt of Sweden.

Agony of Defeat: In 1970, Yugoslavian Vinko Bogataj turned himself into a human avalanche while attempting a ski jump. The footage exemplified the “agony of defeat” on ABC’s Wide World of Sports for a generation. Now, in deference to the infamous fail, competitors will endeavor to recreate his mishap masterpiece, earning points for fidelity to the wildly akimbo launch and subsequent face plant. Those exhibiting an exact match of Vinko’s fractures surely will medal.

Snow and Ice Sculpting: The most artistic of the new “sports,” snow sculpting and its cousin, ice sculpting, ask participants to fashion creations celebrating the athletic pageantry that is the Winter Olympics. Accordingly, swans, the Disney castle, Pixar characters, dragons and Pegasus will not be permitted. Violators will be lined up and shot repeatedly by snowballers.

Icicle Epee: In a bizarre homage to the presumed perfect murder, combatants will duel using hand-picked icicles hanging from outhouses located throughout the Olympic Village. In this beautifully choreographed exhibition, ice fencers circle one another, dodge, duck, thrust, parry and stand in disbelief at the sight of their weapons shattered into 27 pieces upon contact.

Waterboarding: Initially decried as a human rights violation, waterboarding in this modernized form eventually gained sanction. Inspired by Jack Dawson’s selfless act in Titanic, athletes will bob in arctic waters buoyed only by a wooden door. Medals will be granted to those who can withstand hypothermia the longest and whose nostril icicles extend well beyond their chin.

Skate Blading: In this hybrid sport, participants descend ice-covered downhill ski trails on snowboards fastened to skate blades. The resulting conveyance allows athletes to reach speeds of more than 150 miles per hour. Finding a way to stop has proven difficult (much like with the aforementioned sledders), so the finish line has been established at the Mongolian border.

Halfpipe Hockey: The traditional halfpipe structure has been extended to 61 meters, the length of a hockey arena, and has maintained its concave shape. Goals are placed at both apexes, making scoring truly an uphill battle. To keep them from sliding toward the center, goalies are secured to their nets with short bungee cords. Given that scoreless ties are not permitted, it is expected that the first game will last the entire fortnight.

Kneecapping: In an ode to the Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding soap opera that dominated headlines at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, athletes in this event will participate in a figure skating competition only hours after being whacked in the knee with an iron rod. No medals will be awarded in this one-time exhibition, but style points will be given for broken laces and demonstrations of a triple axel-double toe loop punctuated by a firm landing on one’s keister—a maneuver known in skating circles as “Gilloolying.” Three winners will receive a lifetime membership at an Oregon trailer park.


Trigger Happy

Visit Home Pic

Dear Class of 2020,

Welcome to Causet University! I am pleased you have chosen Causet to continue your intellectual pursuits and personal agendas.

As you begin your college career, I want you to be aware of several “ground rules” established by our Committee on Personal Expression (COPE). These guidelines are designed to promote a harmonious atmosphere in which all students can feel special and conduct themselves in a manner reflecting their own individual choices.

  • Our institution has proudly adopted a “campus carry” policy, meaning you can carry a concealed weapon at all times, except in the shower. You may not carry your weapon in such a manner that it remains visible to your classmates. This will only prompt them to conjure reasons for why you might be armed and, presumably, dangerous.
  • Those students found in violation of the campus carry policy will be issued a “trigger warning.” Following the first such warning, students will be limited to carrying three or fewer lethal weapons, including jackknives, grenades, nunchucks, Ninja stars, Glocks, Uzis and flashbangs. After the second warning, students will be required to write an essay comparing and contrasting the violence motif in Rambo III and Bambi. A student receiving a third trigger warning will be forced to keep all aforementioned weapons in the trunk of his/her/eir/pers/xyr car or in a backpack.
  • Students who feel threatened by the specter of gun violence may retreat to a “safe space.” Several such spaces exist across campus and are, in fact, reclaimed and refurbished smoking zones. (Smoking is now prohibited on campus, though smokers and vapers may partake provided they are 100 feet beyond or above the grounds.) A student may designate an unofficial safe space by standing in a chalk outline, raising both arms and loudly declaring, “I’m out!” All students occupying a safe space, whether official or unofficial, may not be shot or otherwise subject to bodily injury.
  • From time to time, the University will invite to campus prominent speakers who espouse viewpoints different from your own. Our community thrives on open, intellectual debate. Controversial speakers enjoy the freedoms protected by our Constitution and insinuated by the tenets of tenure. You may not shoot them.
  • Students carrying a concealed weapon may risk exposure of said weapon when visiting the lavatory. As such, the University has established “firearm neutral” bathrooms, inclusive and welcoming facilities that embrace everyone’s choice regarding personal protection. Use them at your own risk.
  • Any student—or employee, for that matter—who deems a name, image or likeness to be offensive may not take it upon his/her/eir/pers/xyrself to deface, destroy, mangle, obliterate or otherwise harm the offending item. Simply relay your displeasure to an appropriate University official and it will be promptly removed. Do not, under any circumstances, shoot it.

I trust you will abide by these few rules of conduct, which have been forged by months of hysterical debate. They exist for your own protection and are subject to your own interpretation, filters and worldviews.

I congratulate you on your decision to attend Causet and wish you well on your pilgrimage of self-discovery and -righteousness.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Molly Coddle





The Bizarro Commencement Speech


College commencement season is once again upon us. Because I work in higher education, I’ve been to about 40 of these (some institutions host more than one per year). These events feature speakers who, like their counterparts at high school graduations, offer the same familiar bromides time after time. I’ve heard my fair share and can recite these platitudes by heart.

Were I asked to speak at a commencement, I’d confound expectations and offer the following advice and counsel.

Read the rest at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop….


Grab Life by the Horns, Then Die


Do you lack energy?

Are you feeling depressed?

Have you lost your zest for life?

You might want to ask your doctor about Produatol, new from Trimortis.

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You’ll be the old you—or an even better you if the old you just wasn’t good enough.

Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE for a free sample, or consult with your physician to find out if Produatol is right for you.

The most common side effects of Produatol include dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and occasional incontinence.

Additional symptoms could include bloody nose, genital warts, conjunctivitis, dyspepsia, facial spasms and involuntary flatulence. Patients using Produatol also have experienced heart murmurs, bulimia, anorexia, dementia, carpal tunnel and epilepsy. On rare occasions, Produatol has been determined to cause tapeworms, elephantitis, gangrene, sterility, infantilism and mild bouts of leprosy. One in seven lab rats exposed to minor doses of Produatol have been reduced to small piles of anthrax. The other six simply bled to death. Additional repercussions have been omitted from this list due to their graphic and disturbing nature.

So if you’re ready to break out of your doldrums and tackle life head on, try Produatol for 30 days. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.