What's your favorite Winter Olympics sport? If you didn't say curling, I feel only compassion for you. There's no winter sport as pure as curling. Skill in skiing and skating could save your life someday, when you're being pursued by a pack of starving wolves. Tobogganing is great fun. Winning the biathlon might well help your career in the military. But curling is done only for the love of shoving a big rock with a handle on it across the ice. Curlers don't care that you've never heard of them. They don't care that you can't make heads or tails of the rules or that while they're out there sweeping their hearts out, all the world is staring at them in baffled indifference.
Like I said, pure.
So the other day I was talking with my son Sean and the Olympics were on in the background and I said something about it being Women's Curling. "Why women's?" he asked. "Men don't have any advantage in curling. Weight, strength, whatever, don't matter. Shouldn't it just be curling?"
And for a second, something thrilled inside of me. Yes! Mixed-gender teams, coincidentally-single-sex teams, all competing in a feminist ideal of equality. It would work. It can work. There's no reason why it won't work.
"It'll never happen," I told Sean. "And I can prove it to you in three words."
"What are they?"
"Half the medals."
"Ah," he said.
Oh, well. We can still watch the Winter Olympics and enjoy the thrills and agony that are curling. Which is undeniably the single best winter sport there is.
Except for sex. Which is best practiced in private anyway.
And relevant to absolutely nothing . . .
Do you know what the chief vice of writers is? Aside from the obvious sex-related ones, I mean. It's going onto Amazon and checking the standings of their books. Apparently, there are writers out there who check their sales stats as many times a day as you check your emails.
Well, Homey don't play that. I've never checked my stats because I know it would only depress me. Shakespeare STILL outsells me?! How is that even possible?
But I do occasionally check the function which shows how many visits this blog has had in the past month from every country in the world. So I can see that in the past month I've gotten one hit from Ulaanbaator (hi, Molly!) or possibly four from Kolomna (big shout-out, Alexei!). I can see that my friends in one particular country can only rarely get past the Great Firewall of China, since even though I am very careful never to post anything here that would make their government angry with me, Blogspot.com is routinely blocked as a place where dissidents might gather.
My point being that those of you who check in from the remoter and less-wired corners of this glorious Earth are doing more than just satisfying a momentary itch of curiosity. You're making me feel connected to places I may never visit but often hope I will.
For which I most sincerely thank you.