Grumpians, let’s take a break from serious gardening for a moment to consider one of the most ridiculous Winter Olympic sports — biathlon.
Don’t think of this as just a pared-down version of triathlon, a grueling sport in which masochists with zero body fat or income compete in swimming, biking, and running a marathon. Biathlon is the logical combination of target shooting and cross-country skiing. What could be more natural? Why, if my son had either skis or a sniper rifle, I’d send him out to practice right now.
While biathlon is compelling to those of us watching at home who have always wondered why Olympic skiers have never armed themselves before, I think a simple change in equipment could bring much more strategy and intrigue into play. Specifically, what I suggest is that the IOC take away the rifles and replace them with pistols that have one bullet each. Biathletes wouldn’t shoot at static targets. They’d shoot at moving ones — namely, other biathletes.
Now these biathletes wouldn’t be armed at the starting gate where everyone is crowded together. If they were, every start would resemble the shoot-out at the OK Corral and there’d be nobody left to ski.
No, what we’d do is have everybody race the first 1000 meters or so and then be tossed a gun from a team member on the sidelines. Imagine the pressure! If you drop the gun, not only do you lose valuable style points, but you’d better win the race. Otherwise, you’re going to be shot.
And talk about strategy! Remember, you only have one bullet. Who will you shoot? The obvious medal contenders? The guy with the annoying lisp? The guy who used the last of the toilet paper in the Olympic village and didn’t put on a fresh roll?
Oh, this could get exciting near the end! Think about it. Two biathletes way out in front with their sights on the gold medal. When does the guy in second place try to shoot the guy in front? Accuracy is so important here. If the second-place guy shoots and misses, the race is over. He won’t dare pass the guy in front because he’ll surely be shot.
Grumpians, you KNOW this is a great idea, so let’s start lobbying the IOC right away. Get everyone you know to join our campaign, “Give Biathlon a Shot in the Arm!” And while we’re at it, let’s lobby for a new sport in the upcoming Summer Olympics — gardening.
No, not just gardening. Gardening with guns!