ScrimismsPresently suffering a dearth of witticisms

February 2010


Musings20 Feb 2010

The CBC Reports:

Nobody feels worse than Mellisa Hollingsworth right now.

The 29-year-old skeleton racer from Eckville, Alta., considered to be a lock for a podium finish at the Vancouver Olympic Games, had a medal slip through her fingers after a disastrous fourth run down the track at the Whistler Sliding Centre on Friday night.

“I feel like I have let my entire country down,” Hollingsworth told CTV as tears streamed down her rosy cheeks.

No Melissa, you haven’t let us down. If you’ve been made to feel that way, perhaps by the reporters shoving microphones in your face and flaunting their photographs of your tears, or by national sports officials eager to “own the podium” at the games, then let me apologize for them and for all of us. We’re happy to cheer for you, ecstatic when you win, and we share your disappointment when you fall short, but we don’t need you to win a gold medal for us. We’ll be just fine if you don’t.

Don’t misunderstand: I’m not saying you should stop striving for gold. We want you to go for it, and we know in your competitor’s heart that you want that gold medal badly. But whether you finish first or last (and 5th place at the Olympics is a rather good showing) we’re proud of you. And if we aren’t, that’s our problem, not yours.

News15 Feb 2010

The elevator door closed. Then it popped open half an inch and made a crunching sound. Then nothing. There were six of us and a dog in the elevator, and we weren’t going anywhere. I’d never been trapped in an elevator before, and found that my reaction was to chuckle and roll my eyes. A couple of our fellow passengers became a bit panicky. At least the dog was calm.

Fortunately for us, there fire department was already on the scene. There had been half a dozen burly firemen standing in the lobby of our building when we’d stepped in to that elevator, and they quickly went to work on freeing us.

We had just spent ten minutes standing on the street with the fire alarm blaring, until those same firefighters had determined that the alarm had been triggered by “a malfunction in the garage sprinkler system” and let us back inside.

About 15 minutes before that elevator door gave up the ghost, I had just sat back down to our fancy Valentine’s Day dinner after fending off a telemarketer. I was just saying to myself, “that was our interruption for the evening,” when the fire alarm started to ring. Now, here we were, going nowhere at all in a small metal box, while our dinner rapidly cooled on the table, a dozen stories above our heads.

To the great credit of the Ottawa Fire Department, the firefighters managed to get the door unstuck after about five minutes of fiddling with it. We thanked them and took the stairs, laughing all the way back up to our apartment, and to our dinner.

Happy Valentine’s day, everyone.