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Local version of the Summer Olympics

So now that the tall ships have nearly sailed away, let's reflect on another phenomenon that could also be labeled a complete waste of time: the Summer Olympics.

I'm kidding, of course. The Summer Olympics were actually quite amazing, with fast swimmers, nimble gymnasts and green swimming pools as far as stinging eyes could see. What I meant to say was that the Summer Olympics were a complete waste of time ... for me.

Sure, watching some of the events was fun. For example, beach volleyball, where players could have built castles the size of the Maurice's building with all the sand they pulled out of their shorts. Or swimming, where Michael Phelps is still winning medals at the age of 72. (That's 31 in dog-paddle years.) No, the Olympics became a waste of time for me when the foolish thought of, "Hey, I bet I could do that" drifted into my too-empty head. You see, these athletes are so talented at what they do, they make impossible physical tasks seem effortless. And that's where I get into trouble.

Turns out, swimming is NOT cannonballing into the pool and thrashing your arms around like a crazed choreographer. Gymnastics is NOT rolling around on a mat with glitter in your hair. Track events may be over in 2.98 seconds, but the only way I'm doing it that fast is if the running lane goes through Wisconsin.

I'm warning you, don't be motivated to do stuff after watching all that American athletic glory. You'll exert muscles that haven't been used since the Cretaceous period. Your body will be contorted into such hideous angles, you'll look like a three-dimensional roundabout sign. You'll break more limbs than a Duluth windstorm. Instead, focus on some Twin Ports challenges that are achievable.

There's the Blue Pedestrian Slip Bridge Catapult. (Pretend you're a University of Minnesota Duluth student heading from a hockey game at the DECC over to Grandma's for a watered-down Long Island tea.)

You could also attempt the 100-Yard Canal Park Tourist Dash, where you weave your way through more sweaty fat guys than a sumo wrestler convention.

Or the Tall Ship Snatch and Grab, where you try to protect your wallet from local promoters while craning your neck up to look at the boats.

These are obtainable goals, not those crazy feats we saw in Rio over the past two weeks. Heck, even the newly-added event of golf was crazy. Whenever I watched, those world-class competitors were hitting the ball into every sand trap in South America ... Hey, wait a second ...

I COULD be an Olympic golfer!

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at