Playing on Olympus

As the rest of the world already knows, the Olympics are being played as we speak. Unfortunately, Betty lives in a hollow in the ground, and the television signal for the only channel that’s playing them free to air is fuzzy there. It has been highlights only in the Scandretti-Person household. That hasn’t been all bad – curating, as it were, the endless hours Betty could have spent watching, say, rowing, which she can see live on the lake thirty seconds’ walk away any morning of the week – but it does make it difficult to nod enthusiastically when clients mention the latest obscure show-jumping champion…

Instead, Betty must revert to the past, which is readily available. The sad truth is that Betty has probably seen more Olympic coverage by Leni Riefenstahl at university than live on cable. Take this for some inspiration:


Isn’t it interesting, though, to discuss the particular sports that keep being introduced to, and then dropped from, the Games? If Takapuna had its way ping-pong would be out and stand-up paddle-boarding (and possibly latte art) would headline. For me, I’d introduce the game most beloved of my childhood: it’s called “Are you there, Moriarty?”. It is played in this way: two players lie prone on the rug, one (who we can nickname Sherlock) blindfolded and holding a rolled-up newspaper in his right hand, and both players clasp each other’s left. The blindfolded one says to the other, “Are you there, Moriarty?”, to which the other replies, “Yes”; Moriarty then, if he is canny, rolls out of the way while Sherlock attempts to bash him with the rolled-up newspaper. Strategy and nimbleness. Just wait till Danny Boyle gets his hands on that.