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Now that I know "streaming" isn't a water sport, I rarely watch live television anymore. But there are occasions when I take a break from binging and put the trusty antenna to use.

This month, it's worked overtime in funneling the Winter Olympics into my living room. I'm a tad obsessive -- er, enthusiastic -- about the Olympics. I love to watch the stories unfold -- the great athlete rising to the challenge; the underdog topping the podium; the know-it-all discovering he doesn't.

Baxter and I pile up on the sofa to watch the events, with me delivering the play-by-play and him barking the color commentary. The other night, it dawned on us that these games aren't really a challenge. I mean, anyone can sled down a hill when there's snow on it. Let's see 'em try that business on a February day in the Ozarks.

On the first day of the Ozark Olympics, we'd have freezing drizzle with a dusting of snow in -1 degree Fahrenheit. Skiers would shoot down the Boston Mountains at Mach 6.8 and bring new meaning to the Super-G.

The next day would be sunny and 72 degrees. Snowboarders would glide on slushy ice patches and stop instantly, buried to their ankles in warm mud. Camouflaged ATV rescue teams would dash in, retrieve the stranded athletes and "do doughnuts" on their way out in celebration. Spectators, coated in sludge, would hold up placards to judge the best muddin' experience.

Speed skating would be held in the Bentonville Walmart Supercenter. Skaters must make it 15 times around "Action Alley" and locate three basic household items (Oops, they're perpetually on reorder!) while children scream, pallets of dog food block every aisle and "suits" film a commercial.

We'll have Curling in the "Smart Styles" section at the front of the store. Folks in need of a coiffure will line up, ready to have their hair set with Velcro rollers. The first contestant to tight set a head of hair without drawing blood wins the gold.

Instead of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, our biathlon will have athletes in waders find "Coin" Harvey's resort and shoot cans from atop the Monte Ne ruins. We'll add the events of Hog Callin' -- in which winners have to get actual hogs to come to them from a field; and Storm Chasin' -- which will have two divisions: Twister Off-Road Action and, for the more sedentary crowd, Front Porch Lookin' Up and Video Taping.

But the creme de la creme of our Ozark Winter Olympics will be Dialect Decoding. Participants must decode a sentence to the satisfaction of Southern judges. For example:

She'd talk the ears off a dead mule. (She's chatty.)

He won't drown in his own sweat. (He's lazy.)

Don't matter if it's a wasp or a hornet when it's buzzin' in your britches. (Details don't matter right now.)

So I hereby extend an open invitation to the International Olympic Committee to come to Arkansas in the season of their choice. Let's see, we've got football season, huntin' season, plantin' season ...

NAN Our Town on 02/22/2018

Print Headline: Ozark Winter Olympics

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