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Oh?  Canada.

Olympics Crack Strikes Back:

It's 7:16 PM EST.  The Games will not officially open for hours and hours, and yet I am already officially sick of Lindsey Vonn.

7:46 PM:  Tom Brokaw likes him some Canada.  Won't you?

7:47 PM:  When reminded that California has more people than all of Canada, Brokaw is all, "Yeah, well, their economy isn't in the crapper."  BUUUUUUUURN on you, Napa Valley!

7:57  PM:  I could have written the living crap out of this introduction sequence.  They used the words "riven" and "victory's rapture."  Gimmie... gimmie like two hours and  a bottle of Asti.  I'll show you victory's rapture.

7:58 PM:  Tanith Belbin and her skunk-striped hair, ALREADY, AGAIN, SOME MORE.  It's going to be a long, hateful sixteen days.

8:00 PM:  Oh, and btw, there are only like four events in this whole entire Olympiad.  Please proceed directly to the Men's Halfpipe.

8:03 PM:  First glimpse of what the medals will look like. Apparently the contract went out to the same people who designed the background of my ATM card.  However, already Canada has already beaten Turin's ass in the Not Screwing Up the Olympics Completely event.

8:05:  Chris Collinsworth looks totally lost without Michael Phelp's mom at his side.

8:21:  In a clear money-saving move, the US Olympic committee picked up hats for the athletes' march in the 75% off post-Christmas clearance bin at L.L. Bean.

8:48:  "We Are the World" reboot FAIL.  "We Are the World" should contain neither rapping, nor AutoTune, nor Vince Vaughn.  Starts abysmally, continues in horror, ends in depression.

8:55:  Official sponsor of the Women's Halfpipe Team:  Expired Clairol Purchased at the Dollar Store.

8:59:  Wait, are we... are they actually starting?  But I haven't heard how the fourth-alternate member of the biathlon team feels about Tanith Belbin.

9:00 PM:  The Georgia team will march with black armbands in honor of the luger who lost his life on the practice run.  And that's a moving, appropriate gesture, but rather than sitting here feeling the impact of it, I'm fretting over how the Olympic Committee of Georgia scared up ten-odd armbands on five hour's notice.  See, this is why Meyers-Briggs told me I'm not a details person.

9:05 PM:  Parade of the Bunch of Politicians Nobody's Ever Heard Of

9:07 PM:  The Prime Minister of Canada looks like a Saturday Night Live version of an actual Prime Minister. They need a new one.


9:09 PM:  Pre-hating "O Canada," because it is not sung by Michael Buble.  Strapless Dress Stripper Shoes Chick is going to annihilate it.  I can see it coming.  Just see it.

9:10 PM:  Yeah, it's "O Canada:  The Remix" (tm Josh The Pilot.)  Beyatch, the notes are there for a reason.  You don't get to make up the melody as you go.

9:15 PM:  Because when you think Original Indigenous People of Canada, you think "headpiece microphones" and "freaking enormous ice zombies."

9:18:  Announcer Guy is making the introduction of each tribe sound like he's inviting them down to Contestant's Row.  "Come on down, Inuit!  You're the next nation to lose a land rights claim!"

9:20:  Thanks for coming, Aboriginal tribes!  Sorry about all the genocide!

9:21 PM:  Greeeeeeeeece.  How I've missed you.

9:23 PM:  Nation placard-carrying people are draped in the white remnants of every quilted jacket thrown into a Goodwill bin from 1981 to 1993.  This is still a VAST improvement, however, over the human snowglobes of Albertville.  Then again, anything, including  masses of cow dung slathered over a leisure suit, is an improvement over that. Digging the boots.

9:26 PM:  Azerbaijan:  The pants. I have no words, sir.  No, wait.  I have two words.   Sinbad, 1992.

9:28 PM:  How does Bermuda have ANY athletes in the Winter Olympics without permission from the motion picture department of the Walt Disney Company?

9:31 PM:  Dear Dude Carrying the Chinese Flag:  Might want to spit out your gum as you present your nation's flag TO THE ENTIRE EARTH.  Please report to the People's Minister of Inappropriate Public Behavior for caning immediately upon reaching the stadium floor.

9:34 PM:  Tim Gunn, please pick up the white courtesy phone.  Tim Gunn, please pick up the white courtesy phone in order to advise  the Czech Republic on a fashion emergency.

9:35 PM:  Thoughtful:  Finland has provided its athletes with mazes on their jackets to complete while waiting for Moldovia to troop by.

9:39 PM:  Georgia's delegation.  Oh, their faces.  I will never forget the looks on the faces I'm seeing right now.  This is not what they thought their Opening Ceremonies would be.

9:43 PM:  It's my favorite entrant in the ladies figure skating event:  Julia Sebestyen from Hungary.  Because she is 28 years old, and therefore a solid two decades past her figure skating sell-by date.

9:46 PM: Hey, Ireland?  You're kind of known as "The Emerald Isle?"  And yet you sent your athletes to the Winter Games in pants the color of what came out of my infected tonsil abscess.

On second thought, this was perhaps a peacekeeping decision.  It gives the Iran team something to talk about instead of attempting to hurl rocks at Israel.

9:50 PM:  Kazakhstan's motto:  "We're Totally Not Going to Win Anything, But We'll Make Darn Sure You'll Remember Our Hats."

9:53 PM:  Your stupid Omega commercial made me miss Lebanon! DAMN YOU, NBC!

9:56 PM:  Monaco, honoring Bing Crosby.

9:57 PM:  Nepal has the world's only non-square flag.  It is split into two triangles.  I do not know what we would do without Bob Costas to tell us these things.

9:58 PM:  Glad to see the women of the Netherlands thought to, like, comb their hair before going on worldwide television for pretty much the first and only time in their lives.  Lookin' good, ladies.

10:04 PM:  P&G wins the Best Commercial only an hour after the whole thing starts.  Oh Tide, why you always gotta make me cry?

10:05 PM:  Attention, White People Lining The Athlete's Marching Path:  STOP DANCING. IMMEDIATELY.  YOU'RE MAKING US LOOK BAD.

10:06 PM:  Tina Maze of Slovenia is important because she used to be a model.  We are all better for her presence.

10:11 PM:  Hey, remember when Nancy Kerrigan totally lost the gold medal in 1992?  Didn't that suck?  Let's bring it up again!  She seems quietly settled these days. We should mention this, a lot.

10:13:  Joe Biden looks way more excited to be here than at the State of the Union.  People are dressed better here than on Capitol Hill.

10:14 PM:  The expenditure for digital cameras, iPods, camcorders, and mobile phones of the U.S. team has got to be worth more than the GNP of most of these nations combined.

10:15 PM:  Wait-- wha?  Canada already?  Zimbabwe couldn't scrape together a ski jumping team?

10:17 PM:  SNL Prime Minister is a right crappy waver.  It looks like he's doing half-assed arm circles.

10:20 PM:  Nelly Furtado has stolen Mallory Keaton's prom dress.

10:21 PM:  When I woke up this morning, I said to myself, "Man, I really want to see the First Four Nations of Canada waving object sacred to their culture in time to a Bryan Adams song."  And lookie here!

10:26 PM:  Snow falling within the stadium as a thesaurus vomits over the loudspeaker.

10:27 PM:  You lost me, Canada.  After giving me the best Olympics I've ever seen in Calgary in 1988, YOU LOST ME with your Spencer's Gifts Magic Stick of Purple Zigzags.

10:28 PM:  What this town needs is some "Can't You Feel It?"  Also, cowboy hats.

10:29 PM:  Buble Watch:  Still not present.  Maybe he's careening up the boulevard on a Harley to bust this place up with a little "Sway."  He is, isn't he?  Tell me he is.

10:32 PM:  He is not.  It's the World's Worst Christmas Lawn Decoration instead.

10:34 PM:  Enormous projected whales, can I go with you?

10:36 PM:  Tribute to that uber-Canadian icon, the jellyfish

10:39 PM:  The Barenaked Ladies are like, "Um, we're available.  But no, you had to go with the cast of Rent from the high school production down the street."

10:44 PM:  Because this hasn't been weird and overproduced enough, it's time to bring in the French.  This next segment is entitled "If I Were a Tremendously Overdressed Man Playing a Fiddle in a Canoe."

10:53 PM:  Hey, kids, remember Michael Phelps?  He fuels up with Subway!  And marijuana!  And strippers!

10:56 PM:  and I haven't seen one single mullet.  This Opening Ceremonies isn't Canadian AT ALL.  The swirly maple leaves on the stadium floor are most welcome, because right now, pretty much my only positive images of Canada are coming from EPCOT:  The maple-leaf shaped cookies at Le Cellier, and the extraordinarily hot guy working the salmon stand at the 2002 Food and Wine Festival, known to all female employees in the park as "Salmon Man."


10:59 PM:  Nope, you're getting some slacker dancing through a cornfield.

11:00 PM: Is it just me, or does "Tribute To the Prairie" look suspiciously like every Freudian dream ever?  That or a Garth Brooks concert.  I'm not sure which is worse.

11:02 PM:  Remember when you could open a Winter Olympics with an ice rink and a bunch of flags on a stick? Yeah, me neither, fortunately.

11:05 PM:  Billions of dollars and hundreds of hours of practice and a once-every-four-years event, annnnnnnnnd NBC wants to focus upon... Shaun White.  Some more, again, already.  If he were sitting next to Tanith Belbin, they'd just affix a permanent camera to the row in front of them.

11:07 PM:  Wires and Lycra suits covered with light bulbs in Olympic Opening Ceremonies are quickly becoming the "Carmen" of figure skating.

11:08 PM:  SCHADENFREUDE ALERTSplatcha Cohen appears on the enormous drop-screen in the middle of the stadium.  Only... she won't be there.  Neither will the skater who finished ahead of her in Nationals.  Because she finished fourth.  Because she fell.  A lot.  I hereby declare these Opening Ceremonies AWESOME.

11:10 PM:   I was afraid this was going to get twee and pretentious, but now we've got a slam poet who was discovered on YouTube.  All's well.

11:16 PM:  Oh dear Lord, I forgot we haven't even officially opened this thing yet.  Something about a torch?

11:29 PM:  The only thing more awesome than a boring speech at 11:30 at night is the same boring speech, again, in a totally foreign language.  Ladle on more of that, NBC.

11:31 PM:  When I was a senior, I got to declare open the service club Mercy Works Olympics at my high school.  It consisted of two faculty members on tricycles and a girl from each class hula-hooping.  NBC did not carry it.  My speech was shorter.  And pissed off fewer people.

11:32 PM:  You guys!  K.D. LANG!  Who gets all-caps in my webpage, just to piss her off, because she apparently thinks she's past capital letters!  I remember K.D. LANG from the Calgary Games.  She wore red cowgirl boots and danced and smiled.  Now she's dressed like Tom Wolfe in drag and singing about tying people to kitchen chairs.  I'm so old and tired.

11:40 PM:  I am bitterly disappointed that Dave Coulier wasn't offered the honor of carrying the Olympic flag.

11:42 PM:  Chick singing the Olympic Hymn is fierce.  Glittery dress, singing actual notes at the actual correct time.  Her hair warrants its own Master's thesis. Canada, you are forgiven.  For the moment.

11:46 PM:  Moment of silence for luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. This is the first time I've seen television so... quiet for so long.  It's nice.  And it took a death to get here.

11:54 PM:  Oh, yeah, we've also got this fire at the end of a stick.

11:55:  I'm such a disgustingly hopeless sap.  I've got a house to pack up and nowhere to go at the other end of a move across the country and I'm sitting here tamping down my arm hair over this.

11:57 PM:  Wayne Gretzky called a big fat liar by NBC for saying he "had no commitments" this weekend. You hear that, Canada?  Your torch lighter is a BIG FAT TORCH LIGHTING LIAR.

11:58 PM:  All of Canada *&#%ing itself as nothing happens.  I hear Josh the Pilot say words I never thought would come out of any human being's mouth: "You can tell by the look on Wayne Gretzky's face that something's wrong, because nothing's coming out of the stadium floor."

12:00 AM:  And what we've been waiting for, apparently, is an enormous Q-Tip sculpture.  Gallery title:  Pile of Giant Crystal Joints

12:01 AM:  This is the failingist fail cauldron I've ever seen. Even mechanical issues aside.  WTF am I looking at?  You gotta leave the thing behind so people can look at it after the Olympics are over.  It has to be up high.  It has to.... hold on... Stadium Announcer Guy gives the "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here" call.  Wait-- and it's over?

12:02 AM:  ....Wayne?  Where are you going?

12:06 AM:  And now I'm looking at Joe Biden.  WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

12:09 AM:  Oh, there's Wayne, heading off to build the homecoming float.  This is just the kind of class and pageantry I was hoping for:  The Olympic flame borne to glory in the center of a redneck swimming pool.

12:11 AM:  Wayne continuing to be wheeled through the streets of Vancouver, clearly feeling very, very stupid.

12:12 AM:  And, of course, we cannot proceed before checking in with Shaun White to see how he's been inhaling and exhaling lately.

12:14 AM:  Hey, look, it's a collapsed Lucite production plant!  Oh, no, wait... it's the Torch Annex.

12:15 AM:  Okay, I'm gonna close this out once I figure out just what the eff went on here.  By which I mean never.

...Wayne? at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (15)

[...] the long-awaited return of Mary Beth’s Olympics coverage Share and [...]

I have waited soooooo long for this!!!!! (since, like, the last Olympics). Thanks for the insightful commentary. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. :)

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWiserlemming

This post is the best thing about the whole ceremony - thanks MB

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHollee Chadwick

[...] the rest here: Oh? Canada. « Blonde Champagne Share and [...]

Way more entertaining than that OC, eh?

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBB

Driving across Mississippi we just passed a Mustang painted the same color as the Irish team's pants/trousers. Dad asked "what color would you call that?" I knew what to tell him thanks to this post. Eeuu.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHunter House Mom


I am without TV and read your liveblogging (along with the NYTimes, Seattle Times, and several Twitter feeds) instead.


February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLex

Vince Vaughn is in the remake of "We Are The World" probably for the same reason Dan Aykroyd was in the first. And while I agree that rebooting that song was so awful that it made Michael Jackson spin in his cryogenic chamber, it was funny when Snoop Dogg and the rest of the rappers show up to throw gang signs and crip-walk all over the stage.

And you hush about Stephen Harper. He looks like a milquetoast goober because he's Canadian.

Blonde Champagne at its best :)

PS: Poor Georgian kid. But on second thought, is it such a tragedy to die doing what you love?

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

>>And that’s a moving, appropriate gesture, but rather than sitting here feeling the impact of it, I’m fretting over how the Olympic Committee of Georgia scared up ten-odd armbands on five hour’s notice.<<

You too?

Hilarious commentary. I think you need your own channel so you can co-host events like this.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

This was a totally priceless blog! I needed the laughs on a snowy Monday morning in Wisconsin! Thanks, MB!

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara N

I've read this twice b/c it made me laugh so much. Also, now when I watch the TV I can hear you commentating in my head. I think that you should apply to NBC for the next Olympics. I am sure your readers would all vote for you.

February 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelle Belle

[...] Leave a Comment Been logging all along, through panic, thankfulness, and Wheat Thins.  Oh, and if you’d care to revisit the fifty-seven hours of Tanith Belbin that was the Opening Ceremonie..., I’ve updated it some and added even more horrifying [...]

We were trapping in a restaurant last night with the curling finals - Norway versus somebody who had showed up in their scarlet and grey pajama pants.

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis

[...] I haven’t tasted my own bile yet today, I am inordinately pleased to see the reclusive  Lindsey.  Freaking. VONN on a television screen, reaching from beyond the Closing Ceremony grave to ruin my life for a full [...]

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