Jewish World Review August 30, 2002 / 22 Elul, 5762
Debra J. Saunders
Gold medal in meddling
DEAR Olympic Committee:
Pick New York. You won't regret it.
New York is cleaner then San Francisco. In New
York, "Urinetown" is the name of a musical. Here, it's
Market Street if you walk too close to the buildings in
Besides, when you guys splurge on a big fireworks
display, don't you want the world to see the pretty
lights instead of fog?
I won't say there are no advantages to San
Francisco. For one thing, international tourists will
have little problem finding illegal drugs. And
attendees won't be bothered by overzealous security
-- not in the city where one of S.F.'s finest told The
Chronicle, "If you are driving down the freeway and a
bullet comes through your windshield from the
projects," there likely will be no criminal investigation.
But there's a trade-off. Bay Area pols make French
skating judges look like models of probity. Their
power has gone to their heads, so don't cry foul if the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors prohibits sodas
and candy at Game events. They know what's best
for you. Ditto smoking bans at all Olympic locations
-- except for marijuana to alleviate Olympics-related
Then there will be resolutions to demand Olympic
committee recognition of transgender people to the
gender of their choice -- and that won't go over big
with women weightlifters. Failing that, perhaps a third
gender category -- transitioning -- could be added to
the Olympic categories.
Oh, and expect the supes that outlawed
discrimination against fat people to pick up the
cudgel for obese athletes -- say, by demanding a
50-meter head start for the 100-meter dash.
Maybe you'll get lucky and California pols won't
decide to outlaw the skeet- and-trap competitions. If
so, you know they'll pass a law requiring that
audience members be versed in "gun safety
education" before the Games begin.
And you don't want young children sitting in the
stands for the men's Greco- Roman wrestling -- not
without earplugs, anyway.
Note that I dare not predict what resolutions our
lawmakers will concoct to deal with people who are
allergic to perfumes, to boost vegetarianism, to
annoy the Boy Scouts, to address the need for locals
to root for other countries, and to make a statement
on the bad health effects of competition.
I only know that whatever they cook up, it will be
advocated as a tribute to "diversity."
Naysayers might tell you that Bay Area bridge
gridlock will make you long for Los Angeles. They're
wrong. Tourists like the gridlock, because it forces
them to sit back and smell the (mandated by
Berkeley law) fair-trade coffee.
The good news is that retrofitting to fix structural
problems revealed in the 1989 Loma Prieta
earthquake should be finished by 2012 -- so you'll be
safer than area residents have been in the last
But since the state didn't start construction of the
Bay Bridge's new eastern span until 12 years after
Loma Prieta, you might want to give yourself a
cushion: Insist on a contract clause stipulating that if
the bridge work isn't completed by the target date of
2007, you can hire someone to finish the job.
Finishing the Bay Bridge retrofit -- now that would be
a feat worthy of an Olympic medal.
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© 2000, Creators Syndicate