“Have you been watching the Olympics?” Holly asked after taking a sip of her coffee.
“Nope,” Aaron replied without hesitation. “Couldn’t be any less interested.”
It was an overcast morning along the Penobscot River, and the best friends were perched on their usual bench.
“Seems weird that they’re even having them,” Holly opined.
Aaron nodded his agreement as he took a sip of his Snapple. “Gathering people from all over the world into a somewhat confined area in the middle of a global pandemic earns the gold medal for stupidity in my book.”
Holly chuckled. “It’s not like the athletes are going to return to their homelands and spread the plague. No chance of that happening…”
Now it was Aaron’s turn to laugh.
“I’m a Winter Olympics fan,” he admitted. “As much as I hate the snow and cold, I think it’s pretty cool to watch elite athletes excelling in conditions that would have me bitching about oppressive Maine winters. The Summer Olympics participants have it easy. The weather’s warm, they get to hang out in the pool, and no one’s losing fingers and toes to frostbite.”
“Well, they don’t always have it so easy,” she reminded him. “Sometimes, there’s a once in a generation pandemic making its way through the Olympic Village. That’s got to earn some respect from even the most demanding fans.”
Aaron shook his head. He could be very stubborn, and this was one such time.
“I don’t agree. These games are going to be forever tainted because of the presence of COVID. Not all the best athletes were able to compete. They were already pushed back a year. The way I see it, the only reason the Summer Olympics are still happening is because NBC spent a fortune on the television rights and they want to sell the advertising space, and make sure they earn a profit.”
Holly shrugged. “At least they didn’t try to do it all via Zoom. Could you imagine that?”
Aaron took another long pull on his iced tea and shook his head.
“Don’t give those network suits any ideas,” he scolded her. “How much do you want to bet someone proposed the idea of having the Summer Olympics via Zoom last year so that they didn’t lose out on all that ad revenue? They probably saw the major sports going forward with their abbreviated seasons and wanted to cash in on the overwhelming need for something to watch while the entire world was stuck inside with nowhere to go!”
“So in that scenario, the athletes would have competed from home over Zoom?” Holly asked with more than a hint of obnoxiousness in her voice. “Now that is something I would have watched. Those medals would have been truly earned.”
Aaron rolled his eyes. “I really don’t like you sometimes. Do you want to guess if this is one of those special moments?”
Holly flashed him her most over the top fake smile. “And the gold medal in Annoying the Grumpy Introvert goes to Holly!”
She stood up and bowed. Aaron covered his eyes in embarrassment.
“Please stop it. People are watching!”
Holly bowed again.
“That’s right, Aaron. The whole world is watching because these are the Olympics!”
He turned so that he couldn’t see her, and chugged the rest of his Snapple while Holly did a quick victory lap around the bench with her arms raised in celebration.