08 August 2005

Going the Distance

There seems to be an Olympics-style event for pretty much everyone these days. There are the Paralympics for the differently-abled, unless your different ability is lack of hearing, in which case you want the Deaflympics. Oh, sorry. I SAID YOU WANT THE DEAFLYMPICS. The Chess Olympiad is for folks who can't get a date; the Gay Games are for folks who can. The Special Olympics are for athletes with intellectual disabilities, who take the inspirational pledge to, "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." Despite these high ideals, however, some events have been marred by controversy. If you can't qualify for any of these, there's even an Olympics for you.

Still, as in so many other areas of our society, the homeless have been largely overlooked here. Sure, there's a Homeless World Cup (note to self -- find out whether the Argentinians cheat like bastards in that World Cup as well), but there is as yet no Homeless Olympics. Well, if what I saw this afternoon is any indication, there should be. When I ducked out for a late lunch, there was a Wal-Mart shopping cart nearby; the closest Wal-Mart is nearly two miles away as the crow flies and two freeway exits down, and if it didn't come from that one, we're talking marathon distances. Whoever pushed that cart all this way has the stamina and determination of an Olympian and deserves some sort of medal; more so than these clowns, at any rate.

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