Your RDA of Irony

Watching the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics….

“Hello, I’m Bob Costas, with Matt Lauer. We welcome you to our coverage of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing, China.”

Matt: Thanks Bob. Our viewers would be interested to know that China is the most populous country in the world. It has 1.3 billion people. That is one fifth of the world’s population. China is approximately the same size as the United States, but it has four times the population. If you piled 1.3 billion Chinese people, one on top of the other…

Bob: This is fascinating but….

Matt: That would be 1,321,060 miles, which is the equivalent of three round trips to the moon.

Bob: Why don’t you calculate the number of teeth in China while I tell the viewers about the Opening Ceremonies. The opening ceremonies for this, the 29th Olympic Games of the modern era, will feature a spectacular pageant of theatre, art, dance, and history. It is the part of the Olympics for people who don’t like sports.

You will also see a procession of athletes from more than 400 nations. That actually is more than twice the number of real countries, but the Chinese are shamelessly padding the list. You will see Olympic delegations from the Shriners Club, the Church of Scientology, Carthage, and the Klingon Empire–which is made up entirely of finance majors at the University of Chicago.

Matt: China has approximately 41,600,000,000 teeth.

Bob: That’s great. Now calculate that in Fahrenheit. In the meantime, to explain China’s history, we have Eugene Finerman.

Eugene: Thank you, Bob. When China last had this many foreign delegations, it was in 1900 and called the Boxer Rebellion. At that time, Chinese nationalists wanted to express their appreciation of European and Japanese exploitation by massacring the “foreign devils.” I don’t know if history is going to repeat itself, but the Opening Ceremony has commenced with 2008 soldiers pounding drums.

Bob: This is a countdown to a massacre? Wouldn’t the world be appalled?

Eugene: If this turned out to be a sequel to the Boxer Rebellion, I think that two-thirds of the world would call it “payback.” Don’t overestimate Latin America’s, Africa’s and Asia’s sympathy for European imperialism.

Bob: But the leaders of the world are here. President Bush and Brian Williams. Wouldn’t the United States avenge their deaths?

Eugene: President Cheney would use it as a justification for war with Iran. The countdown is ending; we’ll see if the massacre begins.

Bob: Three, two, one….Nothing is happening.

Eugene: Well, they still may butcher us in our sleep. But at least we’ll die having first enjoyed a fabulous tableau of Chinese history.

Matt: Wait, Fahrenheit doesn’t make any sense.

Bob: Then calculate it in metric.

Eugene: China’s foremost film director Zhang Yimou conceived and produced this opening ceremony. Ironically, this may be Zhang’s introduction to the Chinese public. Most of his films are not permitted to be shown in China; his stories of societal hypocrisy, a corrupt oligarchy and an incompetent bureaucracy just lack that “feel-good” spirit the Chinese government expects in a movie.

And keeping with that “cheerful or die” spirit, I see that the tableau of Chinese history has just skipped from the Ming Dynasty to life after Mao. A tactful omission of five centuries. No Chinese stagnation, no foreign exploitation, no Opium Wars, no civil wars, no Japanese rampage, no Cultural Revolution. Most Americans won’t notice the difference, although they will miss a tribute to Charlie Chan.

Bob: The march of the Olympic delegations is about to begin. What should we look for?

Eugene: I would be curious to see what obscene gestures that President Bush will make.

Bob: Perhaps there is something hyperallergenic about the Russians, but he does seem to be rubbing his face with just one finger.

Eugene: But I think that crotch gesture may be a tribute to Italy.

Bob: And the Iranians just saw President Bush’s moon program.

Eugene: Is the FCC going to fine you?

Bob: Probably not. Janet Jackson was not the President. And now we going to Matt Lauer with an exclusive interview.

Matt: I am here with the President of the International Olympics Committee Jacques Rogge. Mr. President, as the world watches the opening ceremonies of these games, tell us your feelings about John Edward’s confession of adultery.

  1. Peggles says:

    Your commentary is far better than the “real deal.”

  2. Shy says:

    Okay, that was just about one of the funniest things I have read in a LONG time! I would love to see it in my paper.

Leave a Reply