Jihadlympics and the Summer Wind

OK, maybe I got a kinda Jack Bauer/Walter Mitty complex.


Talk about cushy. I mean, the whole place has got that “Caviar with your garlic fries?” feel to it, so dead on San Francisco, and it has got to be the absolutely most beautiful place in the world to watch your team lose. They’re striking out and all you can think is — look at the pretty sailboats.

The only thing worth looking at on the scoreboard was the picture of Lance Armstrong that popped up there in a breaking news flash. Guy beats cancer and goes on to win, seven times in a row, one of the most physically grueling events in all of sports and it’s just so incredibly inspiring. Especially to me, a tri-athlete, in that I try but I’m no athlete.

But she, she who I was at the game with, who had scored these amazing seats from her boss, behind home plate, club level, didn’t exactly share my yellow-jersey enthusiasm.

“You know, he cheated on his wife,” my lovely companion felt compelled to point out.

Tour de France or no Tour de France, that Lance divorced the martyr that stood by him through chemo, for that home wrecker Sheryl – all I wanna do is have some fun – Crow, confirms a cellular-level, female suspicion, that even with only one testicle left, men are dogs.

And I might have protested that kind of gender profiling if a) it weren’t true, and b) we hadn’t just been caught on the ballpark kiss-cam, behooving me to place one low and inside, tipping her into a pre-Raphaelite swoon. For the fans.

Seemed like a Sunday made to order for the tens of thousands of us, savoring an afternoon mercifully suspended from the orange-alert madness outside the stadium.

Outside, hardliners, taking a refreshingly conciliatory tone, were talking about nuking Mecca. Karl Rove was being accused, of exactly what I don’t know, but I’m sure he did it. Gideons were replacing Bibles in hotel rooms across the country with the latest Harry Potter book. The president kept yammering on and on about wanting a Supreme Court nominee, “who will not legislate from the bench,” as if the CD he was lip-synching to was skipping.

By the way, I don’t understand why any level of alert would be designated by Orange, the international color of decaf. Sounds kind of sleepy if you ask me. Orange says, “Way past my bedtime. Let’s fight terrorism in the morning.”

Puhleeeeeeez! Let’s get serious, people! Orange is the color of complacency and no way to keep the world safe from evildoers! You think Jack Bauer drinks decaf? He’s got Red Bull in his veins because every time his cell phone rings, there is something seriously serious going down.

“What? Air Force One, hit? By a stolen American stealth fighter? Is the president alive? Repeat. Is the president…”

I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m into that TV show “24.” Real bad. I should probably check myself into some sort of rehab for it.

Bauer even trumps Armstrong, as far as my heroes go. I idolize Armstrong for many reasons, not the least of which is that he has a resting heart rate of one beat every other day.

“Heart? What heart?”

“I know, calm down. Let me get to my point.”

But special-plain-clothes-rogue-counter-terrorist-agent-superhero Bauer, is the only person I have ever lived through vicariously, other than myself.

And I feel safer knowing he exists, even if only as a fictional character. In fact, if the show hadn’t been in summer re-runs, I can’t help thinking Bauer could have somehow prevented what just happened in London, in the nick of time, of course.

It was interesting to me, though, that London got hit the day after getting the nod to host the next Olympic games, because of how it really wigged out the runner-up cities. All the mayors of all the cities that didn’t get the Olympic bid, Paris, New York, Beijing, etc., were crying foul, very upset about the whole thing and obviously jealous.

“London? Are you kidding me? There must me some mistake. It was rigged, I tell you!”

Next day, the bombs go off and, wow, did everybody change their tune. “Hey, let’s not be sore losers. London, you won fair and square. Congrats and good luck with that.”

Them Olympics have been a prime terrorist target for decades. So maybe we should think more proactively and stage an Olympics just for terrorists, as a decoy. I’m talking about events any self-respecting terrorist would find irresistible. Jihad long jump, decapitation decathlon, synchronized suicide bombing, an escape from Guantanamo relay, that kind of thing.

It would be a matter of pride for them to attend and do well and it would keep them busy, while the real games went off without a hitch.

We’ve really got to get more creative because the folks that got us into this mess didn’t think the holy war through any further than going over there and opening up a can-o-whoop-ass. Which is why our recruiters are stretching the truth so much to get signups. “No, seriously, we promise, you won’t see any action. We just want you in the Marine Corps band.”

That’s gotta suck, to be the poor kid out there in Falluja trying to defend yourself with an assault tuba.

Just the idea of it added a little more guilt to sipping my tall ice soy hazelnut latte. Cracker Jacks and beer won’t do, when you’re watching the Giants extend a losing streak.

I wish I could do something about it all, do my part, be Bauer for a day. Answer my cell phone like that. “What? The president, down? Was his plane attacked by a stolen stealth fighter? Oh. He fell off his bicycle. Well, I guess he doesn’t get a yellow jersey, huh. OK, put some Bactine on it and let him suck on a Jolly Rancher till the school nurse can get over to take look.”

But, and I just have to say this before I wrap up here, what blows me away the most about Jack Bauer, is that even while he’s trying to recover the missing nuclear football, with the oval office codes to our entire arsenal, so that the bad guys can’t wipe us out, he’ll take the time to call his significant other.

And I do fantasize about getting away with lines like that. “Honey, I care. But the country’s under attack, and I have a job to do.” He actually manages to save the country, while making sure she doesn’t feel neglected. I can tell you that’s not an easy thing to pull off, even in a daydream that a Sunday afternoon can lull you into.

At least, you know, for nine innings, it was about the sailboats and the perfect day in wonderful company, and Frank Sinatra over the loud speakers singing, “The Summer Wind,” as if he could feel the same breeze I did sitting up there in Section CL212, Row K, Seat 6. And I thought, if the world is still around, it would be nice to come back here with a son someday. Or a daughter.

But if it’s a son, of course, his name is gonna be Keifer.