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Rated: E · Short Story · Comedy · #2255561
Participating in the Olympics can teach you a lot about what is most important in life.
976 WC winning entry for the Writer's Cramp. Prompt: Title - These Weird Olympic Games of 2020 - eh 2021...

“You have to dad. Mom is.”

It was Sally, our youngest. The rest of the kids sent her. They know that sweet bundle of joy can twist whatever she wants out of me. “Sorry. I have to work.” Working at home is a settled thing, changed with my sports company during the long haul to the goal line with the pandemic.

Now it was Andrew’s turn. They had the routine down with well honed practice. “Hey, dad. Mom sent me in to see what’s keeping you.”

The distraction was enough to throw off my game. Usually, multitasking comes easy as a parent after the first kid arrives. With the mix of adoptions and foster kids, our farm style living supports eight. That’s right, eight kids from five to fifteen. “Give me twenty-five pushups and I’ll join the team,” I said, one eye still on the televised swimming events at the latest Olympics going on in Japan.

My job is pure honey to the bee, sports reporter for a major news franchise. With one eye on the screen, the other kept track of Andrew pumping and counting his flexing muscles at my home office doorway. “Twenty-five. Put it on record, Dad. We need you. We got our own Olympics going on.”

That had to be my wife’s idea. She knew how much I’d wanted to be at the real thing. We’d planned and saved for years. I’d got the kids hyped up on it, too. Alice and I had worked them double hard, making games out of farming’s meanest tasks. Each of our brood had surpassed themselves winning first place in our hearts and enough cash for us all to attend. “Honey? Can you break away for a minute? We need a judge for the greased pig event.”

It raised my eyebrows as well as my butt off my home office chair. It squeaked out as did I, “You’re not using Henry, are you?”

Henry could wiggle his way out of any trouble he got into. That pig was the winner of many a decathlon, ten track and field events, that never failed to leave the rest of us disgraced, panting in the dust in last place.

“We can’t hold him back much longer. We made a special mud wallow with a bucket of fishing worms tossed in,” squealed Noah, middle child who loved Henry like a brother, mostly took care of him.

Prodded by this piece of one sided conversation as well as others, I allowed Alice to tape a homemade Olympic Judge pin made out of her ‘Holy Cow’ home school assignment about animal husbandry and accepted a kiss on the cheek. Mixing fun with homework is her specialty.

Henry decided not to wait. Surrounded by my herd of agricultural specialists, the event started on its own with Samual slipping over the spilled grease pot he’d been smearing on Henry’s hide. Knocked over like a bowling pin with Henry being on the ball, Henry made a pig of himself in a big way.

“Grab him.”

“I got him. No I don’t.”

Kids seemed to be flying everywhere but on top of Henry. I think I saw a triple somersault that would have done any world class gymnast proud. The one thing I didn’t expect was to find myself the target of this melee. “Watch out,” my wife cried in excitement, jumping out of the way, her cell phone recording every second.

Henry tackled me like the pro he is. Greased lightning tripped me up in my own legs. I was out wrestled before I’d begun. “Stop horsing around. Get him, dad,” Alice said, dancing up and down, my biggest cheerleader.

I managed to catch one hindquarter of one of Henry’s fast disappearing legs. The one that hadn’t been greased yet. “Hold on,” urged Andrew. “Henry’s headed for the neighbor’s for an not allowed conjugal visit with their prize pig.”

Sure enough, this was the exact opposite direction of the mud pond and worms. All of our savings and more would be lost to pay the cost of this misadventure if Henry got his honeymoon. “Don’t let go, pop.”

Henry was having a field day. One kid was holding onto one of my feet while another did the other to slow that pig down. We all were more dirt than not. A cloud rose around us. Squeezing my eyes shut, I sneezed. Couldn’t help it. Henry took that as the sign of the starting gun. The next moment all I held onto was the morning breeze.

“Poor Henry. Not very sporting, is it?” Alice laughed, turning off her phone’s video mode.

“What do you people do for an encore?” Alvin Pryor. Our neighbor stood next to his fence, closing the gate after Henry’s explosion getting inside to see his girlfriend.

“Knew Henry might come visiting so I encouraged him. Bella Sue isn’t here, but there’s her favorite treats and Henry’s, too. You can take him back home when he finishes making a hog of himself.” Alvin tipped his straw hat, having won the day in my regard.

“Stand still, Alvin. You caught Henry. You won first prize.” Alice slapped the ribbon on the man’s proud chest and took pictures of his beaming smile when she said, “A month of Sundays of my famous apple pies on your table.”

I didn’t mind losing those succulent treats as much as I thought I would. Alice sent in her video to my boss along with my work done on the events in Japan. She’s my executive secretary keeping me organized. She did just that organizing a windfall of a big bonus when the video became viral on social media. We're headed on a month long paid vacation to Athens to see where the first Olympics were held.

The weird Olympic Games of 2020- eh 2021… were the best we’d ever attended after all.

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