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A Rose by Any Other Name: Why Ben Johnson Ruined the Olympics

Hopefully during these Olympics no one with the same name as me will inject horse testosterone directly into their scrotum to win a medal and then lose it, so no shrimpy little kids with common names like Ben Johnson have to put up with a lifetime of...

Oh great, you guys, another Olympics is happening. I sure hope this one is extra symbolic of mankind’s struggle to be its best self. Man, it would be peachy if we could all look past our cultural differences and engage in honest competition between motivated humans on a level playing field. That would be great. I would be super into that.

Hopefully this time nobody who HAS THE SAME EXACT NAME AS ME will inject HORSE TESTOSTERONE directly into their SCROTUM in order to RUN FAST ENOUGH to appear on a WHEATIES BOX. That would not be the best. Hopefully whoever does inhale illegal wolverine sperm into their sinus cavity this year has a name that nobody else on earth also has, like Usain Bolt or Googy Whimper (not a real name). That way no shrimpy little kids with common names like BEN JOHNSON or Alex Rodriguez have to put up with a lifetime of mocking steroid abuse accusations.


Yes sir, I am just full of hope about this year’s Olympics in London, USA. I sure hope somebody gets a ton of medals draped around their necks, and I hope that person gets teary-eyed when they play the national anthem of their country, and I hope that person doesn’t get caught red-handed trying to jam a cocaine-infused rhino horn up their butthole in order to jump better. That would be emotional.

You know what the best thing about the Olympics are? It’s that everybody who competes in them has spent their entire lives trying their very best to do something better than anybody else so that once every four years they can say “I was the best human at throwing a big heavy thing or jumping over a thing or rowing a boat.” Man, I can’t even believe how hard those people work at it. It’s almost like they would do anything just to be better at anything than anybody. Like, I don’t know, stick a hypodermic needle full of irradiated oyster stem cells into their eyeball veins. You know, to help with rowing a boat. If that’s what it takes.

You know who participates in the Olympics? All kinds of people. Fat people. Skinny people. Women and men. People from countries so rich they stand to make millions in endorsement deals if they can just do their one thing they’re good at better than anybody else, and people from countries so impoverished and unstable their embattled government would do anything in its limited power to provide its people with the soothing opiate of a national sports hero. What do these people all have in common? They are all snorting up lines of extinct plankton fossil dust in order to be slightly better at something important like canoeing. I find it inspiring.

Yes, sir. There is nothing better than the Olympics as a measurement of actual, real-life, measurable and worthy human achievement. These people are heroes because they have dedicated their lives to figuring out how much a human body can achieve in case it needs to run real fast for some reason after having just mainlined an entire octopus for extra performance.

These people are heroes with all kinds of names. Names like BEN JOHNSON. And probably also another guy named Ben Johnson who played handball and was a different Ben Johnson than that one other guy named Ben Johnson. It’s a very common name and it’s easy to get these things mixed up.


Ben Johnson