Goshen News, Goshen, IN


February 17, 2014

GROUNDS FOR INSANITY: Olympic feats of the everyday need their own events at Sochi

It’s been coming for weeks. Snow, drifting, piling, packing and plopping. Faster than one can shovel, it falls, burying mailboxes, cars and, in one reported case, a smallish, sluggish, decaffeinated mom who should’ve kept moving, but didn’t.

Over in Russia, it’s snowing, too. There, local shopkeepers report a terrific run on a regional staple, the shapka-ushanka. The English translation for this is “funny-looking hat with furry flaps flipped up or flopped down; strongly favored by stern Russian officials and frowny-faced KGB guys.”

According to Yuri Popvich, president of the FFHSA, or Furry Flap Hat Seller’s Association, “Eet has bin a gute year for sales,” and, “Vee are terribly happy.” This, from beneath his own flopped-down flaps and fetching chin strap.

Well, yip and yea. I’m glad that business is good, but I will admit that I’m jealous. While we’re here, shivering through a vortex, our athletes are in Sochi, skating, skiing, snowboarding and tearing it up on the slopes, speaking generally. And the Russians are there, rink side, in their hats.

It never gets old. Watching America’s sons and daughters competing against the world’s sons and daughters as angry parents duke it out in the stands? It can’t come often enough.

Here at home, we wait, breathless, for the judges’ scores, then erupt with booing and hissing or wild applause, depending on how it shakes out. After which we pass the cheese dip and grab another Coke. Being a fan is hard work, and you have to keep up your strength. That’s how it works on this end.

Here’s the hard truth, however. When you break it down, this is why most of us are only watching the Games. It’s the cheese dip.

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Goshen City Council member Dixie Robinson is asking residents to make an effort to clean up their yards this spring. The city’s Dial-A-Truck program is available to haul trash away. Do you think there are more unsightly properties in Goshen this year than five years ago?

Yes, I have noticed more problem properties
No, I have not noticed more problems
I think the problems are about the same as always
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