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Sorry, Turin

They say the closing ceremonies glittered like the gold
That graced the necks of those who won, but may I be so bold
As to acknowledge — heck, admit — that all the pageantry
That closed the games in Turin had to go on without me.

For I was bound for London, where I've been each Sunday night
For six delightful weeks. I know this may not seem quite right...
A guy who makes his living watching games that people play
Had tuned out the Olympics? Well, I've nothing much to say
In my defense, except that while the tales of skaters fade,
And stories of the speeding skiers and the runs they've made
Will be transcended by those sliding faster down the hill,
What I watched Sunday has endured. I think it always will.
It is, in case you haven't guessed, the story Dickens wrote
That's peopled by the Dedlocks, and by Tulkinghorn, whose throat
You'd dearly love to throttle, and by Esther, and, as well,
By Clamb the clark, and Smallweed, who is bound, no doubt, for hell...
By Ada and the feckless Rick, and Kenge and Carboys' Guppy
(At worst an opportunist, and at best a hapless puppy.)
...The story of a law suit and a time in London when
The poor were kicked when they were down, then roundly kicked again.

Some say that the Olympic Games were too much full of stories
Of dreadful hardships overcome and topped with brilliant glories...
My choice on Sunday evenings even while the games were going
Was Bleak House. Stories? Ah, my friend, this story was a glowing
Example of the triumph that t.v. can sometimes be...
When brilliant acting meets with great material and we,
The audience, get drama, humor, pathos, too, of sorts.
If this occurred more often, I would prob'ly watch less sports.

And so I have explained why the conclusion of the Games,
Was forced to do without me. Toss your brickbats, call me names,
But if the folks who made Bleak House and put it on, some time
Return to Dickens, I will once again choose the sublime.

This program aired on March 2, 2006. The audio for this program is not available.

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield has been the host of Only A Game since the program began in 1993.

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