Poem 4: 1/7/01



It takes years of special training to become
an Olympic level couch potato.
Merely being a slob will not do.
A well-cultivated paunch and fully developed
love handles are essential to one's success.
One must slouch and lay back gradually
to begin the program. Flopping is not permitted.
The judges give points to those who can drink
liquids in a semi-reclining position without spilling.
Swilling causes deductions.
One must acquire a certain finesse with the remote.
Two televisions are standard equipment.
When the events are boring or the commercial
lineup comes on, channel changing must be done
with minimal motion. Remotes must never be out of reach.
Extra points are given for finding touchdowns,
homeruns, or consecutive food advertisements.
Emotional responses are out of order and lose points.
A languid response and proper leg positions are essential
during interviews of athletes from humble backgrounds
or with extraordinary handicaps. Wows will cause disqualification.
One can only stir slightly during the most difficult routines
of gymnasts or divers. One may not shout encouragement
to favorite runners or jumpers. Cheering also leads to elimination.
The real stars stock enough finger food to minimize kitchen trips.
Bathroom breaks must appear to be unstressed.
The most critical move is the final dismount, the gradual
rising from the couch and trudging off to bed.
Medals will be awarded lying down.

Richard Roe, October 2000

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