The Aussie goofiness factor

Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2000

Oi! Oi! Oi!

It's nice to know the goofiness factor is as high in Sydney as it is in the United States. I'm a big fan of goofiness because I think too many people take themselves too seriously, so we need a little silliness now and then to lighten things up.

In Sydney I've seen plenty of odd costumes and behaviors, from the standard painted hair or face (yellow and green is an Aussie favorite) to wearing your favorite flag like a cape. There are all kinds of flag tattoos, you know, the temporary kind you put on your cheek, arm or other favorite body part. Some of the Australian athletes are even wearing them when they compete.

Then there's that annoying cheer you hear everywhere: Ozeeee, Ozeeee, Ozeeeee. Oi! Oi! Oi! What does that mean? Can I check your Oi mate?

The Jamaican bobsled team award for goofiness goes to Eric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea, who nearly drowned trying to swim the 100-meter freestyle. He finished a couple of calendar pages off the pace and the Olympic partners printed a postcard showing him in the pool.

But my favorite bit of goofiness is found around Olympic Stadium. You walk along Olympic Boulevard and you see all these people standing with one arm in the air, looking like the Statue of Liberty posing for pictures. It took me a couple of days to figure it out (I'm kind of slow). If your photographer crouches down just right and you put your hand in the right place, it looks like you're holding the Olympic torch.

Ha! I thought. Who would be dumb enough to do that. Well, being the prince of goofy, I had to try it. How do you think it came out?

Til tomorrow, then,


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