Musings and Writing of GG Alexander

Savage Writing: Mr Power and the Olympic Rings

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Theme for this week was “Mr Power”. This is another testament to me holding the muse hostage.


Me and Jackie are watching the Olympics Men’s Gymnastics, and I’ve decided to call three of the competitors Mr Prance, Mr Preen, and Mr Power. Jackie tried to add ‘Mr Parker’ for one of the American ones, and when I asked why she shrugged and said ‘Like Spiderman’ and I said he didn’t look like any incarnation of Spiderman, and then we got onto a debate about the characterisation of Peter Parker throughout the different comic eras and completely missed the vault final. I don’t care – vault is the most boring event anyway. It’s not like the beam where you’re always hoping that they’re gonna slip and fall on their crotch (which would then endlessly repeat in the highlights, like they do with the Winter Olympics whenever an ice skater falls on their arse).

Anyway, by the time we’ve agreed that Spiderman is shit compared to X-Men anyways, it’s time for the rings and Mr Power is up. I call him Mr Power because when he flexes, his muscles are bigger than his head, and within two seconds of him supporting his own weight on the rings, all the flesh of his shoulders threatens to encase the rest of him and we’re squealing and going ‘Gross!’ His real name is at the bottom of the screen: he’s called Oleksandr, which is Alexander but spelt stupid, and I won’t even attempt to pronounce his surname, but it looks like someone ate the second half of the alphabet and threw it up again.

‘I hope he wins,’ Jackie says, ‘he’s a lot nicer looking than the other guys.’ She says this because most of the other guys are Chinese, and Jackie is racist.

The commentators know the names of all the different positions Mr Power is in, as they always do. I know with the swingy-bar events if you do the same technique over and over then they name it after you, which is pretty cool, but then these techniques are always named after the surnames of the Russian or French guy that used it a lot, so instead of a twisted-half-super-cross-majigger, it’s a Hermashermanov instead and it just doesn’t help. The one where it most looks like his muscles will eat his head is called an Iron Cross, which is pretty easy to remember since it’s like self-crucifixion; it’s definitely the most Metal-sounding of the techniques the voiceover guy is saying.

I sip my diet coke and secretly hope Mr Power will beat the other guys, purely because I’ve already made him special by calling him Mr Power, so he’ll be letting me down if he doesn’t do well.

‘Hey, you know yesterday a British guy got a medal for the first time in forever. We never win at gymnastics–’

‘Shh, Mr Power’s doing a handstand.’

The handstand is incredibly boring so Jackie continues.

‘But it’s always weird when we win things that we don’t usually win. I think they said the last time anyone had won a medal at gymnastics was in the bloody Victorian era or something, nineteen-ten or something like that. We’re just shit, aren’t we?’

Mr Power is out of his handstand and holding himself horizontally, and you can see the sweat dripping down his face. Even straining like that, you can still see his bright blue Eastern European eyes.

‘Hey Jacks, do you think they shoot anyone not good looking in these countries? Like the police come round to your house and shoot your baby if it’s ugly? I swear every last one of them is goddamn beautiful. It’s not fair.’

Jackie swirls her bendy straw around her fancy pint glass (she stole it from an expensive pub two years ago).

‘I dunno, Kat, it’s just genetics and stuff, innit?’

We both sip our diet cokes, and I think about how much I hate diet coke but I have to drink it anyway.

‘You fancy him, don’t you?’ she says as Mr Powers prepares to finish.

‘No-o,’ I lie, because searing-blue-eyed, blonde Eastern-European men are completely my type, even if they are so muscley I think they’re gonna grow and grow and then crush me to death, like at the end of Akira.

We watch as Mr Power swings himself around, up into the air, spins and lands perfectly on two feet, without a single step back like most of the other gymnasts have done. He stays squatting for a few seconds before straightening, and Jackie makes a crude remark which I purposefully do not hear (though maybe I snicker a little bit). Mr Power leaves the mat and wipes his face with a towel, and Jackie immediately switches allegiance when a swarthy Italian man comes up to the ring. He’s not interesting enough to merit a nickname, so I let her to swoon and squeal in equal measure at his Iron Crosses as I pour some vodka into my drink, and I don’t see his turn at all because I’m too busy gagging at the unholy alliance of Imperial Vodka and Aspartame in my glass.

Two glasses later, and the last guy – a slightly less blisteringly attractive ex-communist – stands straight. Me and Jacks are too busy giggling and making a pretend-gay-porno involving the competitors to realise what’s going on until the announcer states the final results of the Men’s Rings: Mr Power has won the bronze, behind the two Chinese competitors.

‘Aww, that’s a shame,’ Jackie says, because she is racist. I’m happy though. Mr Powers hugs his coach and smiles, also happy. I motion a toast towards him on the TV, say ‘Good on you, Mr Power,’ and then Jackie starts talking about the next event and we pour ourselves another drink.


In 2004 my brother and I were watching the men’s gymnastics at Athens and noticed the two gymnast brothers, Paul and Morgan Hamm. He made up a story as a joke that their daddy never wanted them to be gymnasts, and we continued on like it was a bad 80s film. Reality decided to follow our tale: Paul was in the lead, then fucked up on the vault (“This is the down point of the movie”) and finally brought it back on the last apparatus (the parallel bars, I think) and he won gold. 

I frickin love the Olympic gymnastics. I frickin hate diet coke and Imperial vodka.


Written by G.J.

11/07/2012 at 10:48 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Or else you can just jot down an imaginary scenario of two people sitting around talking shit. I do this quite a bit. […]

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