Mick's Shout: No, not even for charity

REMEMBER the euphoria of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games?

Remember how good it felt when Our Cathy won her gold medal? How great it was when our swimmers smashed the US Thorpie, Grant Hackett, Susie O'Neill et al. When the Hockeyroos belted the world. When the synchronised swimmers didn't drown.

Not that we've tried all that hard, but this correspondent has never really understood synchronised swimming. Obviously there's no drug testing involved. For surely those taking part would have to be high on something, smiling inanely as they do while spinning around upside down in the pool. We've never really understood, not that we've really tried, how they even judge the thing. The winning team is possibly the one that doesn't swallow the most water. Or maybe the team that swallows the most water. We don't know. We don't really care.

We recall one commentator noting that synchronised swimming is the only sport where they drug test spectators, which is pretty close to the mark.

To be honest since the Sydney Olympics we've never given synchronised swimming much thought. Live and let live is our mantra, possibly confirming our long held belief that we're a Buddhist.

That was until we received a call here the other day. In a newsroom where two of our colleagues are pregnant, nothing much surprises us. However, this did. We were left almost speechless.

"We're getting a synchronised swimming team together,'' the caller informed.

"We'd like you to join.''

We were stunned. Initially we thought this was a crank call, however, the caller insisted she was above board in her quest to find a team to go below water.

We had to channel the great Phil Gould when summoning an answer: "No, no, no, no,'' we replied.

"But it's for charity,'' the caller, who we've known for many years she's a friend of the eldest of our elderly sisters persisted.

Now over the years this correspondent has done many good deeds for charity. Why, without fail every Friday night we slip the Salvation Army five cents when they come calling at the hotel. Sometimes we don't even ask for a receipt.

We told the caller that we'd make a donation to whatever cause they're raising money for.

"Put us down for $2,'' we said, ever magnanimously.

"Is it tax deductible?"

But again the caller wouldn't be placated.

"It'll be fun,'' she continued.

"We have little polka dot swimmers for you to wear.''

Call this correspondent strange if you will, and no doubt many do. But flaying around a pool, smiling and gulping copious amounts of chlorinated water while wearing little polka dot swimmers doesn't sound like much fun. We finally decided on a compromise.

"We won't be synchronised swimming, but we'll give whatever you're raising money for a mention in a column we write in Wednesday's edition,'' we announced.

"Okay,'' the caller replied, sounding a tad disappointed.

"But does anyone read that column?"

Anyway, the synchronised swimming will be part of a fandango to be held at Club Old Bar on Saturday, August 2. Proceeds will go to the Relay for Life, a worthy cause if ever there's one.

And rest assured this correspondent won't be synchronised swimming. Wonder where they'll put the pool?


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