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Wednesday, November 23, 2016



     A couple weeks ago Rio de Janeiro, a city awash in political scandal, Zika virus, rampant crime and economic upheaval, encountered a new problem it hadn't accounted for, and its name was Ryan Lochte. In the murky morning haze following a binge-ful bender, something happened at the intersection of alcohol, youth and invincibility when Lochte and three other swim team members stopped their taxi at a gas station.

     Or maybe it didn't happen. Was it a mugging? An extortion? A robbery? Or was it a case of some young athletes expecting to participate in the 4 x urinal relay, and possibly the restroom was locked? His exaggerated account of the details was disputed by footage from security cameras. Can you imagine what Ryan Lochte does when there are no cameras around? The answer is: Nothing. What a waste of time that would be.

     If it's all some sort of cry for attention I can't figure out what for. Not only does the guy have every medal short of the purple heart, but he's so unnaturally good-looking that he is probably invited to participate in breaststroke events that I don't even have a joke for.

     He had several sponsorship deals that have been terminated as a result of what started out as an alcohol-fueled prank and careened into an international incident. Speedo ended its relationship with him, even though he didn't do anything wrong from the waist down. The Gentle Hair Removal company also severed ties with Lochte, but if you dye your hair gray and it turns green, it's probably about to fall out anyway, rendering the product useless.

     By the time I was Lochte's age I had been undertaking stupid stunts for many years, which continued until about two weeks ago, when I did something dumb. But nothing since then, so it was probably just a phase I was going through.

     My friends and I were just talking about a swimming-related shenanigan that we pulled as teenagers, where a bunch of us trespassed onto somebody's property to swim in Mead Lake. "Trespassing" is a pretty big word that I arguably couldn't be expected to know with only half of a high school education, plus it's in the Lord's Prayer, so I figured it must be fine. Anyway, a couple of us swam across the lake, oblivious to the fact that those who had stayed on shore had been arrested by the police.

     Nobody thought to spin it into a wild tale of intrigue, so they just paid the fine. But now that I know that blaming things on Rio is an option, I plan on trying it next time I get a traffic ticket. "There were these two dudes wearing blue uniforms, and they had guns. They stopped me on the street and made up this story about how I was going 45 miles-per-hour in a 30 zone. They looked like they could be from Rio de Janeiro, so I just complied even though I was only going 43.

     What I'm saying is, don't judge too harshly. Because he who casteth the first stone knoweth not that a photo existseth of him passed out at a frat party with his underwear on backwards waiting to be instagram-ethed.

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