The Edmond Sun

January 18, 2013

On enhanced performance

Marjorie Anderson
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Much to the chagrin of my good Mennonite Aunt Anna, coffee has been my performance enhancement drug of choice since my youth. I wonder if Lance Armstrong wishes coffee had been his choice too.

Not that it matters. He might have lost most or even all of his endorsements, but I hear he has millions of his own dollars stashed away. Besides, his reputation precedes him. How crafty he has been and will be again! If he can keep a worldwide, top-of-the-line drug testing system from detecting his sneaky drug consumption for lo these many years ... wink-wink ... he’ll find a way to get around this hitch in his stride too. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how many of Lance’s millions it takes to buy his way back into the good graces of the public. Except maybe for France, whose cyclists have probably been enhancing their performances too.

Redemption can be accomplished, though. Golfer Tiger Woods is limping his way back in spite of his vast licentious activities, and it’s looking like football hero Michael Vick of dog fighting infamy just might make it too. Of course he will. Super athletes and super stars rise above their most heinous faux pas all the time.

My good Mennonite Aunt Anna also was known to exhibit signs of apoplexy at the sight of a young girl’s exposed calves — expressly mine — so I never tested her on anything more risqué. She would most likely have succumbed if she’d witnessed Lady Gaga’s public exposure last week. Was it mere coincidence that the singer was on stage entertaining a packed-to-capacity Canadian audience — bent over, her back to the camera — when the seam of her latex britches split from her waist to.... Well, as far as a split can go? Could it have been the strain of her gyrations that brought about that wardrobe malfunction? Or maybe a seamstress’s unsecured stitch was the culprit that allowed the rip to lengthen. Maybe. But it’s more likely that her ratings had been dropping.

No, really. Janet Jackson’s wardrobe also malfunctioned during a halftime performance at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. That’s the one I remember, but it wasn’t a first. That honor goes to a participant on “The Price Is Right” in 1977, but it’s rumored that her unfortunate reveal wasn’t intentional. Wardrobe malfunctions have become so popular since then that they merit a dictionary definition: “ ... a public event or performance, particularly when there are allegations that it was deliberately staged for publicity reasons.”

But it’s not Lance Armstrong’s example that inspired droves of ivy league students to cheat and lie their way through graduation and others to order their diplomas off the Internet. And as for teen boys who wear their pants below their underwear and teen girls who show more skin than taste, it’s not their generation that went to the dogs. My good Mennonite Aunt Anna warned that we were getting there all along, and the evidence is enough to drive me back to the coffee pot.

MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.