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The Clark Family Olympics

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Some families watch the Olympics from the comfort of their own homes, other families hold their own freaking Olympics while on vacation together.* Count the Clark's in the latter camp, please, and give us a shiny gold medal-of-crazy while you're at it. Just kidding, we're not crazy. (We're kind of crazy, but it's in a lovable way...?)

The inaugural Clark Family Olympics, the random brainchild of my always-up-for-a-game partner-in-crime/sister, Amy, was held just last week on the shark-tooth-lined beaches of Topsail, North Carolina, where over 20 Clark's and Clark's-in-law battled to the death (while drinking a refreshing cocktail) for the right to become the winner of... bragging rights! You'd be surprised how much we wanted that particular prize. Then again, you probably wouldn't. Anyway, since ESPN opted not to televise, allow me to paint you a mental picture of the proceedings.

The events, carefully designed to test the limits of each contestant's ability to complain, included:

1. Water-balloon toss**: I've placed an asterisk next to this event because the eventual winners dropped their balloon 50 times, while other (better?) teams, including mine, caught every one of their throws, only to have the balloon explode in their unsuspecting faces. It's a conspiracy, and I'm blaming Canada!

2. Human wheelbarrow race: Part 1: Grab your partners legs and scream at them like a camel to
move through the sand faster, FASTER I tell you! Part 2: Explain insensitive behavior later.

3. Three-legged race: My dad and his gung-ho partner, Kathy, really stood out during this one. As we watched them literally breeze past other duos in their first few heats, I wondered if they actually were born with their legs fused together, 20 years apart in age, a freakish miracle of science. If only they hadn't bitten it at the last second, tasting sand instead of glory on the final lap, not even a bronze medal to ease the pain of their rapidly swelling ankles.

4. A really boring variation of bocce. Who wants to watch a ball roll slowly over the sand, hit a shell, and then veer off at the last second? Go figure this was the event I excelled in the most. Where's my drink?

5. Tallest sand castle construction: I stopped caring about this event after a d-baggy pair of self-appointed judges refused to allow the shell I placed atop our tower to be used as part of our final measurement. Shells are a natural substance, b-holes.

6. Pool relay race: Don't ask me why we had to balance two pieces of fruit on a cookie sheet and sit down before we handed it off to our partner or whatever, but this $%** was fun because it allowed us Clark's to do what we do best in close proximity: talk a bunch of smack.
Although Caroline and I medal'd in the wheelbarrow race and bocce, we sucked a big fat one in all the others and were forced to watch our competition usurp our spots on the podium. I'm pretty sure she didn't care, but I did! The thrill of victory, the agony of singing the national anthem with a crappy British accent in the winners' honor. That's "sport" for you. At least I'm not the only sore loser, though, because everyone else deliberately sounded pitchy, too. Did I mention we're all pretty incredible singers? Another time, another game.

*No one does this.

**Not fair.