Of course, we could actually have our own little ’lympics here. We could call it the Shelympics. The Shelympics would showcase local events.
The No Spillage Race: When the bar at the Chequit closes at 2 a.m., everyone adjourns down the hill to The Dory, which is open till 4 a.m., still carrying their drinks. This could easily be converted into a timed event where drink spillage disqualifies the racer. There are many Islanders who have already trained for this for years.
Barbershop Quartet Races: It’s a given if you are here in the summer that the North Ferry lines to get on or off the Island are epic in physical length and time duration. There is easily enough time for drivers to get out and organize themselves into quartets. They can practice right there on line, and provide entertainment for everyone. At the end of the season, we can have a competition, the winning quartet to receive free ferry tickets for next summer.
Power Mower Racing Teams: Nearly every man on this island owns a ride-on power mower. We have a long straight stretch of road from the IGA to the school, perfect for racing! Plus, at the half way mark—the post office—each team could have their pit crew ready to check the machine while the driver runs in to get his mail, I mean, why waste a trip?
The MD to Pharmacy Race. We all see who else is sick when we go to the doctor here. From the MD’s office, we all see each other again in the pharmacy, and often a third time in the post office, because we all seem to fall in sync with each other here. With a small adjustment, that is all the patients leave the MD office at the same time, we could create a three event race of MD’s to Pharm. to post office, first one to pick up their mail wins!
The police have recently had to cite some people for “intoxicated boating.” But I think this has potential. First we set out buoys with small bottles of whisky at, say, seven points around a portion of the Island. Next, we put the participants in rowboats, not motorboats. They row to the first buoy, drink one of the little bottles and row to the next buoy. I’m figuring that after the fourth buoy, it won’t be a question of who wins, but who finishes at all…
Child Drop Off. For years, Shelter Island mothers have perfected the art of dropping off kids at school by getting in the right line to swing over and barely skim the curb, while simultaneously ordering the child to open the door and get ready to jump on command. The child jumps out and a second later their backpack lands on them and the car is gone…. This is a perfect Shelympic event; it combines skill, timing, and teamwork. The faster a child learns how to fling his body from a moving vehicle, the quicker and tougher his body will be for sports.