For some time now, Chris and I have been pointing out to our boys that “kids nowadays” say “theenks” instead of “thanks.”

They hotly deny it.  “Nobody says that!”  We tell them they’re wrong, and cite which teenage clerks at which local shops say “theenks” when we hand over our money.  They remain deniers.

But then the Olympics started, and one of the commercials for McDonald’s shows a little boy being handed a bag of “food” from his father, which his mother hovers anxiously behind, hoping for credit. The kid looks past his dad and says “Theenks Mom.”   For now, let’s ignore everything that is wrong about this commercial, and focus on the kid’s pronunciation.

This one child is clearly saying theenks, which our boys admit, but they swear he is the one and only such kid to do so in the entire nation.  Now, when the commercial starts, Hugh mutes it instantly, so I won’t crow and say “See?  See?  I told you so!”  Or worse, chortle to myself.

Like many others, we have clustered around the glowing TV to watch the amazing antics and athleticism from Vancouver for the past 10 days or so.  Everyone agrees that the sibling ice dancing teams are disturbing – even shudderific.  I tried to justify why there are so many such teams.  “Probably all of their moms said ‘I”m only driving back and forth to the rink one time each day!  You have to take lessons at the same time!’”  Inevitably, these kids got pushed into ice dancing together.  The overabundance of cowboy costumes this year is another question.

brother sister act

Brother-Sister Kerr representing the Wild West of the UK.

For quite a while, Hugh and I thought the snowboarders were actually wearing jeans, before figuring out that they are snowpants in a convincing denim color.  I like Ralph Lauren’s designs, from the cute knit caps of the opening ceremonies to the madras jackets of the boarders.

The biathlon is always fascinating.  We worry, while watching, that one of the lagging-behind athletes will snap and start shooting those ahead of him.  Chris wants to lobby the Olympics Committee for an urban biathlon, with people running from behind parked cars to corner stores, shooting as they go.

The downhill ski events are full of thrills, chills, and spills.  Hugh has been skiing a lot this winter, so to him, it’s actually relevant.  He watches closely and can tell us which Canadian mountain has snow, which does not, which skiier has anxiety or asthma, which one is close to his mom, which one is alienated from his family.  The only questions he still needs to research are blood types for each athlete, and why Korea ever got into short track in the first place.  One day, our middle child will be the perfect ESPN chat show host.

Even Ian has gotten interested in the Olympics, although we suspect it’s because of the gorgeous Norwegian girl he spotted in the opening ceremonies.  Lately he’s been rooting mostly for Norway, and is hoping to learn the language.

I’m looking forward to another week of the Olympics.  Unique among televised events, it is truly interesting to everyone in the house almost all of the time.  So for that, I must say a big THEENKS to the ancient Greeks and to their modern spokesman, Dick Button.

What have you loved/loathed about this winter’s Olympics?
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