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Pack a hardhat this summer

040318_karaiskaki.jpgSteve Woodward of ESPN visits Athens to report on Olympic preperations and decides to annoit the construction "hardhat as the official must-have item for Olympic fans this summer."

This summer, in traffic-snarled, punctuality-challenged Athens -- where the new cinematic box office smash is "Three Men and a Shovel" -- I promise the hardhat will be the accessory that has us all queuing up at the official merchandise kiosks.

Woodward thinks that among other things, Athens' legendary traffic woes, blistering heat and falling stadium roof panels --not terrorists-- will be more likely sources of concern for visitors this summer.

Athens deserves to host the Games. It is a special place with a unique bond to the Olympic ideal. Plus, when one adds up the traffic gridlocks, the erratic driving, the heavy machinery, the tight construction deadlines (and what this implies for quality and safety), the anticipated seasonal (90-plus degree) heat, the billows of second-hand smoke, and the unavoidable fact that, as far as I can tell, there is only one Starbucks in all of Athens ... the only intelligent conclusion is that the terrorists are likely to summer in Afghanistan.

But just in case, I'm packing that hardhat. What style-conscious infidel would be without one?

Posted on March 18, 2004 in Athens, Humor | Permalink


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