From Sinning Twice, a collection of essays by Greek humourist Freddy Germanos
(Galaxias 1967). Translated by Nick Nicholas

What's Responsible?

Though I'm no expert in athletics, I've started to understand that we didn't
go that well in the Olympics in Tokyo. I mean, we could have gone better.

It seems that in the overall classings we came after Korea, Afganistan, Kenya,
Trinidad and the Ivory Coast. But we did manage to beat Lichtenstein. This is,
of course, very pleasing news, which would be even more pleasing, had Lichten-
stein taken part in the Olympics.

Now everyone is asking "What's responsible?" Well it seems that a lot of things
are responsible, if I can judge from a small poll I lately took in our athletic

1. The wind was against us. Every time one of our guys was about to run 100m
or do the long jump or throw javelin, they managed to have the wind against
them. Of course, this doesn't ever happen with the foreigners. It's been
observed that foreigners have struck up a deal with the wind, and get it always
on their side. In general, the wind shows in every way that it suffers from an
incurable hatred of Greeks.

2. The track was too wet.

3. The track was too dry.

4. They were unfair to us. I don't know how we manage it, but we always have
the referee against us. You might say that's one of our national talents.

(If despite all expectations the referee is occasionally on our side, this means
either that there's something wrong with us or that there's something wrong with
the referee).

5. We had a cramp.

6. In general, to make a quick recap, what's responsible is when the track is
too wet or not wet at all, when it's windy or not windy at all, when it's
raining or sunshine or cloudy, when we've eaten too much or haven't eaten at
all, when we haven't gotten a letter for a long time and when we've lost in
the Soccer Pools.

It's also bad for us when we compete before midday, because we aren't fully
awake, and after midday, because we're digesting.

In general, competing is bad for us.

These are some of the explanations heard these days, but with a bit of good
or bad will we can find some more, like for example:

7. The Cyprus dispute. The way things are now, our athletes had to be partic-
ularly careful in some situations. I've heard that just before the long jump
started, in which an Englishman was participating amongst others, the coach
whispered into the ear of our guy: "Don't put the squeeze on him".

Thus the Englishman came first and our guy came 25th.

8. Our international successes. It's true, we shouldn't want everything for
ourselves. We got a Nobel prize, we got our own Miss Universe... Let the
foreigners get a prize for themselves.

8. The Turkish rule over Greece! Nobody has touched on this point till today,
and I am glad to be the first one to do so. Actually, Turkish rule is respons-
ible for so many things [wrong with our country], that I don't see why it
shouldn't be responsible for what we went through in Tokyo.

Unless, of course, Tokyo is responsible for what we went through during Turkish


No, it's not our athletes' fault.

Our lads did whatever they could. It's just as well they got to Tokyo. From
one viewpoint, that's a success too.

It's the fault of the system. Something's wrong with the system of the Olympics.
And today, 68 years after the first Olympics in 1896, I'm launching the
following slogan in this column: "It's time to change the system, to make a
better day - or gold at the Olympics"

The new system should divide the countries into classes. Each country is to
compete with countries in its class. That way, we'll have more olympic winners,
as well as more justice.

1. For example, the first class could contain America and Russia: the two have
been getting in our way since 1896, and we're all sick of them. Well then, let
them poke each other's eyes out amongst themselves, and leave us alone.

2. The second class could contain all blacks. I am no supporter of racial
discrimination, but lately blacks have been showing an annoying arrogance
in athletic matters. What's more, they win lots of medals.

I have in mind the marathon runner from Ethiopia, who had such a lack of tact,
that he won two consecutive Olympics, and whatsmore, barefoot. Honestly, I
don't see why an athlete should show off the disadvantages of the social
policy of his country. If the Ethiopians don't have any shoes, let's buy them
some. (As long as they don't run in the Marathon).

3. It would be good if the third class contained all tall people. It has been
ascertained that semi-endurance races and jumps are won by tall athletes. Given
that we haven't had a tall athlete represent us in the Olympics since 344 BC,
we can comfortably support the view: "Tall guys stay home".

4. Fourth class: All non-European athletes. That way we get rid of the Japanese,
who are unfortunately neither negros nor tall, but who do win lots of medals.

5. Here we'll have all athletes coming from countries with a population of more
than eight and a half million. Of course the number is entirely coincidental.
It has nothing to do with any specific case. I could have said twelve or
fifteen, but since I said eight and a half, let it be eight and a half.

6. It is logical that the sixth class should contain countries with a population
of under eight and a half million.

Things have cleared up a lot. We've already gotten rid of England, Germany,
Italy, France and Poland, but there still remain some monsters, like Hungary,
Norway, Denmark.

This means the system must from now on try its utmost.

7. Here will belong all countries with a population of less than 8 1/2 million
and which were at one time ruled by the Turks. It has been proven that having
been ruled by the Turks always reduces athletes' performance. (If it doesn't,
this simply means that it was a bad quality Turkish rule).

Thus we eliminate Denmark and Norway, but we still have Hungary dogging us,
since she had the good idea of going through Turkish rule too.

8. The eighth class will contain all countries with a population of under
eight and a half million, which were at one time ruled by the Turks, and which
are members of NATO. That way we eliminate Hungary, and at the same time show
them what happens to you when you're not a member of NATO.

Now, of course, arises the problem: "In what class should Greece belong, in
order to win the first place in her class?"

I think we've got good odds in the eighth. But since you don't know what can
happen to our athletes, how they wake up on the day, whether they're in a good
mood, and if they're on a light stomach, it's better that we go for the ninth...

melu ma fuzme li'u ni'oni'o fu'eba'uzo'o

.i mi na certu lei se zajbrnatleta
.iseji'unaibo mi co'a jimpe lenu loi xelso cu no'e snada tu'a le la olimpik.
nunjvi pevi la tokios.
isa'unai mi poi xelso zi'e goi ko'a nu'o zmadu ko'a pe ca'aku leni snada
.iti'e le mulno nilji'a cu .o'onai te zmadu ko'a le gugdrkore'a kuce'o le
gugdrnafganistana kuce'o le gugdrkenia kuce'o le gugdrtrinidada kuce'o le
xanto denci xaskoi gugde
.iku'i ko'a zmadu .u'a le gugdrlixtenctaine
.i lenu go'i cu pluka nuzba
.i zenba pluka fau le da'i nu le gugdrlixtenctaine cu se nunjvi la olimpik

ni'o loi prenu ca te preti fi <>
.ija'o lo so'imei cu fuzme ji'u lo cmalu nu mi puzi retysisku fi le
zajbrnatleta cecmu

.ipamai le brife cu to'e mapti ko'a
.i ca ronu loko'a prenu cu bajryjvi fi le mitre beli panono gi'a clapi'ejvi
gi'a re'ojvi fi tu'a le kilga'a kei ru ba'o snada lenu le brife cu to'e mapti
.i lei fange noroi go'i li'a
.iza'a lei fange kuce le brife cu mabla ke tugni jasysnu
.ije ri roroi sarji ra
.isu'a le brife cu jarco tai roda lenu ckaji lo stodi ka xesxei

.iremai le bajrystu cu dukse leni cilmo
.icimai le bajrystu cu dukse leni sudga

.ivomai selxlupai xrani ko'a .i mi na djuno le jaitai snada be lenu go'i
.iseji'unaibo le jvipai roroi fapro ko'a
.i zo'e ji'u.e'a cusku leje'udu'u lenu go'i cu natmi se stati ko'a
(to lenu .ue le jvipai cu sarji ko'a cu nibli lenu ga da cfila ko'a gi de
cfila le jvipai toi)

.imumai sludemcro
.ixamai su'a mi tordu ke'usku
.i tu'a ko'a se fuzme lenu le bajrystu cu cilmo .e lenu le bajrystu na cilmo
.e lenu brife .e lenu na brife .e lenu carvi .e lenu solgu'i .e lenu dilnu
.e lenu puzi citka le dukse kei .e lenu puzi citka noda kei
.e lenu puze'u na cpacu lo xatra kei .e lenu na puzi jinga fo tu'a le
boltikpa nunjvi cundinkei
.iji'a ko'a se xlali nu'i lenu jivna pu le djemidju kei ki'u lenu pu'o
camcikna nu'u.e lenu jivna ba le djemidju kei ki'u lenu ca djarunta
.isu'a ko'a se xlali lonu jivna
.i lei puzi se cusku cu so'omei lei velcki poi caza se tirna
.iji'a mi va'o leka xamgu (to jo'u xlali toi) djica cu ka'e facki loi drata

.imu'ubo zemai nu dabysnu tu'a le tutrkipro
.i leiko'a zajbrnatleta ca le cabna tcini cu.ei so'iroi carmi ju'itra
.iti'e pu lenu co'a clapi'ejvi fa loi datpre .eji'a lo ritpre kei
le zajyctu cu to'ecla ve notci fi le kerlo be leko'a prenu
.iseki'ubo ge le ritpre cu pamoi gi leko'a prenu cu remumoi;

.ibimai nu ko'a ba'o rolzda snada loi drata
.i.eiro'apa'e ko'a na djica lenu snada roda
.i ko'a jinga su'ole la nobel. cnemu
.i su'oleko'a prenu cu jinga lenu se cmene lu munje ke fetnalspe mlerai li'u
.i.e'a su'o fange cu jinga su'oda

.isomai nu seltru le jectrxosmanli.
.ilenu go'i na pu se cusku su'oda
.i mi gleki lenu mi pamoi le'i cusku be ri
.i lenu seltru le jectrxosmanli. cu fuzme je'u lo so'amei
.ija'ebo .e'e fuzme lei se lifri be ko'a beivi la tokios
.ijonai.uanai la tokios. fuzme lei se lifri be ko'a beica lenu seltru le

ni' leko'a zajbrnatleta na fuzme .i leko'a xaupre no'u ri ba'o gasnu ro se
.i xamgu falenu ra .e'e mo'u klama la tokios.
.iji'uso'oda lenu go'i cu nu ba'e snada

no'i fuzme fa le ciste
.i su'oda cfila le ciste be le la olimpik. nunjvi
.i mi ba'o le nanca be li xabi beiba le pamoi mela olimpik. nunjvi neca la
1896nan. cu pa'ele'o cabdei vajyxu'a

ni'o le cnino ciste cu.ei fendi le'i gugde loi klesi
.i ro gugde cu jivna le mitselylei
.ija'ebo le'i la olimpik jinga .e leni pairvu'e cu zenba

.ipamaimu'a le pamoi klesi cu se cmima le merko .e le softo
.i ri .e ra .i'anai zunti tu'a ko'a co'a la 1896nan.
.i ko'a ba'eba'o se zdile lego'i
.iju'a.e'o ri .ionai simxu daspo gi'e co'u raktu mi vau ca le nunjvi

.i remai le remoi cu se cmima ro xekselskapi
.i mi na sarji lenu remska ke cecmu fendi
.iku'i lei xekselskapi puze'a ckaji le fanza ka lidne cinmo pe loimele se
.iji'a lego'i cu.o'onai jinga so'e jvine'u

.i mi pensi le bajryjvi befi la maraton. beira'i le gugdrnetiopia be'o
noi claxu leka jikca xaujdi kei ja'e lenu jinga relo la olimpik. porla'i nunjvi
cnemu ku'o gi'ega'i se jamfu le lunbe caku
.ije'u mi na zanru lenu lo se zajbrnatleta cu kamgubgau lei cfila be le cecmu
jditadji be levo'a jecta
.i ko'a fau lenu loi se gugdrnetiopia cu claxu loi cutci cu.e'u se vecnu ri
gi'e dunda ri ra
.imu' no se gugdrnetiopia ba bajryjvi fi la maraton.

.icimai se xamgu lenu le cimoi cu se cmima ro clapre
.i.i'u ronu tatpi bo bajryjvi je pi'ejvi cu ve jinga fo lo claselxadni
.i ko'a ji'u lenu ko'a na se krati lo clapre le la olimpik. nunjvi
ba'o la ni'u344nan. cu ka'e kumfa sarji

.ivomai vomoi klesi
.i ro zajbrnatleta poi na'e ropno
.ija'ebo ko'a vimcu leji'a ponjo noi xekselskapi najenai.u'anai clapre
gi'eku'i.o'onai jinga so'isai jvine'u

.imumai zu'i se cmima ro zajbrnatleta poi se gugde lo se xabju belo
.ili'a le namcu no'u li bipimuki'oki'o cu ba'e snuti
.ije'uje'ucai na srana lo steci gugde
.i mi puzika'e cusku lu'a <> .onai <> lu'u
neseba'i "zo bi
.iku'i seja'e lenu mi cusku <> cu.e'u za'ubipimuki'oki'omei

.iseni'ibo xamai le xamoi cu se cmima ro gugde poi se xabju lo me'ibipimu
.i le tcini ca'o xamgu
.i mi capu vimcu le ritygu'e .e le do'orgu'e .e le gugdrnitalia .e le fasygu'e
.e le gugdrpolska
.iku'i stali fa so'o vlipa nemu'u le gugdrmagiarosaga .e le gugdrnorie
.e le gugdrdanmarka
.isemu'ibo mi.ei vi carmi troci lenu xagri'a le ciste

.izemai vi se cmima ro gugde poi se xabju lo me'ibipimuki'oki'omei gi'e
pu seltru le jectrxosmanli
.i zo'e capu jetfacki lenu leni le zajbrnatleta cu snada gunka
cu roroi se jdikyri'a lenu seltru le jectrxosmanli.
(to lenu na jdikyri'a cu nibli fu'i lenu lepu'u seltru le jectrxosmanli.
cu se cfila toi)

.ija'ebo ko'a co'u se raktu tu'a le gugdrdanmarka .e le gugdrnorie
.iku'i ko'a ca'o go'i le gugdrmagiarosaga noi pa'a prije xamgu.i'onai
fi lenu rinka lenu pu seltru le jectrxosmanli

.ibimai le bimoi klesi cu se cmima ro gugde poi se xabju lo me'ibipimu
ki'oki'omei gi'e pu seltru le jectrxosmanli. gi'e ca cmima la NATOn.
ija'ebo mi vimcu leji'a gugdrmagiarosaga gi'e.o'a jarco fi ri
fe lenu selxai lenu na cmima la NATOn.

.i ca nabmi fa

.ipe'i tu'a ko'a cu se nilyla'e li so'i
.iku'i noda djuno ro ba fasnu pe leko'a zajbrnatleta
.imu'a go'i le jaitai cikybi'o be ri beica le nunjvi donri be'o.
e lenu ra caku xalbo .e lenu caku na dukse citka ganse
.i seji'ubo ko'a .e'u cmima le somoi