And so, what can we learn from the Olympics thus far? Australia currently sits on 11 gold medals, one behind Great Britain, but most of their medals don't actually count because they were won in silly meaningless sports like cycling and "49ers", which is a special kind of sailing where everybody gets in boats and travels back in time to the California goldrush. On the other hand, Australia has been winning medals in muscular, robust sports like "two person dinghy", where two people row a small wooden boat around and around in circles in a duck pond for several hours; and triathlon, a sport where small sinewy women put on big sunglasses and throw water on themselves.
The funny thing is, Australia has so far won all its gold medals in sports involving water, although Tamsyn Lewis has failed to make the 800m final despite looking a lot like a fish.
Most importantly, we have learnt from the media a valuable lesson in how to deal with a complete failure of conscious thought processes. When your neurons misfire and you literally cannot think of anything useful to say, the default "out" for the enterprising idiot is to simply blurt out any sentence beginning with the words "if Michael Phelps was a country".
"If Michael Phelps was a country he'd be fifth on the medals table"
"If Michael Phelps was a country he'd be well ahead of Australia, Canada and New Zealand"
"If Michael Phelps was a country he'd have lush green fields and a thriving agrarian economy"
"If Michael Phelps was a country he would strike quickly to secure the town of Gori"
Interestingly enough, if Tamsyn Lewis was a country she'd be dead last on the medal table and crippled by fire blight. And most of her citizens would be unemployed and clinically depressed.
Perhaps the most interesting element of the media coverage has been watching the press gradually come to the realisation that there are not as many good puns on Stephanie Rice's name as it seemed at first.
"Steaming Rice"..."Rice crackers"...er...."hot Rice?"
Seriously, "hot Rice?" That's not even a pun; ANYTHING can be hot! If "hot Rice" can be legitimately used as a pun, where will it end? Hot Diamond? Hot Callus? Hot Tomkins? That's just pathetic.
Thank God for Usain Bolt, who has allowed the sub-editors to move on from stupid rice puns and take up stupid bolt puns. "Nuts about Bolt"; "Bolt from the blue"; "Hot Bolt" etc.
Just wait till the Kookaburras hockey team takes gold. See how often "laughing kookaburras" are mentioned.
So let's all cheer for Sally McLellan in the hurdles, because I really want to see what sort of puns can be made on "McLellan".