Man Sadly Fails in Quest to Extinguish Olympic Torch

Dilma Rousseff, Fabiana Claudino
The Associated Press

Only you can prevent forest fires. Or, as they say in Joinville, Brazil: Somente você pode prevenir incêndios florestais.

An anti-pyromaniac attempted to extinguish the Olympic torch on Thursday. Luckily for all of humanity, more than a dozen badged personnel vigilantly guarded the fire as a man trotted with it on a Joinville street. The Olympic flame never went out, so those considering self-immolation as a response to such a catastrophe now must wait for some other terribly depressing occurrence to serve as the catalyst. The Brazilian tax dollars spent on the motorcade protecting the flame appear as money well spent. How much would it have cost to ignite a new flame?

The attempt to assassinate the Olympic torch by means of foam marks the third such try on the life of the fire in Brazil this year. Like that obsessive-compulsive guy freaking out after you flip one of his books upside-down on the shelf, the the security team surrounding the torch quickly acted, tackling the imposter fireman, protecting the dumbfounded torch bearer, and affecting a transition from one runner to the next.

Journalists call the man attempting to douse the fire a “protestor.” Of what? He verbally objected to nothing. His body language, which spoke clearly enough to not get lost in translation, proclaimed: “I hate self-righteous hand-holders and their douchey, made up traditions.”

The Olympic torch dates back to Ancient Athens Nazi Germany, when in 776 BC 1936 the flame became a symbol to honor Zeus propagandize for Adolf Hitler. Media accounts depict the fire-extinguisher wielding man as a “jerk.” But who, really, is the jerk?