Monica Phelps and her cringey gymnastics commentary…

Here’s another silly post from yours truly. It’s another lame attempt to stop myself from writing something serious today. It’s Friday, after all, and who needs a depressing blog post? All you really need to do is hang out on Facebook for that. Yep– I’m tempted to bitch about some things, but I’d rather draw your attention to the craziness that is Monica Phelps.

Who’s Monica Phelps, you ask? I didn’t know who she was myself, until I stumbled across some hilarious videos made by YouTuber Ampli Tood, who is apparently a big fan of women’s gymnastics. Monica Phelps is a British woman who was an artistic gymnast in the 1960s. She competed in the 1964 Summer Olympic Games when she was about twenty years old and then going by her birth name, Monica Rutherford. Although her status of being an Olympian is nothing to sneeze at, Phelps apparently wasn’t that decorated. According to Wikipedia, her best showing at the Olympics was a ranking of 59th on the vault.

Also according to Wikipedia, Monica Phelps was married to British Olympic diver Brian Phelps. Mr. Phelps is a convicted sex offender, having been sent to prison in England back in 2008. Anyway, these two founded a trampoline club called OLGA, which they ran in England. Later, they moved to France. I’m not sure if Brian Phelps is still in the pokey for rape, attempted rape and 19 indecent assaults on two girls which took place from 1976 to 1986 – while the girls were between six and 15. I’m also not sure if he and Monica are still married. Evidently, Brian Phelps’ younger brother, John, was also arrested for molesting girls.

But enough about the crimes of Brian and John Phelps. This post is about Monica Phelps, who carved a career for herself as a women’s artistic gymnastics commentator on British television. As annoying as some American commentators are, I’ve never heard them say things like Monica Phelps does. She goes from gushing about a performance one moment to body shaming and making grotesque comparisons to “stick insects” another. Have a look at Ampli Tood’s first funny video.

“She’s a hefty girl, but no no, she’s a very slender young lady…”

Good gawd! The above remark just tips the iceberg. It’s like she’ll literally just say anything that comes into her head, no matter how bizarre or inappropriate.

For this second video, Ampli Tood added some goofy synthesizer music and a photo of Monica in her heyday, wearing a sixties era leotard.

“We’re not looking for pre-pubescent stick insects anymore…”

Most of the videos are from the 80s and 90s, which was about the time I used to watch gymnastics regularly. I don’t watch very often anymore, in part because I don’t get live TV here and also because I’m so old and decrepit that it’s depressing to see these really young, fit girls. Especially when I know that so many of them have been abused.

“Quite a chunky gymnast, but…”

I wonder what this must be like for commentators, watching gymnasts and rambling on throughout their performances. I mean, I guess they get paid to do this, but it’s like verbal diarrhea. She just goes on and on, saying things that are equal parts funny and mortifying!

“She is very, very female…”
The elastic makes quite a crease around their waists.

There are a bunch of videos like this one. Ampli Tood has also done some pretty funny videos featuring Tim Daggett, who was a 80s era men’s gymnast. I remember he had a pretty bad history with injuries back in the day. Somehow, he still made it to the Olympics, despite having had many surgeries.


I do like to watch gymnastics, but I’m kind of glad I never felt the need to be a gymnast myself. The recent horror stories that have come out about this sport are just awful. That, along with the constant risk of serious injuries and my fear of breaking my ass were enough to keep me away!

The music on these videos is everything, even if some of the videos are kind of sad. Monica Phelps must have been a successful coach, though, even if her own gymnastics career was not all that stellar… as far as I can tell, anyway.

Dawes is hungry!

I could watch these all day!


Reach out… reach out and jerk me off!

Years ago, the late comedian George Carlin had a funny routine about what he called “courtesy shit”. It was on his hilarious album, What Am I Doing in New Jersey. Man, I used to listen to that cassette tape over and over again. I could probably recite it from memory. Of course, the cassette came from the HBO special, which aired in 1988. It’s even better to watch Carlin than listen to him.

As the social isolation shit goes on, I find myself even less tolerant of stupid shit. Just now, for instance, some guy named Mark Moses tried to message me. I got a notification on my cell phone, which sits to my right. The notification read, “Mark Moses would like to connect with you.” I sometimes get PMs from people I don’t know because of my wine group. I go to see what ‘ol Mark wants, and it says “Hi.” What the fuck is that? I don’t know you, Mark, and now is not the time to reach out and touch someone. I deleted his message and blocked him.

This was the second message I got today. The first one came from an old college friend of mine. She forwarded a viral “warning” about someone named Andrea Wilson. The warning was obviously not something she wrote herself. I was immediately suspicious that it was a hoax. So I looked it up, and sure enough, it’s bullshit. Andrea Wilson shared an article written by a tech guru who referred to it as an “irritating” scam. I was thinking about my old college friend, who clearly had sent this thing to everyone on her Facebook friends list… and I wondered why she didn’t know better. Then I deleted the message.

I wonder if people are really so bored that they need to reach out to people they don’t know… Mark Moses– why did you message me? Is it because you think I’m “cute”? Is it because you think you can scam me out of money? Do you want to pass along some fucking viruses to me? Are you being congenial? Are you reaching out? Well, as Carlin once said… “Reach out and jerk me off.”

Awww… back when phones were the only way people could annoy you from afar.

I’m sitting here listening to this classic special. It’s hilarious. I miss George Carlin so much. Can you even imagine what he’d have to say about Donald Trump? What about the coronavirus? But I’m so glad we still have these classic recordings to remind us of his wisdom and genius. And What Am I Doing in New Jersey is definitely one of my favorites by him. Just listening to it this morning puts a smile on my face, even as we face another day of social isolation. Except not everyone wants to isolate… they still reach out and touch you from the Internet.

More people should swear, too…

This is why I don’t drive much…

Fuck you and your ticket too! 9:09… “well, reach out and jerk me off!”

I think Carlin’s bit on driving is my favorite of everything he’s done. And he did a lot of great stuff! I’m feeling a bit like Carlin today as I read post after post about what we should be doing right now. Lots of people are “reaching out”… opining about whether or not we should be wearing face masks. Personally, I think it’s better to just stay home and wash your hands than wear a homemade mask. They aren’t equipped to stop the virus from coming and going and, unless you’re wearing something to keep it out of your eyes and other mucous membranes, the most you’ll do is look like you care.

Some folks will think the mask is more helpful than it is, and they won’t take precautions they otherwise would if they weren’t covering their faces. They also trap moisture, which can serve as a breeding ground for germs, especially when people reuse their masks without cleaning them. The best thing to do, in my view, is simply stay away from other people and practice scrupulous hygiene. This isn’t to say I don’t think using PPE is a good idea. I am just not sold on the homemade face masks. The weave on them isn’t tight enough to block microbes.

Of course, I did think it was funny that Trump told everyone that the Centers for Disease Control is now recommending wearing masks. But Trump is not going to be wearing a mask himself, because he thinks it doesn’t look good. Trump, who could get the best PPE available, says:

“Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens — I don’t know,” he added, though he stopped receiving foreign dignitaries weeks ago. “Somehow, I just don’t see it for myself.”

Naw… Trump just doesn’t want to cover his sewer and spare the rest of us from having to listen to him flapping his gums and spewing from his big pie hole. He’s just like one of the “self-important twits” Carlin spoke of in his routine. I do think that Trump probably should cover his mouth, not just because it would muffle his ridiculous drivel, but also because as a leader, it’s important for him to set a good example for others. If the CDC is recommending that people wear masks, the leader should be the first one to follow that recommendation. But Trump is so grandiosely narcissistic that he doesn’t think rules apply to him. I truly hope he pays the ultimate price for his incredible arrogance.

Anyway, its lunchtime, and we have beautiful weather. I’ve already walked Arran, and I’m hungry. So I’m going to sign off for now… Have a lovely coronavirus free Monday.