After the landmark ruling by Judge Thokozile Masipa that the killing of Reeva Steenkamp cannot be declared ‘murder’, the International Olympic Committee is considering proposals to introduce new sports to the Games. High on the list are ‘hitting a barn door with a banjo’, and ‘shooting fish in a barrel’.
The latter proposal has attracted lucrative sponsorship deals from the NRA, with outline competition criteria already in place. A single dead fish among 500 packed into a 3-foot diameter barrel has been set as the ‘entry-level’ qualification for athletes. Competitors will be allowed at least 4 shots per round, and should be standing really close to the barrel, which must be locked to prevent the fish escaping.
Contestants may be disqualified on the basis of murder if they peek, unless there is reasonable doubt that an unfamiliar fish may have intruded into the barrel. Mitigating circumstances will be assumed if the athlete is feeling ‘a bit stressy’. The lesser penalty of culpable homicide, which may preclude the athlete getting a medal, will only be awarded if any of the deceased fish are rich, white, famous, and can clearly be heard screaming over the cheers from the crowd. Points will be awarded for artistic merit with a howitzer.
One sport that has already been dismissed as a possible addition to the indoor disciplines is ‘shooting a frozen chicken at a train-driver cab window’. A spokesman regretfully noted, ‘We had to discount that one after the Pistouris case on the on the grounds that the barrel of the gun firing the chicken is really quite dark inside, and it is unreasonable for the athlete to be absolutely sure that the frozen chicken would be quite dead before spanging off the reinforced windscreen.’
Kevin the Swan