By Annie Barrett
Updated August 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM EDT

Welcome to ‘What Is Your Damage,’ Annie Barrett’s summer shop of all the melodrama and self-absorption she misses from springtime reality TV. Every Tuesday and Friday, she’ll rant about a current offense to her humanity, then assess readers’ damages via video replies. Don’t be shy about admitting what annoys or intrigues you. We’re all in this pop cult together!

What’s your damage, Olympics? This week I’ve already railed against poolside interviewer Andrea Kremer and NBC’s hideously disjointed men’s all-around gymnastics telecast, so it’s time to lighten up. Today’s all about wedgies, towelies, and a lovely temper tantrum from a “challenging character” in women’s gymnastics. But first and foremost: Can these gross-outs please stop spitting in and around the pool?

I get that this is an established swimming thing. I mean, they all do it.

The men tend to be more show-offy about their range, rate of stream, and target.

While the women prefer to curate their projectile DNA into a light and airy mist.

The gene pool should feel honored that such esteemed creatures want to “give back” so generously!

I used to swim and remember getting pissed when people would do this. Which was weird, because pools are also filled with piss, so why even bother caring about saliva? Everyone’s gaping mouths were all up in that pisswater anyway. We’re all going down together — might as well mark out our own territory!

The water-spitting seems to occur especially often among heat or final winners like Michael Phelps, but that could just be because the camera’s on that person. Is everyone performing an elaborate spit ‘n’ spray routine as a reward/ritual after the race? And are we sure Lane 8 deserves to indulge? I wonder.

Day 6 development: Phelps has just started spitting giant swigs from his water bottle right onto the bullpen floor!

I guess the more decorative medals you have, the more terrain within the Olympic Village you can consider yours to germinate. You can’t really tell in this pic, but on TV it totally looked like he was ralphing. “If you have to spew, spew into this,” said ALL OF LONDON.

The only people safe anymore might be these damn weirdos:

Better watch out for those guys, too.

Anyway. The spitting seems gross to me in my bone-dry apartment where tragically no one has thought to throw me an Olympics Pee Party yet. But obviously it’s normal for the swimmers. What do you think?


Brazilian Larissa Franca’s constant wedgie

Peace, but that’s not how you pick it. (Hidden gem: That really is a bra!) On the Damages scale: 6 out of 10

Pre-swim self-flagellation

The first step towards winning is to beat yourself. (3)

Danell Leyva’s lucky towel

Enough. (10)

Might as well just throw that thing in the pool along with all the other contaminants. (10)

Release-landings on the parallel bars

Because if I did this my arms would snap off (15.033)

Team U.S.A.’s “gunmedal” gray jackets

For suggesting pit stains when none exist (7)

British handballers

Watch the boobs! (2)

Sabine Lisicki of Germany

For pausing to shrug (5/”eh”)

The New Normal promo‘s knock against “bulked-up Eastern European man-women” swimmers

Really? During swimming? Classy.

NEXT PAGE: What’s your damage, Ryan Lochte’s parents?

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Chinese gymnast Deng Linlin’s knee brace

For creating the illusion of a big red gash (4 out of 10 on the Damages scale)

Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina

For making me feel woefully inadequate re: eye makeup application. Do you think she’d give me lessons if I agreed to pay her in gold? (6)

Team Russia’s totally ’90s hair clips

2012 my ass (9)


Never win (2)

Queen Frostine strikes again!

Here’s Aliya Mustafina blowing off her coach after a poor routine. (10)

Aly Raisman’s parents

For toning it down during Tuesday’s Team Finals (3)

Ryan Lochte’s Mother

For blabbing about what a little skank he is (10)

Ryan Lochte’s Father

For not showing us his grill (3)

Prince William and Princess Kate

For not paying attention during Men’s Singles Tennis (1)

Prince Harry

For lying to the athletes: “It’s this big!” (5)

The Queen

For wearing the wrong suit (1)

Synchro Diving’s angle comparisons

Always brutal! (4)

NEXT PAGE: Ryan Seacrest, plus: My video replies to YOUR damages

Officials who refuse to look at the swimmers

You’re not a Royal British Guard. It’s okay to peek. (5 out of 10 on the Damages scale)

Giant Olympian heads in the audience

Creepy! (7)

The blasted volleyball antenna

I’ve hated that bitch my whole life. (10)

Ryan Seacrest

For somehow bringing Angelina’s leg into this. (10)

Seacrest again!

Nice try. (5)

Nathan Adrian’s bed

A twin?! (10)

Judo uniforms

For looking so COZY. (1)

London’s Pica epidemic

Please just stop. (9)


WHAT IS *YOUR* DAMAGE THIS WEEK, READERS? Tell me! The next few installments will probably focus on the Olympics, but it is your God-given right to bitch about anything you want. Reader Damages for August 4, 2012: I’ve ranked the following atrocities, submitted by readers this week, on a scale of 1 (harmless) to 10 (Heather Chandler).

–Misty May’s shoutouts into the camera after every match

–Phil Phillips’ song “Home” used as women’s gymnastics theme

–Kohei Uchimura’s sparkly anime hair

–leotards that look like Kelly Kapowski’s bathing suits

–Andrea Kremer

–commentators unable to let the Jordyn Wieber thing go

–insanely hot swimmers’ bodies

–hiding from online Olympics spoilers before NBC airs events

–all the sports

Chariots of Fire theme song stuck in head for next 40 years

–NBC not showing all the rotations in men’s gymnastics

–Tim Daggett

–commentators trying to make China the new USSR

–feeling guilty about who you’re rooting for at a given moment

–the lack of televised medal ceremonies

–too much synchronized diving coverage

–gymnastics moms


Click on the “answered questions” prompts in the video player below to see my assessments.

If the player isn’t working for you, go here!

What Is Your Damage? on VYou

What is your damage? What is with you today? What’s with today, today? Let me know what’s annoying you by sending me a “question” in the video box. You can also tweet and/or e-mail me your damages. Do not mail me your damages. I do not believe in paper.

Why is this column called “What Is Your Damage?” Excellent question. Here you go.

Thanks for playing along!

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Read more:

What is your damage, London Olympics? (Vol. 1)

What is your damage, Ryan Lochte’s grill?

Olympics recap, USA gymnastics: Jordyn Wieber Gets Her Gold

Annie Barrett’s original VYou channel