Health & Lifestyle

In Zuidas, a healthy lifestyle is hard to avoid. Mostly because there are big sport fields taking up so much of Zuidas, south of the Ring A10. They’re everywhere! If you’ve never been a member of one of these sport clubs, don’t worry. You can still compete in one of the many public sporting events taking place all the time. I’ve hosted a couple. And if you’re smart about it you can win big.

I once hosted a charity event involving a footrace for men in suits and women in high heels. The race took place outdoors on Gustav Mahlerplein, with a 50-meter track and three lanes. Women had to race from start to finish wearing high heels. Men had to compete in dress shoes with suits and shirts fully buttoned – and carry a briefcase. My job was to host and keep things moving. But it soon became clear we also needed a referee. After the second heat, I realized that some of the gentlemen were clearly not sticking to the rules. They weren’t bothering to race fully buttoned. A couple were even jumping the starting gun. Nothing better to demonstrate white privilege than tall Dutchmen in business suits cheating at a charity event.


And then there was one guy who clearly took off too early. The runner in Lane Two even pointed it out to me as Lane One took off. But my job as host was to keep things going, not stop the race and keep doing it over. I wondered if Lane Two would protest. But luckily he seemed perfectly happy to have come in second. Phew! I found him afterward and told him I appreciated his good sportsmanship. He told me ‘Oh, the second-place prize is actually worth more than the first. So I came in second on purpose.’ I learned a great lesson that day: if you’re going to cheat, do your homework and cheat properly. Sometimes in the Netherlands, Second is First.

Gregory Shapiro (b.1968) is known from Boom Chicago comedy theater and as the voice of Trump in the viral video ‘Netherlands Second.’ His solo show The Madness of King Donald: A Trump Survival Guide comes to Griffioen Theater 26 November, 2019.

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