Our English reserve must be cast aside for a higher purpose – to stop the impending Olympics take-over
I’ll be honest from the off; I’m not a sprinter. My last real sprinting experience was in Year Six, when I decided to have a race across the playground against Christopher Clemmond. Unable to stop before the brick wall finish line, I managed to split my eyebrow open, earning a meaty scar and complaints from Nan as I stained her carpet with blood. Sexy stuff.
But it seems that my disdain for athletics has me swimming against the tide this summer. Even the most portly of gentlemen seem to be embracing the sporting spirit, jumping onto the Olympic bandwagon at every opportunity (well, jumping is a strong word. More like getting one tree-trunk sized thigh on the wagon, taking a quick pint and pork scratching break, then asking a mate to help heave up the rest of his body).
But no more. Forget the English reserve. We can’t sit here any longer, nodding and smiling as American athletes (a.k.a. humans 2.0) descend upon our land, humiliating our home-grown talent (again, a strong word) and gurning with their ridiculously straight and whiter-than white teeth. So here it is: eight reasons why we should turn this ship around now and cancel the Olympics while we still have the chance.
1. The Actual Olympics
Each summer, Wimbledon comes onto our screens to the avail of a few and the groans of many. The World Cup admittedly gains a bit more support, but still there’s no contest between watching Saudi Arabia draw 0-0 with Lithuania or seeing Holly Willoughby flirt shamelessly with Phillip Schofield. Sure, the Olympics will impress us with lightning-quick speeds (the woahlympics), amazing javelin competitions (the throwlympics), emerging talent (the growlympics), and exceptional Paralympic prowess (the definitely-not-allowed-to-call-it-slowlympics), but at what cost? What will the nation do for more than a month without vapid Loose Women chatter? How will we fill the gap of endless repeats of The Simpsons? How will we cope without Jeremy Kyle looking like a complete berk while shouting at witless chavs?
We won’t. That’s how.
Top Tip: On 26 July punch your TV, right in the face.
2. The Queues
I joined the ranks of soulless commuters last year, and even regular-sized crowds now fill me with a silent, burning white-hot rage. Yeah you, man in blue suit, how DARE you cough on the train. No, you CAN’T have my seat, heavily pregnant lady. No, PLEASE don’t give birth on the train, how bloody inconsiderate. GREAT, now I’ve got placenta on my shoes… Bitch.
The Olympics will bring with it hoards of tourists, grinning with optimism and new-found wonder, while cluttering up stations hopelessly lost. Now, I can only really foresee one of two things happening. Either we’ll band together in a joined hatred for ‘them’ (the preferred option), or the additional human contact will cheer up the nation to finally let Londoners know that there are others bouncing around in this existence, proving that there’s more to life than profit margins, takeaway tikkas, and the cold flat to return to. There’s even a small chance it’ll improve their wellbeing, and the day I see a man smile on the tube is the day I take up arms and retreat to my safe house.
Top Tip: Wear grey tracksuit bottoms. Cover crotch area with water. Make sounds of relief every three minutes. Hopefully the crowd won’t be a problem for long.
3. Usain Bolt
He’s too fast. So fast, in fact, that he’s making us all look slow in comparison. Bolt is the clever kid in class that’s pulling the grade-curve way up. Yeah, it’s getting him lucrative advertising deals at every corner, but at what cost, eh?
Top Tip: Slow down, Bolt. Please.
4. Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards. Jonathan bloody Edwards. How are we boys meant to maintain any paternal respect when he’s out there, with his mighty athletic ability and wiser-than-wise eyes? More to the point, how will any of our lady folk look at us without shuddering after staring at that silver fox for eight hours a day? The man is a sex bomb, and prolonged viewing will wreck every single one of our home lives. For the sake of domestic bliss, please cancel the Olympics, or at the very least try not to look directly at his rays of godliness.
Top Tip: If the feelings become too much, head to the local athletics track. Sprinkle chloroform into the sandpit and wait until a decent looking athlete comes in. Shove his limp frame in the car, dye his hair grey and make him read from an autocue until the Edwards cravings are sated.
5. The ArcelorMittal Orbit
If ever there was a design that was scribbled up last minute in an Olympic Planning building bathroom, it’s this. The designer clearly forgot about his deadline, before it dawned on him while on the bus to work that morning. “Crap, crap, crap,” he said to himself under heavy breath, etching dramatic curves while using his knee to support the paper. The planning team each thought inwardly that it was rubbish, but feared admitting it out loud just in case it meant they were uncultured or just didn’t GET its post-post-modern values.
Is it a rollercoaster? Is it a tower? God knows; but it’s linked with THE OLYMPICS so we love it, obviously. In reality it’s like the Tate Modern: bold, distinct, vibrant, effortless, and (most importantly) crap.
Top Tip: Buy a Meccano set. Make your best, sturdy structure, stick an Olympics Logo on it and charge £5 a head as the patriotic crowds come and gawp at its understated brilliance.
6. The logo
I’m not the first to say it, and no way will I be the last, but if the best that British graphic designers can come up with is Lisa Simpson giving head, then we’ve got a serious problem.
Top Tip: Don’t do it, Lisa, you’re better than that.
7. Mandeville and Wenlock
Boldly going where no Olympic mascot has gone before, the London Olympic Mascots have set a new standard for ‘what-even-is-that’-ness, looking like the unfortunate love-children of Tinky Winky and Leela from Futurama. I’m reliably informed that they are dripping with patriotic sentiment;designed around the principles of tradition, innovation, and offending anyone with working corneas.
Top Tip: Eat nothing but steak for a week. Eventually find refuge in the toilet. Take a picture of your best effort, Photoshop an eye onto it and send to the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee as the potential mascot. Earn millions. Repeat in four years’ time.
8. Working from home
Now, I’m a bit reluctant to complain about this, but it appears that, like many others, my office will be working from home during the Olympics. The idea of it is great in principle; I won’t have to face the ridiculous queues, I’ll save money on train fares, and I won’t have to feign contentedness throughout the working day.
That’s right, I can slouch. I can work in my dressing gown. I can dribble Weetos down my chin while writing up all-important emails. But here’s where I see the problems starting. The Olympics will force workers to face their willpower head-on, making the not-so-tricky choice between productivity rates and gargantuan amounts of online poker/TV re-runs/shopping (delete as appropriate). Truth is, I’m just a little bit worried that watching Doctor Who repeats online might make my job a thing of the past.
Top Tip: Don’t gamble, make purchases, or watch Doctor Who in working hours, duh.
Image from: http://www.london24.com/news/video_weightlifter_and_strongest_man_competitor_urge_commuters_to_plan_for_games_1_1338839
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