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The PFPT Olympic Challenge

"Lisa! That is NOT a saxophone!"

I recently had some face time with a couple of chaps who happen to have read one or two of my weekly witterings. I was rather surprised to find that they thought of me as being somewhat “angry”. Well, after putting down the broken bottle and wiping the blood spatter from my fevered brow, I threw my only line of defence at the pair – that I never use sweary rude words anywhere on my site. Apparently this, while being admirable among the upper echelons of the Women’s Institute and requiring no small effort on my part (I really do love the blue colour the air turns when I unleash my finest profanities), does nothing to diminish the underlying vein of pure hatred and rage in my viewpoint pieces. Oh.

It is with this in mind that I am setting myself my hardest challenge to date. Not; trying to find a pair of flat shoes that I would actually be seen dead in or saying “no” to free Champagne, the mission, should I choose to accept it (I do, by the way), is to write something positive about the one subject guaranteed to draw forth the most hateful bile and fury from me at any time of day or night. The Olympics.

If this site were audio-based, you would have heard me hiss those two words through grimly clenched teeth and you would also have heard the sound of ominous thunder in the background as dark clouds of spite gather overhead. You see, I have no end of venom and rage towards what I consider to be an over-grown school sports day. I know I’m not alone in this sentiment, as every sane person dwelling within the M25 will also be harbouring some degree of said hatred. The only people who think this thing is a good idea are those living far, far away from the whole mess and Seb Coe, who it could be argued is living in a land far, far away, once upon a time and long ago, when fairy tales came true and streets were paved with gold and not the skulls of lollygagging tourists, which will be what happens on approximately day two of The Games, when none of the Londinium residents can get to work due to the archaic and fragile transport system grinding to a sweltering halt.

I’m not doing very well at finding something positive and happy to say about it so far, am I? Oh dear, maybe I am just a big ball of flaming fury after all. Let’s try a different tactic, let’s ignore the fact that London already suffers stiflingly sticky, sweaty overcrowding, without adding several hundreds of thousands of visiting voyeurs, and the fact that my wage paying job has dragged me into the quagmire of laughable logistics with no chance of escape. Let’s ignore the fact that for weeks on end I shall be forced to endure inane sport related chat by the water cooler and be reduced to watching re-runs of Friends on the one television channel that hasn’t given itself over to endless close-ups of men and women’s rippling athletic forms, sweating in tight fitted lycra (actually, that sounds like it might have its plus-points), let’s ignore the fact that any attempt to find a vacant restaurant table or bar stool will be like hunting for rocking horse droppings and that every panic-buying cretin will have cleared the supermarkets of bread and milk prior to the plague of sports fans descending upon the city (why is it always bread and milk? I’m sure these people live lactose and gluten-free lives the rest of the time). Let’s focus on something fun and frivolous. Let’s look at the little bit of Olympic pride you can hold in your hands and take home to treasure; the souvenirs!

Don’t ask me how or why I found my way on to the Olympics shopping site, it’s a short and tedious story so not worth the waste of vocabulary. This site contains all the official trinkets and keepsakes that represent the best of the Olympics and the great city of London. Here, surely, is where I will find something inspirational or at the very least, something of such grace and beauty that will shame me into feeling proud to live in the shadow of the Olympic stadium. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I found:

A tube train keyring. That’s right, a keyring, in the shape of a train carriage. This is not a Photoshop gag.

I can just imagine how the design pitch went for this item.

“Ok guys, let’s make a set of keyrings that scream “London”. Who’s first? Bob – go!”

“Well boss, I was thinking a black cab and how about a double decker bus?”

“Good Bob, that’s brilliant. Anne, you go.”

“I was thinking the red phone box and perhaps a Beefeater.”

“I like it Anne, retro! Ted, hit me!”

“Um… the tube?”



“Ted, you’re a genius! Nothing says London like the misery and pain that everyone will suffer while trying to get around the underground rail system during The Games. Every resident will want a commemorative token of their 5 hour daily commute. Congratulations Ted, you’re now promoted to thinking up logos for sporting events that look like Lisa Simpson giving someone oral gratification.”*

 *Look at the logo and tell me you don’t see it?!

I’m going to have to admit defeat of Olympic proportion. I have tried and failed to write something delightful and positive about the Greatest Sodding Show On Earth, when all I could in fact find was some monstrous atrocity of a pointless key adornment and perving at athletes’ lunchboxes. Hardly team spirit, is it?

After thinking as long and as hard as my blonde head will allow, I have decided, the one redeeming feature of the 2012 Olympics, the little ray of sunlight and joy in my otherwise angry world of publicly vented rage, is that once all the foreign sporty types have finished running around in circles and doing overly-complicated cartwheels, I will never again, in this lifetime, have this ghastly imposition thrust upon me.

When all’s said and done, I think I may have to come to terms with the fact that some, nay, all of my opinions contain a great deal of hatred and rage, but that’s why you love me, right? In fact, I’d say I’m kind of like the opposite of The Incredible Hulk – you wouldn’t like me when I’m not angry.

About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

44 responses »

  1. You’re mellowing. I expected something that would permanently scar the screen on my iPhone!

  2. I can tell you’re quite worried about this being your only up close and personal Olympic experience. I have the solution. Move to Rio by 2016. You can relive the thrill!

  3. Even worse than that keyring are your mascots:

    What ARE these? I don’t even…

    • I can only apologise for what I can only describe as what happens when you cross a Teletubby with a sex toy. Deep national shame is felt all round. Again, sorry.

  4. “If this site were audio-based” – what a terrific idea!

    Living close to Vancouver, I feel your pain having recently had the winter olympics imposed on our lives, with little positive to be said for it going in, or coming out.

    • I’m glad to hear that you survived your ordeal but you do little to comfort my nerves. I might have to put off the audio site idea until the whole thing is over or it would just be a series of gutteral screams and the sound of me banging a tourist’s head into the wall (not mine, you understand, I’m not a masochist).

  5. John Haslett

    A”big ball of flaming fury, that tickles my fancy on a number of levels. Passion comes in many disguises, murder, mayhem, and a sharp tongue are just a few. You are too sweet.

  6. The only thing that gets me through the Olympics, is imagining all the events with pandas as competitors. The torch bears are coming to a tube station near you! Try it…it might make you endure the pain of your 5 hour commute…well, maybe not. Forget I said anything.

    When I first heard that London won the bid for the 2012 Olympics, my first thought was “Where the hell are they going to put everyone!??”
    Your motorways are snarled enough. You’re roads are small. London isn’t what you call “sprawling”.
    Anyone I know in England is grumbling about this. I can’t imagine! The only ones gaining anything from this will be the big chain hotels, McDonalds, and souvenir dealers. Heathrow maybe, but that’s a whole other travesty in itself!
    So rant away! I can’t find anything even remotely “nice” to say about anything like this. I guess Cameron is just hoping this puts a good shot into the ailing economy.

    • You, my dear, are England’s sweetheart. You’re right, we have bearly wnough room for one more jogger on the streets, let alone a whole running track housed within a stadium!

      When we won this, we could actually hear the whole of France wetting themselves laughing. We were almost deafened for a week.

  8. I’m mostly looking forward to giving people wrong directions, they have their Games, and we’ll have ours

  9. To be completely honest, the pic above looks like some Japanese cartoon character going at it from behind some poor woman….
    …. also, what the heck makes you think you’ve got the psyches of comic character worshipers all figured out? Nobody cares about the Hulk ….

    ….. that said, we love you ‘cus you’re clearly very *dysfuctional .

    *I can’t stress that bit enough.

  10. Stratford is being covered in bubble wrap to hide its horrors from the World. All the brothels and massage parlours are being closed down for the Olympics too. Nice to know they will open up after the Olympics. This will be Coe’s legacy – handjobs and a nice new fluffy towel replete with the London 2012 logo for the wipedown afterwards, in a converted friied chicken shop in the toilet of the world known as Maryland.


    • To be fair, that’s quite a legacy!

      The thought of them “cleaning up” East London is highly amusing, I would have thought they would have just fenced it off and called it Essex for a few weeks, not plonked the main stadium there and invited the world to come on in for a nosy!

      There’s probably a mass hooker re-location scheme going on. All the politicians are kindly housing them for the duration of the games. Purely for the sake of the Olympics, of course!

  11. Diego Serrano

    Can’t imagine you watching ‘Friends’ for some reason.

    • Neither can I but it’s either that or people running in cirlces. I’ll be speaking in nothing but Friends quotes by the end of August.

      • Diego Serrano

        I doubt it. None of those dolts don’t swear.

        I wish I could dredge up some sympathy but I can’t. I live in a city that hosts hundreds of thousands of winter visitors. Pasty white, fat, geriatric motherfuckers who for some reason all drive… on the wrong side of the road, cause traffic jams, and make reservations at my favorite haunts impossible.
        Add to that the Phoenix Open, Barrett Jackson Auto Auction, Bike Week, and the worst, a full month of Major league baseball spring training. You’d never make it here girl. I don’t care how much alchohol is involved. You’ll survive, however your blog and tweets will feel like listening an audio version of ‘Rage against the Machine’ on eleven. E.L.E.V.E.N.

        • I anticipate losing a lot of Twitter followers over the months of July and August as every single one of those 140 characters is nothing but profanities and obscenities. I’m bad enough at that when I’m just waiting for a bus!

          • Diego Serrano

            Not me. I’ll follow you.
            Mainly because I miss flying and your tweets, like an air traffic controllers instructions, are so fucking rapid-fire, they remind me of trying to keep up with their instructions.
            There’ve been many tweets I’d like to respond to, but feel I’d be trampled and left for dead by the fast moving wit that seems London.
            Feel good knowing there’s a weird pervy desert dweller who thinks your shit is uproarious and can’t wait for the Olympic aftermath.
            Enjoy your chocolate Jesus egg and wine today.

  12. Perhaps London 2012 would have been better sold to its residents if it was run by the Koreans instead of Seb Coe. And not because of Seoul ’88. I’m watching news clips of ‘International Pillow Fight Day’ in South Korea today. Last week I observed how North Korea made national grief a sporting event after the death of their late leader. In the last week, it was reported that Samsung again sold more smart phones than Apple so I’m thinking they have all the ingredients to give us an event full of spectacle and emotion while being a commercial success. Now what logo would they have created?

    • …and what pilot sporting events would they have trialled?

      • They would have won Londoners over in one simple way. None of your over thought out, complicated guff, they just had to offer one thing – HOLD THE GAMES ANYWHERE BUT LONDON!

        • I think my over thought out guff has legs! Every week loads of football stadia are rammed to the rafters. I’d give the Koreans a brief to change all the Olympic sports to football themes and spread the activity ‘wealth’ across the premiership. Massive crowds with not a penny spent on a barely used athletic stadium. See? I single-handedly cracked it!

  13. eremophila

    I seem to be the only Australian who didn’t watch any aspect of the 2000 Sydney Games – no opening or closing ceremony, zilch! My thoughts are with you at this difficult time…..

  14. missy amber

    oh my god. Lisa Simpson – inappropriate genius. It took me ruddy ages to work out the logo said 2012, and just seconds to see the underage animated sex act. You’ve made my Olympics. (which I’m so supportive of that I’m inadvertantly running a much more exciting event on the same day as the closing ceremony. It’s free, fun, and not in London. You’re all welcome!)


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