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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.

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