Boris Lets The Games Begin
‘Hi, folks, it’s the Mayor here. This is it; it’s The Big One.’ Boris’ dulcet tones echoed around the capitalist cathedral of the new King’s Cross; for a moment, I was seized by the fear that I was having that nightmare where I join Eton and prefects Boris and Dave are in charge of ‘helping the new boys settle in’. Blessedly, this was not the case, but for those of you who have spent upwards of eighteen seconds in London today, those words will have inspired the same sensation of dread, rage, and not a small amount of nausea. Because this is the beginning of the new Olympics public service announcement, delivered across the London transport network by his Mayoral Bletheriness himself, and repeated more often than An Audience With Cliff Richard on ITV4. It’s also just as soul-destroying. I sat in a cafe at King’s Cross for an hour this morning and was treated to Boris at least six or seven times. Maybe more; after a while it just became a series of meaningless and indecipherably posh syllables.
The repeated intrusion of Boris The Unkempt into my otherwise peaceful caffeine-bubble only reinforced my dislike for the man. The arrogance of addressing the assorted commuters of London as if he was some kind of Dear Leader, a popular pontificator with ultimate responsibility for our little lives was almost as cringe-worthy as an unironic use of the word ‘cringe-worthy’. It reminded me of the Geography teacher at school who patronisingly referred to us as ‘guys’, despite the palpable mutual loathing. You should also take note, Boris, that after four thousand repetitions, a cheery and chummy broadcast loses its (negligible) charm and begins to resemble the kind of aural sleep-deprivation torture you find at Guantanamo Bay. But most irritating was the falsity of his popular masquerade of dishevelment and disorganisation. ‘Oh Boris,’ we’re meant to naively trill, ‘How buffoon-like you are; what a loveable twat! Why, your unqualified demeanour only increases my resolve to vote you into high office!’ Boris has made an art of this; he remains the only modern political exponent of tactical idiocy, a contemporary Claudius; ars est celare artem, as we would jolly well say, eh chaps? (I hope you approve of the Latin, Mr Mayor).
Anyway, as the abhorrently nicknamed ‘BoJo’ never ceases to inform the good people of London, the Olympics are coming. The pools have been filled, the ‘Games Lanes’ have been marked, and Prince Phillip has set up his binoculars in Buckingham Palace to watch the beach volleyball on Horse Guards Parade. So, is everyone keen for the games to begin? Excited about the wealth of sport happening in the very heart of London? Well maybe you are, if you were lucky enough to get tickets, that is. In case you know anyone, I’m currently in the market for some tickets to the Greco-Roman wrestling. Nothing to do with the semi-naked men with well oiled-thighs, I just think it’s an ancient and
hedonistic majestic sport, you know? But alas, I received no tickets at all. In fact, the
only person I know who has any is my old flatmate, who has
somehow managed to wangle tickets to the 100 metres final. She swears that she
attained them honestly and without any string-pulling, and I believe her.
Incidentally, she and Usain are very happy together and we look forward to a
So, as is traditional in my house for major sporting events, I will adopt a sedentary approach and watch forlornly from my sofa. Still, at least my absence will ensure that some poor, underprivileged corporate executive from McDonald's can take my place; I am consoled by the thought that they might revel in the irony of a fast food chain sponsoring some of the fittest people in the world. When was the last time Paula Radcliffe ate a Big Mac? Maybe she’ll indulge in one at the Olympics post-closing-ceremony piss up; she could get plastered, buy a McDonald's and then relieve herself in the London streets (she’s already got form on this count). But perhaps my cynicism is misplaced. On the 16th of August 2008, Usain Bolt told the world’s media that his diet that day had consisted entirely of chicken nuggets. Immediately prior to that confession he had covered one hundred metres in the fastest time in the history of mankind. So perhaps I’m wrong; perhaps all the world’s best athletes are eating McCardiacs and goading their pancreases with litres of Coke. Screw protein shakes; for top athletic performance just down a McFlurry. ‘Inspire a Generation’, the Olympic slogan screams. It’s catchy, but so too is syphilis. How about ‘Inspire a Generation to Morbid Obesity’? Yep. Perfect. Maybe Boris should start including that in his announcements.