I’ve stopped recently my series on the Olympics – I’m calling it Olympic Silly Season – but the opening of the ‘zil lanes’ and arrival of the athletes has provoked several new giggles/WTF moments.
Ring one! police guarding Eton Dorney have been told by LOCOG brand police to put their crisps into plastic bags, and avoid being seen with non-sponsor food.
Ring two! Chips – the staple and linchpin of British cuisine probably invented here – cannot be served without fish in the Olympic Park to visitors because apparently McDonalds owns the right to serve chips exclusively as part of their sponsorship deal. Not to say that they’re actually french fries, completely foul and cooked in trans-fatty green gloop and don’t even resemble proper chips – it’s apparently MaccyD’s ‘right’. Apparently there’s been a climbdown over workers at the Olympics, but customers if they want their solo-chip fix are stuck with a bad American import. Right. Even Pimms isn’t allowed to be Pimms – asking for a Pimms without calling it Pimms is a one-armed clapping feat of amazing ingenuity…maybe it can be The Drink Formerly Known As Pimms?
Ring three! Oxford Primary school children taking part in the opening ceremony told they must wear Adidas trainers or ‘unbranded’ shoes for fear of upsetting Adidas. I don’t buy the ‘nothing will happen’ response – then why put ‘unbranded’ in the guideline then? They know that parents will err on the side of safety not wanting to ‘spoil’ the event. Hmm.
Ring four! The ‘Zil lanes’ opened a few days ago, apparently London was gridlock according to John yesterday he had to walk everywhere – probably cos of the Taxi strike. I’m avoiding roads, buses or most parts of London so I have no idea…but there’s a strange amnesty over zil lanes because people just don’t understand when/where and how they are in action. Fail. And I never understood why the empty zil lanes are banned by cyclists either – all the CCTV in the world it’s unenforceable.
Ring five has been cancelled by LOCOG’s brand police. Oh, actually it’s the wonderful photograph of the poster taken by Andrew Bloch above – planning permission fail and local community bite back – long may it continue and I don’t think it’s the last.
Thing about the British, and the one thing I might allow myself to be vaguely nationalistic about – is after many thousands of years of facing off invading ruling classes and crappy weather with complete bloody-mindedness, surly jobsworth compliance and underdog humour – I don’t think the IOC or LOCOG realise what they’ve bitten off. The event will be undermined with complete apathy, grumbles and moans on all sides, the odd guerilla or graffiti action, and the drip, drip, drip, of the acid rain of traditional pessimistic British humour that will take the piss out of the whole sad sorry affair. Many will cheer it’s failure, even if they’re paying for it. They’d rather see the rich VIPs had a hard time too than a complete shiny success. It’s the British way!
Oh and I’ve not even started on the already dodgy G4S and their security fail. But I’ve ran out of rings…just like Nick Buckles’ voice mail, probly