“Go on, it’s a once in a lifetime chance to see this”. I frowned. I often do that when this particular co-worker talks to me, but I’m too much of a class act to list the numerous problems I have with her as a person.
She was referring to the Olympic torch relay that was due to run a few streets away from the office on an overcast Monday morning. This was the brief moment during the London Olympics’ epic torch relay that would place it in Milton Keynes, and since everyone else was going, I went along with it.
My contrary Mary sense was tingling as I drove to work at 7.30 and saw people lining the street waving flags, a good hour before ANYTHING happened. I frowned. Don’t these people have jobs, or school or something? People were acting irrationally, and I don’t like to get involved when that happens. I could semi-understand if there was some celebrity coming, but this was just a golden torch. My reflex was to shrug and make the minimal effort to see it, so I didn’t get pigeonholed as one of these loons.
We arrived about 10 minutes before the procession, and the roads were thickly lined with hysterical people. I’m short, so this wasn’t a good start. I could justify this effort if I actually got to SEE something. Taking my life into my hands, I stood uncomfortable on a narrow barrier about a foot off the floor, slight breezes and my own fat ass threatening to overbalance me on several occasions.
Along the procession came. It was a brief and sparse convoy of policemen (who everyone suddenly thought were amazing and high-fived them), corporate buses presumably there to carry other torch-bearers, and after a long wait,an unknown man with a torch jogging past. I gathered his name was Alan from the crowd’s reaction but that left me none the wiser. The video came out alright.
At least that singular moment in my entire life was captured (in HD) and I didn’t break my neck.
I’m actually quite excited for the Olympics, I just hope it looks good after all this money. Sport isn’t necessarily important in the grand scheme of things, nor art, music, most recreational things I guess, but big events that bring the world together ARE important. I’m just glad we have a chance to host one of the best examples of these events.
I also hope that people more cynical than me (believe it or not, on the topic of the London Olympics I’m one of the more supportive Brits, if the papers are to be believed – which they aren’t really) will stop moaning about the negative aspects in the run-up to the Olympics and just ENJOY IT.
I am still baffled at our mascots though – Mandeville and Wenlock. Why did they decide that the best way to communicate national identity was with a pair of androgynous robot aliens? And why do they always look so furious?!