Fuck the London Olympics
If, like me, you found yourself screaming incoherently with frustration in the midst of swollen crowds of wankers and swiftly running from the attention of the police during the Diamond Jubilee “weekend”, you may be experiencing a crushing sense of anxiety and dread at the approach of the 27th July. The Sixth Circle of Hell (or the Olympics, as it’s being billed) is abounding with possibility like a gripping game of chance that, at best, will end with malnutrition because you didn’t leave the house for two weeks, or, at worst, detention under the Terrorism Act. Truly, it will be a multifaceted fortnight of shit, not strictly owing to the following:
Every businessman/entrepreneur/street hawker worth his salt knows that tourists can easily be torn from their cash through the sheer abuse of morals, logic, and language barriers. You may think that by hamming up your Laaandaaan accent by 300% you can convince shopkeepers that you deserve access to the “real prices”. Nice try. Be prepared to pay £3 for a 500ml bottle of water. And God help you if you don’t have a watertight contract on your flat, because if your landlord realises how much (s)he could make renting your place out to visiting Olympic spectators, you will be kicked out before you can say “Citizens Advice Bureau”.
Becoming a hermit
This one really depends on where exactly you’re based, but as a general rule, if it involves you having to take the tube, it’s not worth doing. The smart employed members of the population should have started saving up holidays/sick days seven years ago when it was announced that London would host the games. If you’re unemployed, why not take the opportunity to get heavy into live webcam feeds? What better way to pass the time than being sat at home, developing scurvy and watching the carnage unfold, grainy frame-by-frame? If you live in east London, this may be your only option.
It has pretty much been scientifically proven that there is only so much a person can stand having hundreds of flags waved in their faces before they start to lose it. The evidence has been especially clear recently during the football, the tennis and the Diamond Jubilee. And I know that impulse buying can affect the best of us, so try your hardest not to get caught up in the promotional frenzy in your local Tesco. No one needs to spend £20 on a ‘Team GB Olympic unisex woven bracelet’. No one.
Increased police presence
Following a massive draft of police officers from across the UK to help with a £1 billion security operation to “protect” the Olympics, there will be around 10,000 police officers from forces outside of London on duty during the games on top of the already sprawling mass of the London Met. Many will be working 12 hour shifts and staying in student halls of residence (and not the fancy private kind with ensuites either). Don’t be surprised if they seem a little tetchy. Try not to get caught grumbling, complaining or even frowning in public as this may lead to you getting accused of dissent and being taken away to the back of a police van for the rest of the day. And you thought the delays on the bus were bad enough.
If you do feel compelled to leave the house, TfL and BoJo have teamed up to advise you to consult GetAheadOfTheGames.com. This is a multi-platform service that serves to paint a rosier picture of what life in London will be like during the Olympics, complete with illustrated posters of pleasantly countenanced commuters that have managed to find the route that absolutely no one else is taking, due to their diligent tech-savvy following of @GAOTG. In a more honest campaign, Robert Crumb would be hired to illustrate billboards detailing the sickening breakdown of humanity at the hands of wrathful commuters as they realise that they are all taking the exact same ‘alternative’ route. The billboards would serve as a small distraction from the blood running in the streets as practically stationary groups of tourists are beaten to the ground by locals, unable to handle the claustrophobic grind of travelling through the mildly put “affected areas”. Ten quid says that London will look like the set of Children of Men before the two weeks are up.
The Paralympic Games
Just when you’d thought you’d adjusted to life after the Olympics, it all starts back up again for round two in the last week of August. When the dust finally settles in September, the streets may have been cleaned up and returned somewhat to normality, but no amount of pressure washing can undo the effects the last month has had on you psychologically. Be prepared to usher in a new chapter of your life, in which you are but a mere shadow of your former self.