If it weren't for the fact that I am currently in Hawai'i, and desirous of not appearing a miserable ingrate, I would be unleashing the following cry right about now: "Why, oh why am I not in London for the Chap Olympiad?".
When D first told me about the Chap Olympiad, images of the Twit-of-the-Year Race instantly sprang to mind. To be honest, the Twit Olympics, in all their non-brilliance, are never far from the forefront of my thinking:
From there my thoughts naturally drifted (as they always do) to Eddie Izzard's Stoned Olympics.
But no, these were all red herrings along the path to the Chap Olympiad, which is no less quintessentially British, but considerably more sartorially polished. (OK, Eddie, not more polished than thou.) Admittedly, Gervaise Brook-Hamster and Oliver St. John-Mollusc might be names you see among the participants. And it seems to be something of a response to Izzard's call for "a British Olympics, where each and every event is a British event - like the British 100 metres - 'Excuse me, pardon me, excuse me, I think *I* was here first.'"
There's the cucumber-sandwich discus, the human steeplechase, the mustache tug-of-war, Pimm's galore, and some excellent, excellent fashion. I draw your particular attention to the umbrella jousting, which Strange Games describes thus:
It calls to mind Got Medieval's recent contemplation of whether jousting is in fact seeing a major resurgence in the twenty-teens.In keeping with the ideals of Chappism the front of the shield is pasted with the front page of the Financial Times. Players mount their cycles with the shield on one arm, the umbrella held forward in the other and gallantly cycle towards each other and certain injury. Umbrellas can be used in traditional jousting fashion or the hooked handle can be used to try to pull the opponent over.
"We like to call our particular philosophy anarcho-dandyism," says a representative chap," So we're taking the principles of dandyism ... and throwing a bit of an anarchic blend into it."
Next year, god willing and the creek don't rise, I'm there.