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Laurence Inman’s Blog




Never mind all that track and field nonsense in Beijing. Laurence Inman surveys the true Olympians in his own back yard of Kings Heath.

I was poking about in the crypt of All Saints’ in Kings Heath the other day when I came across an interesting old document. It was headed Ye Olde Kyngges Heathe Gaymes and was dated 1254.

I thought, ‘Brilliant! I’ll be able to flog this to the dailies. It’ll trump all those crappy stories they’ve had since the Beijing Olympics started, about how the real game originated in Twiddling-on-the-Twaddle in the 1840’s.’

But they’ve had enough apparently, so it’s in The Stirrer.

It made fascinating reading. There were the usual medieval events, like Turd-Flinging, Witch-Roasting Archbishop-Hacking and Kicking the Village Idiot to Death. Nothing very remarkable.

But it made me think we could revive the games, with some extra contemporary events, in time for the London extravaganza. I’d be glad of readers’ comments on the following ideas:

    Smoking outside the Cross Guns.

Competitors would have to weigh at least twenty stones, be shaven-headed and completely block the pavement. Points would be awarded for the number of old people and young mothers with prams they managed to force into the path of buses hurtling down the High Street.

    Pavement Slalom.

You have to walk the entire length of Valentine Road without tripping over on a piece of uneven tarmac and breaking your bleeding leg!

    Roundabout Horn Pipping
Competitors must drive towards the roundabout at the top of Poplar Road at 70 mph, so that they can’t possibly stop if a car approaches from their right on Springfield Road. If such a car does appear and they nearly hit it, they must sound their horn angrily. If the near-hittee also pips his horn, the near-hitter must answer back. This goes on until the pair of them are out of earshot of each other and each of them is satisfied that he has had the last blast.

    Bus-stop loitering.

Competitors must group themselves around the 50 bus-stop down by the police station and must avoid any possible configuration which might resemble a proper queue. When the bus appears the whole crowd must move haphazardly towards the shelter. If any competitor actually boards the bus fairly,( i.e. in the number-order in which he joined the group,) he is eliminated.

Wandering around at night shouting drivel.

Competitors must consume ten pints of cider down the Station, then wander down Cambridge Road with their mate Ryan bellowing crap at the top of their voices. Points are awarded for the number of dogs and babies they wake up.

Traffic-light nose-picking.


Moaning, crying, complaining and blaming everybody else for everything.

By 2012 I would also like to see the introduction of some special events for people who will then be sixty-two:

Sitting in the park wondering where all the time went.

Watching the beach volleyball and brooding about that lovely girl you knew in 1969 and to whom you unerringly said all the wrong things until she got fed up and married somebody else.

Making elaborate schedules on big pieces of card to help you train up to get fit enough to do the fastest marathon time by a 70-year-old. Ever.

I lied about the crypt under the church. There isn’t one.

Got any more suggestions for our West Midlands Urban Olympics? Discuss this on The Stirrer Forum

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