Joust a minute

I’ve been thinking about the economy. Princes William and Harry being in the Armed Forces, heroically defending us so fiercely must be costing the country a fortune; a Prince’s ransom if they get caught. They presumably have a military valet, butler, gun carrier, personal physician (preferably a trauma surgeon), physiotherapist and a keeper of the Royal Toothbrush. Add to this silk battle shirts, elk leather yomping boots, titanium rifle (so much lighter, my dear) and a Louis Vuitton rucksack. I assume they run around battlegrounds dressed in cashmere camouflage with twigs sticking out of their second best Ascot hats, followed by a fleet of servants variously carrying trays, wallets, extra bullets etc. Deep in my soul I can’t believe that this is really financially efficient.

With the recent Olympics in mind, I was wondering if they should take up a different form of defence, like fencing. It is an extremely respectable pastime, could be reasonably believed to be useful in defending our country and would be an awful lot cheaper than sending the Princes into battle with their valet, oyster cracker and own helicopter mechanic. With practice, they could equal cousin Zara’s medal winning achievement.

The other obvious option would be jousting. There do not appear to be many jousters in our country currently, or if there are, they do not appear. Who ever sees them? Hence the Princes should be able to excel at it. I imagine that they are both pretty handy on a horse. The Princes’ famed excellent eye for a ball should translate easily into accurately finding the correct piece of a man’s chest armour into which to poke one’s lance.

Jousting could be a wonderful Olympic sport, an amazing spectacle with armoured horses prancing about in the sun, each country’s flag displayed as a rug underneath the saddles, national colours represented in dyed feathers poking out of the top of their helmets. At the medal ceremony they could have their medals hung on the tips of their lances, adding a cavalier frisson.

To add to the excitement and anticipation, rescuing maidens could be added, at which doubtless footloose Prince Harry would excel. I’m sure the extremely efficient Olympic volunteer program would have been able to come up with plenty of maidens with slim waists and long blonde hair to be appropriate Dragon fodder. A slight hitch could be the shortage of dragons, although as my old school is still in existence I suspect they would be been able to supply all of them.

There are other sports which have unreasonably been left out of the modern Olympics. Cheese rolling would have been perfect. Each of the countries could display their nationality by their choice of cheese: for example the UK choosing a Stilton wheel; the French, Camembert; the Dutch, Edam. Any country that did not produce a round cheese would be required to make a temporary alliance with another country that did. Points would be deducted if any part of the cheese was eaten before the event. Cheese tampering would be outlawed and competitors with particularly disgusting smelling cheeses could live with them in a separate athletes’ village.

Bog snorkelling was the other disappointing omission. I’m sure the crowds would have loved the excitement, the tension, the adrenaline and the sheer smell of the event. In order to make it slightly more acceptable to society, it could have been a condition that the competitors were hosed down prior to the medal ceremony and that no kisses nor handshakes were exchanged.

The Olympics in my head are more colourful than those currently underway. As London did such a fantastic job of hosting the Olympics, I will be writing to the IOC with an Olympic bid for London 2020. After all, we have a velodrome, stadium and an Olympic pool ready and waiting, second-hand but with only one careful owner.

I’ll be amalgamating Jousting International, Bog Snorkellers and Cheese Rollers. JIBSACR. Our motto: Pugnacious and Pungent.


About alisongardiner1

Writer of YA series of books. Broadcaster/podcaster Litopia After Dark.
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