This morning I have won a year's worth of beer...
You may be excused if you got confused after clicking on the link above (if you haven't, do it now). What on Earth do London 2012 Olympic Games have to do with beer, and especially with a year's supply worth of it? Well, in case of these particular Games, and this particular blogger, quite a lot. As it happens, he - that is me, by the way - gloriously failed to get any Olympic tickets whatsoever. Not that I have not tried. I duly entered the first draw and selected a few events that were neither here nor there in terms of popularity, all in the hope to actually get tickets to at least some. Of course, I ended up in the two thirds (two thirds!) of applicants who failed - ingloriously. Ingloriously for the London 2012 games. And Lord Coe. For some reason I hold him personally responsible.
Had I won all the tickets I applied for in the first go I'd have been £400 down. That's four hundred British pounds for three sets of two tickets for mediocre events. This equates to roughly 300 pints of good real ale from the supermarket shelves. Or, if you insist, around 125 pints from a tap of a good real ale pub. But, you may ask, even the 300 is not a year's supply. Knowing your appetites for real ale, we'd expect you to imbibe a bit more. Let's say just enough to fill the recommended intake of 3-4 units, equalling, generously, two pints of medium strength ale a day. And you'd be right. And that's why you need to read on. So do read on.
OK, here we go with the rest of the story...
As it happens, all the failures from the first round of ticket lottery were invited to try again. We were given a week to apply, starting just this morning, bright and early at 6 o'clock. Ante meridiam. AM. Crack of dawn. Which wouldn't be half as bad were it not for the rules set out. And the rules were truly insulting. Here they are: you can apply for up to three events on a first-come-first-served basis; you are notified if your application is successful within 24 to 48 hours; if - that's if - your application went through and is successful you will be charged for your tickets by 4 July; until you are actually charged you don't know which, if any, tickets you have won. If you tried to make the process more demeaning you'd have a hard time figuring out just how.
Oh, and of course the tickets available ranged from women's fencing qualifiers, through Grec-Roman wrestling, and women's basketball early rounds. That's if you're not totally mad about football and are prepared to travel to Coventry to watch an early round, not knowing who actually plays. Let me make it clear: I've nothing against any of these sports. They're as worthy as men's 100m final. It's just that I'm not interested in any of them. At all. Some people may be. But I'm not. It makes no difference to me if there really are (were, by now, I guess) 1.7 million football tickets left. What does make a difference to me is that the choice we unlucky two thirds were left with is really just adding insult to injury.
Also, to be totally fair to the London 2012 ticketing, there was one event that we (that's be me and S.O.) sort of wanted to see even if we didn't know who'll actually play. This is, or rather was, the bronze medal game in men's basketball tournament. If we were lucky - and at least one of the ex-Yugoslav teams unlucky - we could have been in for a treat. Problem? Problem is that the only tickets left cost £225 a pop. That's £450 for the two of us, for a single game which may well feature teams we couldn't care less about. And no, the fact that we could probably also (or instead) get 60kg Greco-Roman wrestling men's bronze medal match tickets for close enough to peanuts it didn't matter, didn't matter. At all.
So there you have it: another £450 saved, bringing the total savings to almost £900 pounds. And that, my friends (and enemies) is as close to a year's worth of ale it really doesn't matter. If I spent it in the supermarket I could easily exceed the recommended alcohol intake. In a pub, while it may not exactly stretch to a year's worth of beer, one can probably count on being treated by some good Samaritans, this being an all the more likely case when one relates one's sad story of failed attempts at getting at least some Olympic tickets. Of course a little sang here is that there's going to be so many of us unhappy with London 2012 that it may become increasingly difficult to tell a good enough story worth a free pint. Which probably means one has to start practising one's storytelling as soon as possible.
As you have just seen, I have just started. Did you like it? Will I be able to talk a free pint of someone with this? No? Thought not. But there's still time. I don't really need to start spending the savings I made before the Games start. And when they do, I'm going to stock up on some good ale and take my free seat at a sofa and enjoy the games. Heck, most sports are better watched on TV anyway. Which reminds me: if I go easy (or cheap, or both) on beer I may also be able to upgrade my TV with all the money I didn't spend on crap live sport at crap London 2012 Olympic Games. Which can only be a good thing™.
Now, if only there was a way of stripping Lord Coe of his Lordship...
In case London 2012 Protection Crack Team (or whatever they're called) intend to sue me for using the London 2012 Olympic Games logo, let it be know that it is being used here as part, and for the purposes, of fair use criticism and comment. Especially the former.
If the same crack team intend to sue me for using the number "2012" (eight times, I think) let it be known that they are a disgrace for even attempting to do so, even more than it was a disgrace to bully this nice lady. And if they still insist they have the right to stop people using "2012" I will offer them a fair compensation, at the same level supermarkets offer for vouchers and coupons if one wants to convert them to cash, i.e. I offer to pay 0.001p per mention. Which is 0.008 or 0.009p so far. Since I also insist on paying cash, and since the only truly legal tender in this country is £1 coin, I also promise to put it in my will that any descendants I may have are liable for this expense - once the inflation and accumulated interest brings it up to the value of £1. I leave it to my, and the descendants of the London 2012 Olympic Committee to calculate at what time in the future they can come and collect their quid. By which time I hope the disgrace of the London 2012 Olympic Games ticketing might just be forgotten.
And no, I am not going to say anything about what the London 2012 logo reminds me of...