This Cat is in a high state of excitement about the imminent Holy Roman Empire (which is nothing like holy, neither remotely Roman, nor even a caricature of an Empire) Games. Hooray!! I can't wait for its conclusion. As a Great Event, these Games hold out all the promise of a seamless festival of disasters. And so far, my expectations haven't been disappointed.
To begin with, there is general public resentment about those special chariot lanes (which have been lovingly prepared at the expense of the cheerful taxpayers of Yorvik) to expedite the speedy and efficient transportation of politicos, big cheeses, the self-important and certain athletes to the Sacred Place, while crowds of long-suffering members of the Northumbrian public trudge their slow and weary way to their workshops in the mornings, and their homes at the close of the day.
There's been a lot of uproar about the stringent rules concerning the dress code and the food intake of the crowds of knuckle-dragging spectators, who are (for it has been decreed) forbidden to wear any food other than that supplied by the rat pie supplier and sponsor MuckRodents, and are not allowed to eat any costume that has not been lovingly sown together by the sweaty seamstresses of Addy Dust.
The preliminary game of football - an ancient and barbaric pig's bladder game inherited from the Romans - was marked by a delightful gaffe, in which the team from the oriental rogue state of North Goryo was introduced with the ensign of their bitter enemies, their neighbours and kinsmen from the Kingdom of South Goryo. Such was the offence that the entire team marched petulantly from the hallowed turf of the Madcaster Untied stadium (bequeathed by the ancient Romans, of course), and commenced their synchronised sword drill in eager expectation of a war. After profuse, snivelling apologies were offered to the team by some grovelling politicos (and a random spectator was seized, denounced as the culprit and summarily hanged to the sound of trumpets), the game proceeded. So far so good.
The proceedings were further enhanced by a visit by The Midge of Rumpey - an elderly and decomposing statesman from the as yet undiscovered land of Ultima Thule, who is hoping to depose Bugrake O'Barmy as their Clan Chieftain in a few months. On a fact-finding courtesy visit, the Midge politely ventured the opinion to His Cheeseness Dagwald Caedmeron - the Faery Queen of the Tree/Liberationist Administration - that the Northumbrians couldn't even organise a lash-up in a brewery, let alone organise the Holy Roman Empire Games. He greeted Edweird the Millier as "Your Chiefship" because in fifteen nanoseconds he'd already forgotten his name.
And Hieronymus the Hunter - the hapless and feckless Culture Officer of the aforesaid Administration - had assaulted a woman by furiously shaking a bell, which flew off its handle and gave her a thick ear.
Yet another in a series of clangers. I can't wait for the opening ceremony...