The entire Northumbrian Kingdom is in a state of giddy excitement at the diminishing number of days until the great Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) Games kicks off in Yorvik. Each time the Great Event is mentioned by the soothsayers, this Cat yawns. My jaw is starting to ache with a repetitive strain injury…
The intense anticipation and delirious slobber (promoted by the soothsayers and their Queen Bee, Beeby See) that currently infects the Northumbrian populace owes itself to the fact that for the first time in seventeen thousand years, the Games are to be hosted within these beautiful shores, and no expense is being spared by the Northumbrian ruling elite in promoting these Games as A Good Thing for the Kingdom – as well as for the the flagging morale of a debt-ridden, poverty-stricken, hectored and constantly scrutinised people.
Nobody has yet disclosed the exact cost of hosting these Games, but this Cat has reason to suspect that the total tally amounts to (in negative quantities, as the Kingdom is in the deepest do-do of debt) several gazillion trillions of Holy Groats.
The Games is a celebration of imaginary harmony, piecrust and peace between the mutually hostile tribal groupings that comprise the debt-infested, top-heavy Evil Intergalactic Federation; each Kingdom hosting the event has to bear an insufferable burden of expense to present a façade to the world suggesting opulence, flatulence, healthiness, success and rhubarb. The pressure for the competing native sportsmen and women to win their respective events is immense, and this drive to succeed at all costs has inevitably spawned a cluster of herbalist enterprises to concoct potions to enhance their performance and give them a competitive advantage over their competitors. Of course, all the other participants from the diverse national groupings are doing exactly the same, causing the tournament to gradually transform from a jolly sporting occasion to a no-holds-barred fight between competing sinister herbalist interests.
The consumption of herbal substances prior to competing is strictly forbidden by the Games authorities; last time, the Northumbrian Synchronised Knitting Team was disqualified with opprobrium, disgrace and thing, since their collective breath smelt of a strange botanical tincture – rather than the usual halitosis resulting from bad teeth. It's taken the Kingdom centuries to get over the shame of having been found out. But never mind.
To mark the several hundred days before the Games commences, the Great Torch has been lit from the smouldering ruins of Athens, where the Greek citizens are currently joyfully celebrating its newly-found deprivation and hardship from the vicious strictures of the Great Credit Catastrophe and business with blazing government buildings and bonfires.
Soon the Holy Flame will reach these shores, carried aloft throughout the Kingdom to kindle the flagging delirium in the knuckle-dragging, adoring masses. Happy days. But nobody has yet submitted a report to Dagwald Caedmeron to inform him of how much smoke the Great Torch is emitting into the atmosphere. I think I'm going to have to have a word with the Sacred Archbishop Georges Moonbat, the religious supremo of the wild-eyed Global Warming cult. I'm sure he'd be very interested…
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