At a press conference held today in London’s St Mary-le-Bow church, the home of the famous Bow bells that define cockney identity, it was announced that rhyming slang would be granted official language status alongside English and French at the 2012 Olympics.
Accompanied by a peal of bells and flanked by local schoolchildren dressed as chimney sweeps, Boris Johnson and Lord Coe, the London 2012 Chairman, entered proceedings resplendent in the traditional costume of the pearly king. Following a rendition of ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’ performed by cockney celebrities including Ray Winstone, Alan Sugar and Danny Dyer, the Mayor and Games Chief went on to explain the decision as a ‘clear demonstration of our understanding and commitment to building a local legacy for the sporting showcase’.
‘The inclusion of rhyming slang forms a key part of the celebration of the local culture. It will add a real sense of fun to proceedings with local marshals offering directions and answering queries in their finest cockney,’ explained Lord Coe. ‘OK, the more fluent guides may hinder more than help at times, but you never know its origins as a means for residents to communicate freely without interlopers understanding might come in handy if Olympic officials and other VIPs need to be on their toes to Steve Cram [scram] down the Sally [Gunnell — Blackwall Tunnel] in the event of a suspected Roger [Black — terrorist attack].’
Boris Johnson then took to the podium doing the Lambeth walk before welcoming the press. ‘Gor blimey Guvnors. How you doing me old dog and bones? You won’t apples and pears your Brahms and Liszt. No, that’s not right. Umm, hang on. Mince pies, plates of meat? Trouble and strife, I know that one. I should be better at this shouldn’t I?’ said the mayor.
‘Anyway, the point is this is another triumph for London,’ concluded Johnson, ‘And I’m sure these Games will turn out to be as pony as everyone is hoping. Pony does mean great as in pony and freight, right?’
OllieP with hat-tip to John Wiltshire