As the Olympic torch relay makes its way across the country, millions of people are celebrating the arrival of the flame in their town by going about their life as normal, and maybe grumbling a bit about the traffic problems.
‘I heard that the torch was going to be coming past the end of my street on Monday, so I decided I’d allow a little bit more time for my journey to work. You know, just in case the roads were busy with people coming in to stare at a small fire on top of a stick.’ said Taunton resident Alex Lane, ‘Once I’ve finished work I’m going to celebrate the fact that somebody carried an oversized candle near my house by going to play five-a-side football, because that’s what I do every Monday.’
The 8,000 mile torch route will take 70 days and give people all over the country the chance to ignore athletes and celebrities as they pass by with a sense of importance and a naked flame. Chair of LOCOG, Seb Coe, has hailed the effect that the ceremonial relay has already had in bringing the British people closer together.
‘This is what the spirit of the Olympics is all about. We’re still a couple of months away from the start of the games but already we’re seeing people from all walks of life, who wouldn’t normally have anything in common, coming together and trying to turn a blind eye to our relentless attempts to ram the Olympics down their throats.’ said Mr Coe, ‘Entire communities are setting aside the problems of their past, united by a common sense of apathy. It brings a tear to your eye, it really does. Almost as much as seeing the budget for it all.’
The relay may only be a few days in but it has already had some problems. On Monday morning the flame went out due to a 'malfunctioning burner’ and a replacement flame had to be brought in. Organisers are keen to ensure that incidents such as this are kept to a minimum, and insist that the seizure of dozens of super soakers and detention without trial of several schoolchildren was a 'reasonable precaution’.