Monday, March 20, 2006

The Commonwealth Games For Dummies

The Commonwealth Games were developed in emulation of other sporting meets predicated on defunct or irrelevant political entities, such as the Austro-Hungarian Empire Ludo Championships and the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere Bi-Annual Pudding Bake-Off. Lord Peter Fliprot, a noted imperialist bastard, opened the first Commonwealth Games in 1950 by flinging red paint at representatives of each nation in the Commonwealth, symbolically binding them in eternal fealty to the Mother Country.

Early Games were poorly attended, and frequently marred by scandal. The 1958 Games, held in a disused coal mine outside Cardiff, Wales, were cancelled after only three days of competition when a member of the Guernsey archery team, believing he was the god Cupid, fired arrows at female spectators. Opening the 1962 Perth Games, Governor-General Sir Thrilliam Badass-Smythe breached protocol by spinning a punch bowl on his nose for thirty seconds before inviting the Prime Minister's wife to dance the jitterbug. Four years later at Kingston, Jamaica - the so-called "Reefer Games" - teams complained of losing their "riddim", leading to numerous upsets. The Games ended in scandal when the coach of the New Zealand lawn bowls team, one Reginald Barry, declared himself the incarnation of Jah, before collapsing in a fountain.

As the 1970s dawned, the future of the Commonwealth Games was in doubt. Were the "friendly games" still relevant in a world changed irrevocably by the cultural and social revolutions of the 1960s and the war in Vietnam? The Games Committee responded to the challenge by panicking. In a bid to appeal to more young people, Jive was instituted as the Games' official language, and the events schedule was expanded to include such populist fare as jelly wrestling, pig shooting, and the three-girl-rhumba. This liberal era culminated in the 1982 Brisbane Games, during which it is rumoured that bisexual orgies were held nightly inside Matilda, the 13-metre-tall mechanical kangaroo, presided over by a certain cadet journalist who went on to become one of Australia's most beloved conservative newspaper columnists.

The 1980s and 90s saw the Games return to more traditional track-and-field events, and audience numbers declined accordingly. For example, or, as the French say, pour example, the entire weightlifting schedule at the 2002 Manchester Games was attended by only a single person, who had become disoriented while stalking Ian Brown and stumbled into the arena for a rest. Presently, the Games are being held in Melbourne, Australia, a city famous for its willingness to watch just about anything if it is designated "sport". One would suggest, however, that the organiser's choice of mascot - a hideous, diseased rabbit named Mixo - points to a less than optimistic outlook.

So what is the future of the Commonwealth Games? Will it survive to be held and ignored in space? Or will it go the way of such sporting carnivals as the Confederate States of America Egg-and-Spoon Tournament and the League of Nations Quadrennial Demolition Derby? Only time, and possibly the occasional creepy psychic child, will tell.

3 comments:

Armagnac Esq. said...

I believe congrats are in order!

Also, amusing post, would say more but the mediocrity of policy awaits my post lunch reintegration.

Ben.H said...

I have just one word for the Commonwealth Games: TRUGO!!!

Blue said...

Well done :-)