Re imagining the Olympics

I live in London, close but not too close to the smoking sink of sin that is the City. We have a decent sized garden (actually bloody huge for around here). And we have wildlife. Once a hedgehog crossed the lawn, probably off to see its cannabis supplier in Brixton.

2014-06-20 09.56.40

a view from one corner of our little piece of heaven

Amongst the fauna there are urban foxes. In fact so cushy are their lives, given the amount of food thrown away, urbane foxes might be nearer the truth.

Inside the house we have a hierarchy of mammals. At bottom is the road-sweeper that is my lot, rising though the other humans, the much petted and spoilt Dog and, at the very top, the Cats. I think the greater the degree of toilet training the higher up the pecking order they sit.

The Cats take no shit from Dog. They get their food first, they saunter past him and he moves to one side like a serf giving way to the squire circa 1307. The idea he might chase them is anathema.


this is from when they were cute

sam's cat

And this is when the Lawyer, bored by revision, sewed them together one aftenoon

But our Resident Rufus is a different case. To Dog, Fox is trash and to be seen off the estate with all due dispatch – or as my dad had it (in one of his many aphorisms) immediately, forthwith, if not sooner.

This requires someone to open the back door and, of course, by the time we feeble humans arrive Rufus is up the fence and off. Meanwhile Dog is whirring with frustration. When the door is finally unlocked all that momentum is freed and he…

… goes nowhere. It’s like linear donutting. So fast are his legs going that there is no traction on the utility floor and he makes zero progress for a good five to ten seconds.

Then like some sort of Trebuchet on steroids his pads grip and he flies out of the house, much as a small polished turd might if caught in the slipstream of a long held fart.

Watching this performance I marvelled at the entertainment as well as the dedication to hurtle after the long gone miscreant. What, I pondered if this was the 100 metres final in Rio, Usain is going for his third gold but the first 10 metres were iced. Now that would be both spectacular and hilarious. There would be two skills rather than one in evidence.

And other possibilities occurred:

  • throw the javelin through a small hoop
  • put crocodiles in the water jump during the 3000 metre steeplechase
  • electrify the top of the hurdles
  • add grease to one side of the shot putt
  • down the back straight of all races have tennis serving machines firing tennis balls randomly across the track

I’m sure you can think of a lot more.


And here we have the best shape in a wetsuit while bungy jumping competition: I think my take on Rodin’s The Thinker is pretty ace.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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27 Responses to Re imagining the Olympics

  1. hanorah21 says:

    Hello GeoffThe links in your last two blog posts to my email have not worked. I tried searching on the site itself but, no luck.Sue


  2. gordon759 says:

    I always thought that the long jump could be improved by landing on ice, or perhaps a high jumper landing on a trampoline.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jennypellett says:

    Maybe you could combine pole vault with high diving. Ice for the first 10 metres of the 100 would be great, especially in Rio.


  4. jan says:

    Oh my, love your garden and I’m so jealous! The drought here in California has really decimated gardens here!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Allie P. says:

    I might actually watch more of the races if they incorporated the tennis ball thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My dear departed aunt of ‘Oh, the elements, the elements!’ fame was also a user of your dad’s expression ‘Immediately, forthwith if not sooner.’ She was also inclined to the odd malapropism in her commentaries on life, but that’s a whole other post.

    I’m very impressed with your salute to Rodin whilst bungy jumping. This exhibits a hitherto unknown stream of abilities in multi-tasking in my opinion – the ability to pose, fall, scream and sully yourself all at the same time! Maybe this activity could be considered as a new contest in your revamped Olympics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      I like to think you’re right but I wondered if in fact I have merely fragmented rather than multi tasked? And wouldn’t it be just dandy if it made it to the games. I’m off to codify a set of rules.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. 😀 😀 😀


  8. Love the calicos. 🐱
    It looks like ya’ll were having a great time. Mega hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. roweeee says:

    Well, Geoff your garden is up there alongside the tooth fairy, Santa and the Easter Bunny…is it real? The eternal heat here has browned and burnt the grass, which would’ve been fine if it were steak. Indeed, we could have saved on power!
    We have floorboards in our back room which exits on the backyard and Bilbo skids on those like your dog. There’s this mad whir of claws. Indeed, it could suggest he needs a pedicure and if our Miss had anything to do with it. the poor mutt would probably return with his claws painted rainbow colours.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mick Canning says:

    Ever so slightly worried that you write ‘I think the greater the degree of toilet training the higher up the pecking order they sit.’ after suggesting you are at the bottom of the heap (no pun intended!). Otherwise I love your ideas for spicing up the Olympics. I’ve always felt that the inclusion of selected wildlife would lead to much faster times.


  11. I never knew you could be such a cruel person to said athletes, Geoff, but the tennis ball one would be great fun to watch. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Charli Mills says:

    Nice sew-job on the cats. 🙂 Your foxes sound like urban coyotes. Do they eat cats like the coyotes do? Looks like you’ve mastered your form for horizontal bungee-jumping!


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