With the Olympics just a few weeks away, English chaps and ladies enjoyed a bit of cheeky fun at the Chap Olympiad in London's historic Bedford Square last weekend. The event began eight years ago as a fun summer event, where folks dress up in mid-20th century fashions and participate in gentlemanly and non-sporting events.
It's touted as being a "celebration of athletic ineptitude and immaculate trouser creases," and by the names of the events, it's quite obvious. Such competitions include Umbrella Jousting, Iron Board Surfing, Shin Kicking, the Martini Knockout Relay, a Butler Race, and a sport reminiscent of Monty Python's French taunter, an event called Shouting at Foreigners. It was a fun-filled weekend, which previously only spanned one day, but was expanded this year to two days due to increasing demand.
The two-day affair began with a ceremonial lighting of the Olympic Pipe, an enormous exaggeration of a typical English gentleman's pipe, and then the first event began, the martini knockout relay, which begins with a man dressed as a butler mixing his partner's drink.
The three-legged races in oversize trousers, men dressed in full butler uniform carrying equally well-dressed men and women on their backs, and fake nurses dressed in World War II-era uniforms attending mortally wounded victims of an umbrella poke all gave this event a bit of irreverent and jovial atmosphere, showing that even the British can poke fun at themselves.
Winners were chosen not by their athletic prowess, but were judged in the very British manner of how stylishly they pulled off the stunt.
So if you're in London this time next year, take in the Chap Olympiad, where you'll get a taste for the dry wit and humor of the British upper crustÂ—played out, of course, by normal, everyday people.
Â©2012 Reno Berkeley for Gather News.