20 August, 2012


Whatever happened to...

Wenlock and Mandeville?

As a resident of the Olympic zone, I've enjoyed many benefits. Perhaps the most pleasing, still in place in the interlude between the proper games and the ripple games (Could you rephrase that?—Ed. Piss off, mate!—Author), has been the temporary traffic diversion which has led to the east-bound 177 and 180 buses calling at the Wetherspoon in Greenwich. An hour or so sipping Russian lager and taking the piss out of the old geezers, keeping an eye out along Creek Road as you near the end of the second glass. An energetic waddle to the bus stop immediately outside the door as the bus pulls in and you're away to Woolwich on your magic Stagecoach (or Go-Ahead London, as the case may be).

A welcome opportunity to take in the vibrant diversity of South East London, which you don't see quite as much of on the train or the DLR (though they're definitely getting there). The increase in the number of hijabbed muslimas is noticeable. The bus companies are really going to have to have a think about rearranging the seating to increase the size of the pushchair/wheelchair area, tha knows. Otherwise it'll be the great pushchair riot of 2013, sparked off by a vicious fight between a Polish mother and a Muslim mother over a pushchair space on a 177 bus. Mark my words — something must be done — innit.

Anyway, I digress. Despite their status as the expensively designed official mascots of the London 2012 games, Manlock and Wendeville have been nowhere to be seen. There's a few forlorn-looking 8-inch soft dolls gathering dust in the window of the main tourist tat shop at Cutty Sark, looking disturbingly like some sort of obscure and probably insanitary ethnic sex toy. And they feature on the occasional advertising poster exhorting you to buy Olympics-branded souvenir toot. Apart from that, the sporty duo are noticeable mainly in their absence. Maybe — hopefully — the organizers realized what an abomination they are and quietly sidelined them.

Now that at least would be a result.

Ah well, only a week and a half till it starts again. Myself, I'm looking forward to the 24-hour mobility scooter race.

"...a vicious fight between a Polish mother and a Muslim mother ..."

Given the publicity disparity that's noticeable between two injured kiddies vs two dead kiddies, I think I know who'll win that one. :/

Maybe it's really just down to the fact that there's a fugitive. Or the fact that the Polish mothers weren't available to weep and wail on camera.

I don't know. I just know it rankles...

The abominations known as Wenlock and Mandeville were carefully designed to be non-British (no lion, no bulldog, no determination and definitely avoiding too many whiter shades) and equally meaningless to everyone, wherever they came from.

They were a triumph of intention over design. No one is offended, no one is interested.

Job done!

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