Donald MacInnes: I'll end up owing the Olympic lane police £2,080 in fines
In The Red
Donald MacInnes writes Tales from the Water Cooler, which can be found every Saturday on page 2 of i. And, although a financial near-imbecile, he writes a weekly column in The Independent’s Money section, also on Saturdays. He writes regularly on a broad range of subjects in i’s Freeview section and occasionally fills in on Simon Kelner’s daily column when emotionally up to it. @DonaldAMacInnes
Saturday 04 August 2012
I live in a house on a road in a city called London. You may or may not be aware of this, but at the moment in the city in which I live, an event is being held solely to measure accurately the bendiness, bounciness, hittiness, liftiness and runniness of a collection of people who have come here from all over the world. In bad tracksuits.
These bendy, bouncy, hitty, lifty, runny people spend four years saying no to pudding so that they can spend four minutes in big buildings in east London, where their particular ability will be shown to be hilariously inadequate when measured against those of Russian and Chinese robot people who have been constructed in disused tractor factories in cities with names ending in –grad and –zhu.
So, in order for these silver and bronze medallists to get to the big rooms so they can come second or third to the marching robot people, they have to travel in sinister BMW cars which have had colourful, angular graphics painted on their doors to make them look less sinister. And in order that these cars don't get bogged down in London's curiously static traffic flow, the city's Mayor, a blond man called Boris (who sounds like Tony the Frosties Tiger, if he had gone to Eton) has painted white lines all over London's streets, dividing them into lanes for a) those people that are going to the big buildings to come second or third and b) those who are going home to watch them come second or third on their tellies. With Clare Balding.
To make sure that only the athletes and their vital entourage (meaning, the vice-president of European lettuce crispiness for E-NOR-MO Burgers and his 15 lovely "secretaries") use the special road lanes, Boris the toffy Tiger has told police, traffic wardens and anyone in a uniform (including the ladies who work in Greggs) to fine the public £130 every time they see them using a banned lane. This seems like a lot of money. Especially since the Arctic Monkeys only got paid £1 to sing at the opening ceremony.
It's doubly upsetting because a Games Lane passes in front of my house, so I have to break the "law" twice a day just to get into or out of my home. By the time you read this, I will have illegally entered a Games Lane 16 times, meaning accumulated fines of £2,080. So, given that I only have to incur these fines in order to come to work so I can entertain you every Saturday, I'm looking to you to cough up a few quid. Who'll start us off with a fiver? Anyone? Hello?
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