LORD TUPELO’S OLYMPIC DIARY
Urgent from our A.P./Rooters correspondent:
In May 2021 Lord Tupelo was unexpectedly hospitalised, with his skin. He emerged three days later on prescribed steroids, and straight away started making appropriate plans.
Diary entries follow:
3rd June. I suppose I’ve done quite well to reach the age of 64 before having to spend a night or 3 in hospital. Back home now and on steroids, getting ready to compete in the Tokyo Olympics next month.
5th June. Training in The New Inn, Doom Bar. A good internal workout.
8th June. The Reeking Hegs is getting some great reviews, but I don’t Know about sales. I suppose in the unlikely event that the Hegs does not become a huge global success, with the accompanying much-needed revenue, my secondary concern is to get the physical paperback distributed as far and wide as possible, so that in 100 years a copy may still exist somewhere, to be found by a climate ravaged survivor who might be amazed and delighted all over again. (Probably not that delighted unless he’s short of loo roll. Which he will be of course, as we found out last year.)
14th June. Steroids now finished, antibodies too, I await bated to see if my new improved bod can sustain. Fingers still aren’t good, a life of crime beckons (no fingerprints.)
16th June. Pete Peru is trying to book us onto Danny La Rupaul’s show as “hot new drag authors.”
17th June. Training in The White Hart, Ufton. Great views of the HS2 folly cleaving through the landscape.
20th June. A hail of skin flakes brush off my hands continually as a second set of steroids kick in, hopefully avoiding another hospital stay. I suffered a relapse without them. Tokyo 2020 is still on!
22nd June. I’m getting reports from the Yorkshire moors of an ancient village once named Hege-Hoton, later becoming Hoton under Heg, apparently meaning “the burial ground near the hollow.” Leaving me unclear whether Heg means hollow or burial ground. Either way I think we can make it work.
23rd June. I was once asked if Hegs meant “hollow eggs”, which suits the evolutionary stasis theme very well. (“Nothing has changed in 100,000 years!” – Little Knowing What, p23.)
25th June. Steroids are eliminating my body hair. This can only be an advantage in the upcoming Olympic events where aerodynamics are important. Unable to compete in nimble finger contests, tiddlywinks is out, card games too. Olympic needlework would be impossible, Subbuteo also. But I’ll be entering in everything else.
26th June. Pete Peru emails: With my new aerodynamic bod I should enter the Greek wrestling, or the ski jump.
27th June. As part of my training regime last night I enjoyed the full 32 mins “Power Of Lard.” Tonight I’ve lined up the Tooth’s “Ceremony”, good strong stuff for a few lunges.
1st July. My fingers are bad again and strange leg pains out of nowhere mean I’ll probably have to strike more events from my Olympic schedule. Sprinting is definitely out. Hobbling more like. Feeling a bit frail for the Greek wrestling but ski-jumping, yes! I assume they’ll run it straight down the side of Mt Fuji?
14th July. Pete Peru phones with “Happy Anniversary!” The Hegs was published a year ago, on Bastille Day. We should try to get Les Hegs Fumisant into France, with their strong literary history of Dada delirium and the absurd.
19th July. Boris’s “Freedom Day” is upon us but there is great uncertainty across the land, as Covid cases rise again.
20th July. Training in The Red Lion, Hunningham, scene of a previous sporting triumph some years ago when I beat the entire pool team one after another, as they assembled for a match.
21st July. Getting ready now for my flight to Tokyo for the Opening Ceremony. Watch out for me hobbling the Olympic Torch up to the Olympic Brazier, shedding skin flakes at every step, which ignite in the flames and float away to burn down all their paper houses. O the carnage…
28th July. I have a date tonight in the Olympic village pub with Simone Biles. Because of Covid we have to drink at parallel bars, at least I think that’s what she said.
2nd Aug. Here in Tokyo it’s been mostly swimming races and BMX so far. As a non-swimmer I never had a chance, and in BMX my 1960’s Triumph Traffic-Master was at a disadvantage from the very first jump. Following our date in the Parallel Bars, Simone Biles has been inspired to copy my tactic of withdrawing from most events. But there’s still time for a big finish.
3rd Aug. Pete Peru suggests I might win the gold medal for Most Withdrawals. I could swear I saw him at the skateboarding arena yesterday, under a big hat, posing as a 46 year old South African, the oldest contestant in the event.
9th Aug. Following the disaster at yesterday’s Olympics Closing Ceremony, the following note was released to the press this morning, having been recovered from one of the bodies.
A.P./Rooters Newsflash update direct from Parallel Bars:
It is believed that the writer of the note was an imposter at the Games, identified as an ageing worst-selling author from Warwickshire, England, on steroids. His Majesty The Emperor is reported to be out of danger and in a stable condition.
It is unclear whom the note is addressed to. A mighty portent. It reads:
“Here at the summit the snow is crisp and the air is bitterly cold, but the views are spectacular. And so my part in this grand finale of the closing ceremony is about to begin. I decided to keep my trusty Traffic-Master and I’m joined by Simone Biles on the horse and the Latvian Beach Volleyball team in a canoe, shivering in their beachwear.
At a signal, we set off together. Mt Fuji’s slopes are very steep at this point, more than 45 degrees, but I’m told they level out a bit after a mile or so. Through the cloud cover we accelerate at phenomenal speed, eventually hitting the giant artificial ramp supported by thousands of derelict Nissan Bluebirds. This should send us on a trajectory of nearly five miles over the city centre directly into the Olympic Stadium to land in the VIP box right next to the Emperor.
At least that’s the idea. I’m feeling calm, but itchy.
OK Biles, vamonos!”