By Jamie Hill
Standing in the crowd waiting for the Olympic Torch to pass a few feet away from me was a very weird experience.
Everybody was excited. Drinking Coke. Waving their Lloyds TSB flags. The Olympic logo emblazoned on everything in sight.
It was like I had fallen asleep whilst watching Who Wants to be a Millionaire and woken up in the middle of a commercial break. A live action commercial break happening right in front of me. And because I was in the middle of the crowd I couldn't escape.
There was even these two people on bouncy leg thingies getting the crowd to cheer before jumping in their Lloyds TSB ice cream truck which, you guessed it, played the Lloyds TSB theme tune. I'm glad I bank with Nat West after that display. You don't see them making complete tits of themselves just to get a bit of branding across (well, you do, but not so much any more since they managed to lose all of our money by giving it to American trailer trash so that they could get a mortgage that they would never be able to pay back in a million years). I don't really understand the link between banks and The Olympics. You don't link in your head running a marathon and getting a Cash ISA. Or throwing a javelin and taking out a credit card with a 0% balance transfer rate. Maybe it's just me.
With the Olympic torch getting nearer and nearer the branding got more out of control. Here's the men with the Coca Cola truck handing out free bottles of Coke. Yes! I love Coca-Cola! Hey, you missed me out. I now hate you Coca Cola!
It really was a circus. Except without the funny clowns or elephants or any of the good stuff. Just a bunch of branding being thrown in your face before someone runs past you really quickly carrying a torch. And this all for a glorified track and field competition. A big show just to watch people run around a track or throw things, or jump or cycle or vault. Basically things that no-one in Britain has ever taken a blind bit of interest in before and won't in two months time either.
After the interminable wait in blistering hot weather I half expected Ronald McDonald to rock up with the torch throwing Big Macs willy nilly whilst singing 'I'm Lovin' it!' through a loud hailer.
Alas it wasn't to be. It was just a blonde lady carrying a torch. She wasn't even dressed as Bertie Bassett... You would have thought she could have made more effort. Swindon had Didier Drogba. He would have been good for a laugh.
Ho-hum, well back to normal life again now.