Commentators were stunned today as LOCOG announced that next week, in a new effort to cut costs The Olympic Games would be twinned with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Lord Coe said that Fringe comedians would find no difficulty in dealing with empty seats, as they had been a feature of many shows in The Festival for many years. Rumours that they were to be filled by newly unemployed members of the British Armed Forces were true, he admitted. He regretted that some of them may be armed, bitter and therefore quite a hard audience to play, but he added: "They're not as hard as Blagger's in Watford on a Saturday night"
G4S have also said that their Fringe show will regrettably not be ready on time, as many of the part-time actors have not been able to afford to pay their own fare out of their dole money to travel to Edinburgh from Swindon and Bristol, leading to their cast of Twelve Angry Men being entirely played by members of The Lothian & Borders Police Force. In this new production, the play only lasts 13 minutes, as everyone agrees that the defendant is guilty right away, and that the policemen who pushed him over and broke his neck was a good bloke and not at all borderline psychopathic.
The Fringe Festival has denied that their choices of sponsors are controversial, saying that Hopscotch Land Mines Inc. are "a reputable company with an enviable reputation as the UK's largest exporter of Personnel Rearrangers for use in the Field", and that their decision to mine several Fringe comedy shows would at the very least justify the reviews from the broadsheets that shouty fortysomething middle class comedians were "dangerous".
They have also defended the involvement of the chemicals company Armageddon R Us, as most comedians will be partaking of chemical stimulation anyway, so they may as well make a profit from it.
And the involvement of United Hardened Arteries, the world's biggest producer of lard, would provide most comedians with all the extra cholestorol they would need to get through a month of stress, fried food and eating at 4am, which many nutritionists claim is the optimum time of day to stave off coronaries.
The Olympic Committee have also defended their decision to site several long range missiles on the Sir Walter Scott Monument, but they have said that security is paramount, as some comedians may overrun by as much as 10 minutes, and need to be taught a lesson.
The Opening Ceremony is expected to reflect the genuine experience of The Edinburgh Fringe, featuring as it does a deranged performance poet bellowing a poem about sodomising a dog, STD Nurses dancing and Home Counties students pretending to be from The Gorbals.
The IOC have also announced swathes of new events for comedians that will take place, from the 1500 metres dash to buy the Scotsman at midnight, the 300 metres Looking Over Your Shoulder To See If Someone More Important Has Come In, to the 26-Day Event Going On And On About Yourself At Great Length (most comics are hoping for a personal best this year).
Lord Coe finally announced that the Comedy Olympiad would "show the world the Best of British sense of humour", particularly our love of irony, given that next year many of the punchlines will be outsourced to China.
STEVE GRIBBIN is appearing in "Viva Gribbostania!" at Stand 4 3-26 August (not 13th) Tickets are £8/£7. Show is 8:10pm
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