Lighting the London 2012 Flame – this is how it’s going to be


For the sake of this little dribble of nonsense let’s just say it’s David Beckham who’s going to light the flame. Not that I want Beckham. Or that I particularly like him. Actually, that’s a bit unfair. I don’t dislike him. He seems a decent bloke. He was a legend for England. Just a shame he married a total twat.

And he’ll probably be chosen for the job anyway. So let’s stick with this.

So, it’s London. July 2012. Late evening, the sky pink as dusk begins to pass and night take grip. Danny Boyle’s multi-million pound show is entering its final stages. Then Beckham enters the stadium, Olympic torch in hand.

He waves. Then waves some more. Then jogs around the track. Does a bit more waving. BBC commentators wank themselves unconscious in wild thrashes of adulation. Then he arrives at the final podium.

Now, this bit is quite specific. What we have is a lower podium, maybe five metres or so across and about six or seven feet off the ground. From there a further set of white steps wind their up to up a very high pedestal from which the Olympic cauldron can be lit.

Beckham climbs the short set of steps to the first podium. The stadium lights dim, with just the podiums and stairs illuminated. He applauds the crowd. He then takes a moment to compose himself and steps onto the first step of the larger staircase.

The ground rumbles. Everyone in the stadium can feel it. Beckham, who has spent the last year taking acting lessons, is thrown off balance and stumbles backward onto the podium. The shaking becomes so violent he is thrown to the ground.

Then it happens.

The larger staircase begins to bend in on itself, to contort. Then the cauldron from which the Olympic flame itself will burn judders forwards. It appears as if everything is collapsing in on itself. Then it becomes apparent. Far from collapsing, suddenly the stairs rise. Slowly taking form the crowd realises that that the staircase and cauldron have transformed into a giant robot. Beckham, still on the ground, looks up in horror as the beast rapidly takes shape, the cauldron encased in its steely head.

It steps toward Beckham, who stumbles to his feet. It’s eyes throb bright red in the darkening London skies. Then a shattering voice thunders.“You are not worthy of lighting my flame. Begone, and do not return.”

Beckham takes a small step back. He looks around the stadium, lost, searching for answers. Then he looks at the Olympic torch in his hand and then up to the eyes of the robot. He stands tall, holds his ground. The commentator says something poignant about the Olympic spirit.

A deep, rumbling laughter bellows throughout the stadium.

“So be it.”

Suddenly, the robot shoots two red lasers out of its eyes which impact the ground beside Beckham. The footballer’s shaken, but stands tall again. This time the robot takes no mercy and aims the next blast right at him. Beckham jumps to the side, then rolls back the other way to avoid a third blast. The robot roars, stoops down and fires another shot, this time striking Beckham in the chest and tossing him backwards flat onto the podium. The robot growls hysterically and stands straight, aiming his final blast.

“You are a mortal, not an Olympian.” And with that the final blow is delivered.

But no. Beckham, with the last of his strength, holds the torch out in front of him and absorbs the laser beam. The audience can see the energy pulsing through his body, but they can also see the fight in his eyes, which shine a blinding white. Somehow, despite the force of the laser, Beckham fights to his feet. He looks weak, he looks uneasy, but he digs deep inside. With one final thrust of energy he pushes the torch out in a sudden movement in front of him, sending a shock wave back along the energy bean and into the robot’s face. The titan stumbles. The crowd goes wild. I point out to Mrs Ben that our 47” 1080p HD TV was most definitely not a waste of money.

But the joy is short. “Ha ha ha ha…” The deep, composed rumbling laughter of the robot, who steadies himself and turns to face Beckham, is back.

“You seriously mean to challenge me, mortal?” the huge gollum asks.

“No,” says, Beckham, his chest puffed out. “I mean to defeat you.”

At that moment a large white, javelin like shaft shoots out of the podium at Beckham’s side, presenting a vase like container to him. The world is silent. Beckham takes a step forward and looks at the object. All is still. He then glances at the robot and allows himself a smile. Slowly, the places the torch inside of it.

At that moment the javelin moves, changes. It grabs Beckham by the hand, jerking him forward. But it doesn’t stop. Soon it has consumed his whole arm, then a leg. Both legs. The podium begins the envelope Beckham. But far from consuming him, it becomes clear it’s actually augmenting him.

Beckham is raised into the sky as the pieces form beneath him and around him. The robot takes a step back and raises his arms in front of him, fearful of the adversary taking form. Finally the Beckhambot stands tall, with David encased in the head and the torch forming the point of its huge, spear-like weapon held in its right hand.

The two goliaths stand face to face.

Then a digital version of Beckham’s feeble, utterly unsuitable and frankly worrying childlike voice is heard as the Beckhambot’s eyes shine bright blue: “Let the games begin.”

The pair clash, exchanging blows. But no matter how much anger the robot can muster, Beckambot stands tall. After a fierce conflict, the bad robot is reeling. Beckhambot thrusts forward, grabbing it by the throat. He draws their faces together. The bad robot, refusing to acknowledge his fate, roars with one final act of denial as Beckhambot raises his torch spear high into the London skyline and thrusts it, flame down, into the skull of his opponent. The Olympic Flame is lit and the robot explodes and collapses, leaving only the head housing the flame in Beckhambot’s raised hand.

He turns to the crowd and lifts it aloft. It’s a triumph. The TV spectacle to end all TV spectacles. Within 50 years Britannia was to once again rule the globe. And to this day Beckhambot and the Olympic Flame still stand tall in the London skyline.

That’ll be what Seb Coe has in mind, right?

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