The British didn’t invent cycling although, post Wiggins, Pendleton, Hoy et al, they would have you believe so. The Middle Aged Man In Lycra (MAMIL) is an oft-sighted creature in Britain today. In cities up and down the nation they surge past, face contorted into a curious mixture of pain and pleasure that seems to scream “Queen and Country”. For when the Brits take to something, they go at hammer and tongs, full of sound and fury, as evidenced in our approach to the beautiful game.
There’s nothing more hilarious than a monoglottist attempting to communicate with a foreign comrade using only the power of gesticulation, especially when there is the aroma of a liaisons etranger in the kitchen. Its the sort of thing that would have Radio 4 listeners in stitches at 6:30pm on a Monday evening week after week, month after month, year after year. In this case, a prawn sandwich proved to be a mime too far, despite the eventual deployment of the, what I had previously assumed to be universal and thus fail-safe, wavy-fingers-above-the-head routine. The lady in question, I’m sorry to report, had to content herself with the Kent Crisps.