Ten years ago, Manchester hosted the Commonwealth Games. I always remember this spoof preview:
As you may know, Manchester will be hosting the Commonwealth Games this July. What you may not know is that many of the famous events that go to make up this spectacular have been especially altered for Manchester.
A copy of these changes has been leaked, and is reproduced below.
OPENING CEREMONY The flame will be ignited by a petrol bomb thrown by a native of Salford, in the traditional dress of balaclava and Rockports. The flame will be contained in a large overturned police van situated on the roof of the stadium.
In previous Commonwealth Games, Manchester's competitors have not been particularly successful. In order to redress the balance, some of the events have been altered slightly to the advantage of local athletes.
100 METRES SPRINT Competitors will have to hold a video recorder and microwave oven (one in each arm) and on the sound of the starting pistol, a police dog will be released from a cage 10 yards behind the athletes.
110 METRES HURDLES As above but with added obstacles (i.e. car bonnets, hedges, garden fences, walls etc).
HAMMER Competitors in this event may choose the type of hammer they wish to use (claw, sledge etc). The winner will be the one who can cause the most physical damage within three attempts.
FENCING Entrants will be asked to dispose of as many stolen goods as possible in 5 minutes.
SHOOTING A strong challenge is expected from local men in this event. The first target will be a moving police van. In the second round, competitors will aim at a post office clerk bank teller or securicor style wages deliveryman. The traditional .22 rifle has been replaced in this event by a choice of either a Browning automatic handgun or Sawn-off 12-bore shotgun.
BOXING Entry to the boxing will be restricted to husband and wife teams, and will take place on a Friday night. The husband will be given 15 pints of lager while the wife will be told not to make him any tea when he gets home. The bout will then commence.
CYCLING TIME TRIALS Competitors will be asked to break into the University bike shed and take an expensive mountain bike owned by some poor guy on his first trip away from home. All against the clock.
CYCLING PURSUIT As above, but the bike will be owned by a visiting member of the Australian rugby team, who will witness the theft.
MODERN PENTATHLON Amended to include mugging, breaking and entering, flashing, joyriding and arson.
SWIMMING EVENTS All waterways are currently being tested for toxicity levels, once one is found that can support human life, swimming events will be organised. Please note that the Synchronised Swimming event for this year will comprise of dropping acid and watching all the funky ripples on the pool,the specific musical support to this event will be provided by The Verve.
THE MARATHON A safe route has yet to be decided.
MEN'S 50KM WALK Unfortunately, this will have to be cancelled as the police cannot guarantee the safety of anyone walking the streets of Manchester, especially anyone who appears to be mincing.
THE CLOSING CEREMONY Entertainment will include formation rave dancing by members of The Salford Health in the Community Anti-drug Campaign, synchronised rock throwing and music by the Stockport Community Choir.
The flame will be extinguished by police riot water cannon following the inevitable pitch invasion by confused Man United-organised hooliganism club. The stadium itself will then be boarded up before the local athletes break into it and remove all the copper piping and the central heating boiler.
Late News: To guarantee the entry of any Mancunian athletes at all, drugs testing has been waived this year.