Choppy Waters

A conversation about the Boat Race veers off course

You’ve got to feel for them. All those long months of training…

It is a long time.

Well he Twittered it, didn’t he? The chap. The Oxford chappie. He said, “My team went through seven months of hell.”

It’s a lot of hell to go through. 

“This was the culmination of our careers,” he said,  “and you took it from us…” That’s what he said to Mr So-Called Anti-Elitist, I-went-to-Public-School Trenton Whatnot.

I should think Trenton felt pretty rotten about that. When he read it. Mind you, I don’t see why, just because he went to public school —


Well — just because he went to public school I don’t see why that sort of disqualifies his opinion.

It’s not funny, Polly.

I wasn’t —

This is Britain. This is 2012. Do you not see the significance?

Well, it’s the Olympics.

That’s right, Polly.

So what?


Well, a chap wants to protest by throwing himself into the Thames…It’s not the end of the world. 

Three words, Polly: the London Olympics 2012. 

I’m just saying —

I don’t know what you’re saying, frankly. And frankly, I’m not sure I want to know.

I’m only saying…

The fact is — a single, very selfish and hypocritical “man” (and I use the word “man” very much in quote marks) simply decided his own opinions were sufficiently important everyone needed to hear them. No matter what.

Yes — quite annoying.

Those poor kids have been setting their early morning alarms. Eating all the right nutrients…and everything. As the man said, “Living through hell”.

Mind you, I don’t see what’s “hell” about doing a lot of what you really enjoy.

And then there are the devastated fans. Watching telly or maybe standing on the riverbank in the rain cheering madly for their old college! It’s such a super tradition. It’s so “Britain all over!” And then he has to ruin it. To make some stupid point nobody’s remotely interested in. If he doesn’t like the race, why doesn’t he just not watch it?

Because he was trying to make a point.

Well. I don’t know about the point. He ruined everyone’s fun. That’s all.

He didn’t ruin mine!

Yes, he did!

No, he didn’t. Lots of people thought it was very funny what he did.

Funny? Do you actually realise it’s the Olympics this year?

You keep telling me. 

The 2012 London Olympics.


Well, don’t you see how important that is? He made Great Britain a laughing stock around the world!

Hardly, Lottie.

Are you actually trying to annoy me? What are you, some kind of raging revolutionary all of a sudden?

No! I’m just saying…

Well stop “just saying”. You haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. And I’m sure if Colin had been to either Oxford or Cambridge, like Nigel did, you’d probably see things VERY differently. And I’m sorry to say it, but you’re sounding a bit sour-grapesy to me. And anyway, frankly — even if it is a bit sort of elite-y, so what?

I agree.

Why shouldn’t they have a nice race, once a year?

I agree. I’m just saying, I think people are over-reacting…looked at another way, Trenton actually turned one of the most boring sporting events of the year into a bloody good joke.

What about the Olympics?

You keep banging on about the Olympics…

Yes. Well what if it had happened at the Olympics?

Quite funny, too?

Oh my God! What is the matter with you, Polly? That guy could have been a terrorist! Don’t you get it? He could have blown us all up. Right there in the middle of Barnes. For crying out loud. And honestly, when you talk like that — when you’re just being completely unreasonable — there’s actually no point trying to get though to you. I honestly wonder if we’re even friends.

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