Shaflin Goes To London

Published 3:16 pm Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cheerios, it's been a grand fortnight in jolly England.

This is Shaflin, your royal correspondent chiming in, reflecting on his Olympics visit.

Surely you don't miss Chappie, the dude that usually writes in this space. He's rather a dull sort; he just sits behind the desk all day clicking his little fingers away. He don't live like Shaflin. Shaflin's his wild adventurous side. Shaflin gets to go places, do things, annoy, er-meet people…

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Any way, Chappie wanted the time off to play a game of checkers with himself and asked me to do a London postscript this week, seeing how Shaflin got an up close look at the Olympic extravaganza.

First off, lesson one, let Shaflin emphasize, Londoners don't like aliases and it was hard for Shaflin to get into the country to start with. But, hey, after a few rounds with the bobbies I flashed Chapman's credentials and, once they stopped laughing, they let Shaflin through the gate. Even Shaflin can't really describe what it's like seeing a bunch of policemen rolling in the aisles at Heathrow.

Rather than going straight to work, Shaflin had to do some sight-seeing first. Went looking for the famed Big Ben, but couldn't find the Pittsburgh quarterback anywhere. Guess he's getting clocked back in training camp at St. Vincent College instead of Cambridge this year. Oh well, not really a Steelers fan any way.

And whoever made up that song about London Bridges falling down – Shaflin says don't believe everything you hear. Shaflin looked long and hard but didn't see a single bridge crumbled in the Thames. Must've got 'em fixed before the international party. Rumor has it that there's a fair lady here, too, named Kate, but someone took a key and locked her up. Shaflin can't verify, though.

What's up with stone hen? That's what Shaflin wants to know. Whoever put those big rocks in a circle there didn't know how to carve no hen.

Or roosters, for that matter.

And Shaflin went to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Shaflin took note how those Brits are a forgiving lot (overlooking that whole tea party and Revolutionary War thing), in paying tribute to the US of A. Imagine naming such a cool-looking place after Buckingham County, Virginia? Now that's some real respect for the Knights.

Anyhow, waited there all day and never saw Coach K swap Kobe for Durant. Or Paul for that matter.

Did see a bench there, though, but it wasn't particularly deep. Or maybe it was deep since it just sat there all still. Shaflin not really sure.

Yes, yes, Shaflin knows London wasn't all about the sightseeing. The games were more entertaining than watching Chappie trying to get out of a straight jacket. (Heh, heh. Guess he won't fall asleep at his keyboard again anytime soon.)

Shaflin won't forget Gabby's smile, the last golden chapter on the remarkable Phelps, and one incredible soccer goal.

But, still, Shaflin wonders what's up with the banana yellow shoes that most of the track athletes were wearing? Were they supposed to give opponents the slip? Were they just too appealing? Were they on sale? Shaflin don't know. He just thinks they were kind of bright and ugly.

And this year's Olympics was different. It's the first time Shaflin can remember competing athletes wearing their name instead of the number. Guess runner Smith don't want to be known as 2353 anymore.

Shaflin, don't mean to whinge. All in all, he was rather gobsmacked at the whole experience. And, yes, the famed weather did hold off for the most part, though there certainly were lots of umbrellas in hand.

Shaflin don't remember, no one ever saying, “Tut, tut, it looks like rain,” though.