Thursday, 11 August 2005

The bollock(s) they print in the local rag...

Here is a picture published on page 54 of the Oxford Mail on Wednesday 10 August 2005. It's the men's steeplechase at the World Athletics Championships currently being held in Helsinki.

"So what?" you might ask. "It's just a picture of some guys clearing the water jump."

Well, here is a loose reconstruction of what seemed like a routine call to newsdesk.

"Hello, Oxford Mail newsdesk...Yes, sir...Page 54...I see...Okay...Thank you. I'll let the editor know...Good bye."

[Puts phone down.]

::Guffaws::

Newsroom buzzes with intrigue. Has another nutcase phoned in to compain about the "wogs" on the front page? Has another ticket agent scammed the innocent public, expecting to hear light opera (no reduced fat)? Have Oxford United signed another no-hope striker or sacked their sixth Latino manager in four days?

No. It's just bollocks.

Or one bollock, to be precise. (Journalists are wont to get their facts right.)

Now look more closely at the Moroccan athlete on the right of the frame. Notice anything unusual about his appearance? He has his eyes closed! How embarrassing. No, that's not it...His number doesn't match his shorts? No, that neither. His shoe's come off? Close, but no cigar. Shall I tell you?

Take a look at this close-up. (You may want to squint out the corner of your eye.)

I did warn you.

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