Lord Coe has announced the official route of the Olympic torch, which will bring the boring spectacle of a burning stick to many parts of the UK. Much of the route passes through towns so far from London that the event won't cause a whiff of interest, but even the Home Counties are expected to be underwhelmed by the sight of a man carrying a big match while being followed by a van with its hazard lights on.
Lord Coe thinks it's important to show the rest of the country how tedious the build up to a bit of running and throwing can be. "While most citizens in the UK are thrilled to be caught up in the spectacular cost of London 2012, many have told me that if the Olympic flame were to be carried directly past their living room window, they'd think twice before glancing outside."
"I've seized on this flicker of interest, had a special stick designed at eye-watering cost, and we're hitting the road. Our first stop is Hatfield: our marketing people told me that the flame looks marginally more interesting against a very dull background."
The original reason for choosing a flame to symbolise highly specific and limited physical skills are lost in the mists of time, but Lord Coe believes there are still merits in carrying a naked flame through one of the dampest countries in Europe.
"It's a stupid idea, and that's why the world will be impressed when we pull it off", said Coe. "We've gone back to a 'solid fuel' design instead of gas, the carrier of the flame simply pushes pre-rolled £50 notes up through the bottom of the stick, where each one will light up the drizzle for nearly a minute."
"There's something very symbolic about burning money in front of the Nation and claiming it's for their own benefit. But just in case they don't get the message, I've employed a team of urchins to go through the pockets of anyone that comes close enough to gawp. Once they realise it's their money that's burning, they're bound to take a bit of notice eventually."
Lord Coe defended his decision to burn money both figuratively and literally. "We're on a tight budget, and it's traditional to come in way over it. People have certain expectations of the organizers of the Olympics, which is why we're also burning all our spare tickets."