Olympic Officials today admitted they were caught "somewhat offguard" at how frequently they needed to top up the credit on the Pay As You Go gas card which was intended to keep the Olympic Flame burning for every second of every day until the Olympics stop.
Along with the flame itself, the Greek delegation handed Sebastian Coe a pre-paid card loaded with credit for "about a year's worth of gas". Despite this the flame nearly petered out immediately upon arrival at RNAS Culdrose. Only the quick thinking of flag-waving pensioner Gladys Pip saved major embarrassment, when she hit the Emergency Credit button just as the final flicker of credibility was about to die.
This bought enough time for Coe's right-hand man David Beckham to contact sponsors EDF Energy where he successfully set up a direct debit for £4000 a day for the gas, took out fridge insurance and bought 500 solar panels. However the EDF offices are now closed, so the necessary adjustment to the Locog account is likely to occur at "some point next week".
It is rumoured that in order to save gas the Torch has secretly been turned off, with the flame having been sustained for the last ten hours by a can of Princess Anne's hairspray.
Critics have argued that the design of the flame is "pretty stupid", as the large number of holes in each side increase oxygen flow and thereby burn fuel at an increased rate. A local expert on fire said "It's basically a pimped-up lighter the size of a baseball bat with foot long flame. Now run 300 metres in a polyster tracksuit. Ha!"
The route had been carefully planned so as to stay within an hour of a PayPoint outlet at all times but even that may not be enough. It appears nobody at Locog felt it necessary to phone up and explicitly ask for the cheapest tariff available, meaning every glimmer of torch flame now burns into Lord Coe's retinas like an exploding suitcase full of money.