A Peek Behind the Scenes at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games

SCENE: London General Hospital

olympic games
London Olympic Stadium

TIME: The 2012 Summer Olympic Games

The emergency telephone rings.

Nurse: London General.

Voice on phone: Ambulance 253 here! We’re bringing in a code 5. Six patients in all.

Nurse: What? Yet another! Who is it this time?

Ambulance: It’s members of the Peruvian Pole Vault team. They’ve apparently overdosed on the Officially Sponsored Olympic Games energy drink.

Doctor comes in and overhears conversation.

Nurse: I don’t believe it! That’s the fourth case today and it isn’t even noon!

Doctor: Who were the other three?

Nurse: At 5 AM the Lithuanian Square Dancing team called in all claiming stomach cramps from eating Officially Sponsored Olympic Games candy bars. Then at 8:15 four members of the Angolan Muskox Riding team were admitted with severe skin rashes from wearing Officially Sponsored Olympic Games jock straps. At 10:00 they brought in a couple from the Ukrainian Rock-Paper-Scissors team complaining of foot pains from wearing Officially Sponsored Olympic Games Rain Booties.

Doctor: This is like a plague!

Telephone rings.

Nurse: London General. (Listens, then speaks to Doctor.) It’s the Jordanian Discus Throwing group. A number of them are down from eating too many Officially Sponsored Games frozen pizzas. It seems like they didn’t know they were supposed to thaw them first.

Doctor: Tell them to each take two aspirins and call me in the morning. My God! People are dropping like flies! How are we to keep up if it keeps on going like this? This whole business of having “Official Sponsors” merchandising had gotten out of hand! One could tell there was corruption involved when when someone came up with an “Officially Sponsored” cigarette!

Telephone rings.

Nurse: London General. Yes? Oh, Heavens!

Doctor: What is it?

Nurse: The entire Outer Mongolian Yak Roping team is dead?

Doctor: What happened?

Nurse: Their coach put them all on a strict diet of nothing but Officially Sponsored foods and their intestines seized up!

Doctor: That does it! Get me the head of the Olympic Games Committee!

Nurse: (Dials telephone, talks into it shortly, then hands it to the doctor.) Here he is.

Doctor: Hello, this is Doctor Gunther from London General. We are getting swamped here with people getting sick from all these so-called “Official Olympic” things. It’s bad enough we’re having all the normal accidents that occur at the Olympics, but now we are getting all this weird stuff too. It even happened that one of the torch runners exploded because all he got to drink along the way was “Officially Sponsored” soda.

Official: I don’t like it anymore than you do! These big companies practically own the Olympic games now. This garbage they are pushing is making headaches for us too. The runners keep tripping up because of all the “Official” chewing gum on the track. The Arab teams are up in arms because the only “Official” meat is bacon. The Japanese are humiliated because the “Official” line of sports clothing is from an American firm and they can only fit into the children’s sizes. There are even pushers hanging around the front gates selling what they claim to be the “Official Olympic’ drugs!

Doctor: Good heavens! Is there no answer?

Official: Listen, there is something you can do. We can grant you two million dollars in subsidy money if you let up put up signs saying that your hospital is the Official Olympic Games Hospital…

Doctor: NO! THIS IS NOT A CHEAP DEPARTMENT STORE!!! Next thing you know you will want to put advertising in the ambulances!

Official: Now there is an idea!

Doctor: (Angrily hangs up.) Incredible!

Nurse: Another strange part of it is that one of the major sponsors of the games is the world’s largest soft drink company whose office for all Europe is here in London. They have so much control of the market and are in so tight with the government that no one dares even to whisper the name of one their competitors.

Doctor: This certainly doesn’t make me feel peppy.


Doctor: This certainly isn’t anything to make one feel sprite about!


Doctor: OK, OK! Tell me, is Dr. Pepper in today?


Doctor: This is really a lot of bull!

Nurse: That you can say as long as you don’t say “Red” before it!


Roger Freed