I went shopping with my sister yesterday, who was resplendent in her new official Olympic Village t-shirt. She wasn’t actually one of the village people, but in her sporty shoes and pants, she could have easily passed off as an athlete. She did work at the Games, so on a few occasions was able to go into the village and stickybeak at the famous faces. I’m not sure if the shirt was intended for non-Olympians, but that didn’t stop my sis from getting her souvenir.
It’s amazing and bloody amusing the respect that can be commanded by a simple item of clothing. I’m not sure if this is a tribute to the fine craftmanship of the Bonds t-shirt, or an indication of the stupidity of Canberrans. Every second person who passed us would do a double take, gawking at the OLYMPIC VILLAGE emblazoned across her shirt.
One woman stomping down an escalator actually stopped in her tracks, lowered her sunglasses and peered at my sister. You could almost see the thoughts running through her head: “Did I see that girl on TV? She’s a bit too tall for gymnastics. Too short for pole vault. Too small for a weightlifter…”
Another little kid tugged on a parents arm and whispered in that not-so-subtle kiddie’s whisper, “Hey Mum! It’s someone from the Olympics!”
My sister was highly absorbed in her bargain hunting as usual, so she hadn’t even noticed the attention she was getting until I pointed it out. Then we had our fun concocting up too-loud conversations to really fuck with the minds of passers-by. We decided she was a member of some unnamed team sport, but a highly successful one at that:
“We didn’t have sundried tomatoes like these at The Village”
“Oh! This random can of soft drink reminds me when you scored that goal in the semi-final and I knocked over my Fanta in my excitement!”
“God these checkouts are slow! You’re gonna be late for your Visualisation Training!”
“I will buy this Mars Bar, now that it’s October.”