Just as there are some less than ardent royalists out there, there are some of us who are lacking in sportiness. We're sporting enough to allow you all to have the O***pics, but just like that 'fun' game of rounders, we won't be taking part. As the games draw closer more and more people seem to have succumbed to O***pimania. Perhaps it's the fumes from the torch that's been doing the rounds.
We've been told off for being such negative nellies - 'this is a once in a lifetime opportunity!' we've been told. But is it? This is the third time London has hosted the O***pics so there's a handful of people puttering about for whom this has been a thrice in a lifetime opportunity... So what IS a once in a lifetime opportunity?
2. Being the massive pedant that I am I’m not even sure if there are any ‘once in a lifetime events’. Most of them are just uncommon or extremely unlikely– amazing job offers, fluking a 10000-to-1 shot (inevitably when nobody else is around), ending up sharing a small space with a famous person – or just expensive or difficult to recreate (incredible holidays for instance). Birth and death would seem the obvious ones, but it is debatable whether they even occur in a lifetime – arguably they don’t, instead bookending a lifetime. Gareth
3. What I would class as a once in a lifetime opportunity is at the top of my list of 'Things to Buy When I Win the Lottery'. I have no desire to climb mountains and nearly die doing it, no I want to buy myself a superpower! For just under $5000 I can experience weightlessness on a Zero Gravity flight! All the Blue Peter presenters I have seen doing this inevitably throw up but before that they fly about like the wingless angels of kids educational entertainment TV they are! The weightlessness of a swim isn't enough for me, I want the real thing! This might not be a once in a lifetime opportunity if you are minted but to me it's a one off or at the moment an impossibility! Squeamish Nicola
4. It seems we're all agreed that there's no such thing as a once in a lifetime event... Except there is, they just take you by surprise. There are the big planned ones - I certainly don't plan to get married again (although ask Tom Cruise and Zsa Zsa Gabor if a wedding is a one-off deal anymore). And the tiny moments of serendipity - hopefully I'll never again be in the position of being so broke I'm desperate for a tenner to avoid tipping into awful debt. But if I am, I hope I find a twenty on the floor again - but that was probably a one-off. And then there are the things that happened once and don't need repeating - getting lost in a Thai mountain-side jungle and having to get rescued by a boat after a traumatic two hours on a cliff face falls into that column.
But if I had to choose one thing to be my 'once in a lifetime', I'd choose going through puberty. Adolescence wasn't a complete living hell. But It was awkward, tricky and embarrassing. Doing that once was more than enough for me - you couldn't give me a million pounds to be 18 again. Squeamish Louise
5. Oh the O***pics, to me this is not a once in a lifetime opportunity – to take part in or to watch, it's a never in a lifetime. What will I say to my hypothetical grandchildren should they ask me about the 2012 O***pics? 'Stop being so ruddy London-centric' (of course by then London will probably have sunk into the sea) perhaps. 'But Grandmama [I can't decide, should I do with grandmama or... Lady Gracious?] didn't you want to be a part of this once in a lifetime opportunity?' 'No but I still paid for it'. It is very hard to decide what a once in a lifetime opportunity is because not only are they specific to the lifetime but they can't be identified until you're at death's door. To be honest I thought having a boiled ham in a Donald Trump wig as London mayor was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Squeamish Kate