If you are only now tuning in to see the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, you have just missed a a most raucous performance by The Knights Who Say Ni Again - I don't think any of us can look at a saucepan the same way again!
You might remember the controversy late last year when the original mascots of the Games, Wenlock and Mandeville, resigned their post to take up a lucrative Nickelodeon contract, leaving the organising committee with the challenging task of replacing them with characters that embodied the values of the Olympics without being too 'colonial-y'.
The last minute scramble was really a blessing in disguise, as the committee's decision to recruit the Knights Who Say Ekke Ekke Ekke Ekke Ptang Zoo Boing Zow Zing - who graciously agreed to go back to saying 'Ni!' in the interest of international conviviality - has not only had an enormous impact on the sale of shrubberies in the country, but has sprung up a real cottage industry of Ni!-related memorabilia and behaviour. The Ni!-craze has saved the London organising committee from attempting to replicate the Beijing organising committee's painstaking effort to educate locals in Western courtesies and a passing grasp of the English language. As a spokesperson for the Games noted, "There isn't a man, woman or child on the face of this sweet planet who won't tolerate any amount of rudeness or outright hostility if there is even the slightest chance it might actually be Michael Palin in that mask. And yes, we have confiscated his passport for the duration of the Games, so you never know..."