London released its plans for the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, and the world felt all the breath leave its body as it suddenly realized that London has no idea how to throw a cool party.
For one thing, London has decided to make it rain. Not in the fun strip club sense, where everyone has a great time as dollars fly through the air, but in the actual, literal, picnic-ruining sense of water falling from the sky and making everyone wet (again, not in the fun strip club sense).
The ceremony's artistic director, Danny Boyle (the director of Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting), explains the plan as follows:
They will be real clouds that will be hanging over the stadium. Work that out if you can. We know we're an island culture and an island climate. One of these clouds will provide rain on the evening, just in case it doesn't rain.
Per Boyle's request, here's what I have worked out: England has somehow perfected raincloud-manipulation technology and is using it to bring more rainclouds to England.
In addition to the rain, the ceremony will also feature "real grass," "real soil," and "real plows." (DO THEY REALLY NEED REAL PLOWS?)
Boyle says the really really real details are intended to convey an image of the "green and pleasant land," echoed in the title of the three-hour ceremony: "Isles of Wonder." (The name comes from a line in Shakespeare's The Tempest.)
The Guardian takes big promises a step further and throws it out there that the scene will evoke both "William Blake and "Jerusalem."
Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports that there will be animals. Not awesome animals, like lions and hippogriffs
and friendly dogs [Edit: there will apparently be friendly dogs; "three sheep dogs," to be exact], but boring and surprisingly mean animals like geese.
Specifically: nine geese.
They're only springing for nine geese.
You guys, I feel like Kyle Richards before one of her trademark Kyle Richards Presents: Kyle Richards' World Famous White Party parties. I'm so stressed out that things aren't going to come together and also that my sister Kim is going to bring her boyfriend to the event.
If all this (rain, nine geese) didn't sound British enough, Boyle assures the public that the opening ceremony will, in fact, be very, very British:
"The ceremony is an attempt to capture a picture of ourselves as a nation, where we have come from and where we want to be."
Perhaps the most British element of all will be four giant maypoles decorated to resemble the flower symbols of the four nations that comprise the United Kingdom (a rose for England, a thistle for Scotland, a daffodil for Wales, and flax for Northern Ireland), around which children will dance and consecrate their souls to pagan gods.
There will also reportedly be an undercurrent of "British humour," most likely manifesting itself as brief periods of awkward silence.
10,000 volunteers are helping coordinate the ceremony, which is operating on a budget of £27M (about $42M).
Only nine geese though.