...meanwhile, in an alternative* reality...
Is Yorkshire ready to declare independence as medal tally rises?
Our Northern correspondent Alicia Gilberthorpe Ainsley-Arkwright interviewed brothers Alf and Bert Greenlea after their recent triathlon triumph, where Alf gained gold and Bert, despite being given a one-hour time penalty after he mounted his bike two centimetres before the line, gained a bronze model. Alicia began by asking about that penalty.
Alicia: So, Bert, you had to wait an hour because you’d mounted your bike early.
Bert: Ay, that’s right. It’s in t’rules.
Alicia: And that meant you came in a couple of seconds behind the silver medallist. Do you think that’s fair?
Bert and Alf: Oh, ay.
Alicia: You do?
Bert: Ay. It’s in t’rules, tha' sees. Wouldn’t wanna cheat tha’ knows! (Guffaws from both brothers at the idea.)
Alicia: But it was an hour penalty and you were only two centimetres early – isn’t that right? Just two centimetres?
Bert: Nay, lass, nay. It were nearly an inch. Rules are rules, tha’ knows.
Alicia: Will you be lodging an appeal?
Bert and Alf: No.
Alicia: You wouldn’t consider it?
Alicia: Why not?
(At this point, Bert looks puzzled and glances at his older brother Alf, who decides to explain.)
Alf: It's alright, Bert. 'Appen t'lass is from dahn South. Well, tha’ sees, (he begins) Bert got on his bike too early. Tha' shouldn’t ‘a’ done that, tha’ knows Bert?
Bert: Nay, Alf, I know. I dunno warra’ wa’ thinkin’ o’.’ 'Ah tell thee, ah'm that ashamed. That's not 'ow us Mam brought us up, is it? To cheat?
Alf: Well, never mind. Them kind men in t’office decided not to disqualify thee. So tha’s gorra bronze medal. (Bert smiles a winning, sheepish smile and looks up at Alicia.)
Bert: Rules are rules, tha’ knows!.
Bert: Ah, well, by accident really. Our Mam were ill and we ‘ad to go get ‘er prescription. It ‘ad been raining a bit…
Alf: Quite a lot, really.
Bert: Ay, well enough for t'street to be flooded, and we had to swim down to t'cross-roads.
Alf: And when we got dahn there, well, t'road were blocked and we had to run ovver t'hill to go in t'back way.
Bert: That only left us a little way away, tha' sees; and we were able to borra bikes.
Alicia: And when you did get 'ome - home - eventually, you'd actually beaten world-record times, is that right?
Alf: I don't know abaht that. We'd a' been quicker, but Bert stopped to chat up Mabel, daft 'apporth.
Bert: Me wife.
Alicia: You stopped to talk to your wife?
Bert: Ay, well, she weren't me wife then, like. I wa' just sweet on 'er.
Alicia: And since then you've done all your training in the same Yorkshire streets, I understand?
Alf: Ay, that's right.
Alicia: Why didn't you go off to Miami or California like some of the other athletes?
Alf: Well, tha' sees, it's me Mam again. She like us to be 'ome in time for tea. Miami and California - they're a long way away.
Bert: 'Undreds o' miles, I think.
Alicia: No, I know you couldn't have come home each day. But you could have moved out there.
Bert: What, tha’ means live ovver there? Warra’d I wanna do that for? I wa' born in Yorkshire, me.
Alf: Ay, me too. Though we did go to Manchester once. Do you remember, Bert?
Bert: Ay, I do. It were enough that, once. Do you want to see us medals?
* Not, please note, an alternate reality. That would be - confusing.