Here's a question for the next Londonist quiz: where can you find Victorian explorers, RAF pilots and flappers all competing in a Martini Knockout Relay? The only answer (as far as we know..) is the Chap Olympiad, a legendary annual event which combines manners, mayhem and moustaches in a glorious and immaculately dressed celebration of athletic ineptitude.
Taking place on 17th July, the Olympiad is 'designed to reward panache over sporting prowess' and boasts contests such as Cucumber Sandwich Discus, Moustache Wrestling and Umbrella Jousting, all of which are guaranteed to require the minimum amount of physical exertion.
If you'd like to compete, simply register between 12pm-1pm on the day and source a fortifying gin and tonic before the lighting of the Olympic pipe, a ceremony which officially opens the games. For those of a more delicate disposition, a diverting array of radio plays, side shows and lawn games will offer pleasant distraction from fretting over the possibility of one's loved ones tearing their plus-fours, and an array of food stalls alongside the Bourne and Hollingsworth bar should provide adequate sustenance throughout the day.
There is a caveat though (or possibly cr-aveat, if we could find a way to make that funny): if you don't come in period costume you will almost certainly feel out of place, as most attendees put a serious amount of effort into their attire. The good news, however, is that as so many eras are represented it shouldn't be too hard to find something appropriate.
Londonist has been attending this event for the past couple of years and, whilst we've seen some veterans bristle at the introduction of a £15 entry fee and a prohibition on bringing one's own alcohol (is this irony, Bourne and Hollingsworth?), the Chap Olympiad is always one of the more eccentric highlights of the year and well worth a look. If you're still not convinced, however, we defy you to listen to this little ditty and not send your butler to polish your best pair of brogues.
The Chap Olympiad takes place in Bedford Square (nearest tube Goodge Street) on 17th July from 12pm until late. Tickets must be purchased in advance by visiting Ticketweb or telephoning 020 7724 1617.