Birmingham folk and their Black Country neighbours have a saying that sums up when they've had a really good time.
"That was right bostin', that was, bab ..."
So let's hear it for the Brummies' Commonwealth Games. A right bostin' Games.
Done on the cheap, but cheerful from gun to tape. The 'Friendly Games' that lived up jovially to the cliche. As if on cue, the sun came out and so did the Brummies.
Enthusiastically attended and vibrantly supported, those who know England's second city can safely say they've never seen the place so bloomin' bostin'.
Remember. This was the event nobody wanted until Birmingham took the hospital pass. And they still scored handsomely.
Brummies reminded us that even if the Games is seen by many as a pointless anachronism, at least it's a pointless anachronism that can be right bostin'.
It was a welcome reminder of where the Games still score. How they don't have to be gargantuan, overbearing Olympian affairs complete with earnest Thomas Bach platitudes.
In Lausanne a lifetime ago, Birmingham bid for the 1992 Olympics.
Their presentation, with a corkboard-and-drawing pin presentation featuring the glories of the Bull Ring shopping centre, was hilariously amateurish, standing next to Barcelona's no-expense-spared marble plinth with its Miros and Picassos.
But the place has reinvented itself so completely, so quickly, that this was a timely reminder, just as Glasgow had shown in 2014, that London 2012 didn't have to be the be-all-and-end-all for British sport.
And, no, there weren't any Miros or Picassos on view, only a bloody great daft mechanical bull in middle of the Alexander Stadium.
You could have a laugh in a Games that didn't take itself too seriously. Yes, even when trying to file copy from the netball amid a chorus line of Jamaican-supporting dancers in the press box.
Ah, those crowds. How we'd missed them. After Tokyo's ghost Games and Beijing's soulless winter wasteland, everybody wanted out of a pandemic and into a proper sporting festival.
And it wasn't just the Brummies. Or the Coventrians. Or the Wulfrunians of Wolverhampton. Or Royal Leamington Spa's genteel lawn bowls massive.
"The whole city, the whole region has really embraced the event," said Ian Reid, Birmingham 2022 CEO as the event came to its bostin', peaky blindin' close on Monday. He wasn't overselling it.
It was all typified by Birmingham's athletics program, supposedly bargain basement stuff compared to the world championships.
Yet the atmosphere at the 30,000-seater Alexander Stadium - full every session - knocked Eugene's Hayward Field into a cocked hat.
Oh yes, and these bostin' Games will always have Ollie Hoare.
Of course, it wasn't perfect. Multi-games events these days never are. There were grumbles over transport troubles - but it wasn't Birmingham's fault that they were affected by rail strikes elsewhere - and by all accounts, the village accommodation was ropey.
But not a single athlete canvassed had a word to say against it. It's always been easy to knock Games events as being second-division but Birmingham 2022 had first-rate sport.
The women's super-heavyweight weightlifting, featuring a new British icon Emily Campbell and Nauru-born Australian Charisma Precious Amoe-Tarrant, in front of a rip-roaring crowd, was as enjoyable and gripping as any sports event you'll see this year.
So Birmingham's shown the way, and now it's regional Victoria's turn. If Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Gippsland can take the bull by the horns like Brum, then we'll be all right, our kid.
Australian Associated Press
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