In a more proper English teahouse, they might say I quite fancied that.
"I have never been so proud to be British and part of the Olympic movement than at this moment," London Games Chairman Sebastian Coe said.
Witnesses understood why.
The typically understated Brits overwhelmed a global audience with a scintillating presentation that deftly blended artistry, majesty and ingenuity. Not even a confusing, anticlimactic lighting of the cauldron by seven British teenage "future Olympians," a secret guarded with Buckingham Palace-like security, ruined the rare sporting spectacle that lived up to the hype.
Sure, I would have preferred Roger Bannister or Queen Elizabeth light the cauldron that officially opens the Olympics. But the inventive way organizers arranged young torchbearers, each nominated by a British Olympic legend, to ignite the tiny copper petals on the ground before converging into one flame perhaps provided more apt symbolism for a country more united by these Games.
Any reservations about the surprise ending vanished soon after, during the first chorus of "Na na na, na na na na ," when Sir Paul McCartney belted out the Beatles classic, "Hey Jude."
"One day we will tell our children and our grandchildren that we did it right," Coe said.
One day, the roughly 80,000 people inside Olympic Stadium will tell their own children and grandchildren how lucky they were to watch it.
My list of indelible Chicago sporting memories typically starts with the Blackhawks winning the 2010 Stanley Cup, with the White Sox winning the 2005 World Series a close second. The Bears' Devin Hester returning the opening kickoff for a TD in Super Bowl XLI always comes next. But what I was privileged enough to witness Friday night from Section 214 will make me reconsider my order. It was that good, and nobody even kept score.
Keeping pace with the script of the show, which intelligently balanced irreverence with awe and Britain's past with its present, made the nearly four-hour show fly by. The Queen might have been caught on the giant screen picking her fingernails as Great Britain's team pranced in front of her but the moments that made anybody turn away were few and far between.
One of the best for the local crowd came when British cyclist and flag-bearer Chris Hoy entered the stadium as David Bowie's "Heroes," blared through the speakers. Fans roared and confetti flew in a visceral show of national pride.
The show's only regrettable moment came when remembrances were offered for fallen veterans of World Wars, as well as for departed friends and family, but no mention of the 11 Israelis murdered in the 1972 Munich Olympics. During his speech, IOC President Jacques Rogge spoke of character but lacked the gumption to honor fallen athletes who deserved the gesture.
Otherwise, a production that paid homage to the great British revolutions — starting with the Industrial, working through the social attitudes of the 1960s and concluding with today's digital transformation — hit the right notes and sweated the details. For example, organizers doused volunteer performers with water during rehearsals to prepare for rain. They also used real nurses during a stirring tribute to the National Health Service.
In a show themed "This is for everyone," it was hard to imagine anyone going home disappointed.
There was actor Kenneth Branagh in Act 1 quoting from Shakespeare's "The Tempest": "Be not afeard: The isle is full of noises." There was Queen Elizabeth and Daniel Craig, QE II and 007, jumping out of a helicopter in a skit that injected the right amount of whimsy.
There were kids in pajamas singing "God Save the Queen" and characters from "Harry Potter" and "Mary Poppins." There was author JK Rowling reading "Peter Pan" and the inventor of the World Wide Web, British scientist Tim Berners-Lee, bowing to a grateful world.
But the real scene-stealer before the parade of nations clearly was Rowan Atkinson — "Mr. Bean." A dream sequence showed Atkinson running in the signature "Chariots of Fire" scene, sprinting on the beach, tripping runners who tried to pass, filling the stadium with laughs.
The athletes flashed smiles just as wide during a procession that was the world's largest "Project Runway." The dapper U.S. team, led by fencer Mariel Zagunis, marched in white pants and skirts with blue blazers — and fake glasses in the case of Kevin Durant.
Among the style-challenged teams the Americans outdressed were the Czech Republic, in gaudy blue rain boots, and Cuba, whose athletes looked like college football bowl representatives in yellow blazers.
There were statements that went beyond fashion. Brunei, which previously had not sent a female athlete to Olympics, had a woman flag bearer. Saudi Arabian women athletes noticeably walked behind the men.
Then there was Jamaica's Usain Bolt, perhaps the Games' biggest star, looking as thrilled as a no-name competitor carrying his country's flag. His walk around the stadium will be the slowest anybody sees Bolt move during these Games.
It was a lap to savor, a night never to forget.
One by one, the 205 flags represented in the Games were planted in the raised part of the faux English countryside. The country's biggest sporting moment in 64 years went so well that they might start referring to artistic director Danny Boyle as Sir or Lord.
It was impossible not to be moved. Anybody who tells you differently is just talking rubbish.