Ping-ga-pong

I like ping-pong. Growing up, we had a table in the basement.

It “served” a competitive purpose amongst the brothers…it also doubled as a laundry foldingtable for the whole family. I remember having to clear off my brother’s underwear to play ping-pong when friends came over (my brothers were always such slobs :) ).

We didn’t have an ordinary table. It was one of great durability. To prove it, in a true brotherly effort to out-do each other, one of us (don’t remember who anymore), decided to lift weights downstairs. We did that quite often actually, but on this particular day a new family clean-and-jerk record was attempted.Well, let me leave it at this: the wherewithal of our ping-pong table was notable as the free weight was lifted from the floor, jerked over the head, and then kept going, crashing down on the backside of the lift in one fluid swoop.

You guessed it, the table caught the weights before smashing to the floor. It bent the table a good inch or so, a depression was formed about the size of a large beach ball. It was at that point a whole new game-play strategy for family ping-pong was born. We all learned to play the ‘table dip’. Ya know…with some “english” on the ball and by bouncing the ball in that dip, our contests would actually see a volley hit that dip and, with enough english, spin the ball back across the net without the guy ever getting to the ball. We probably could have counted that as a double-hit, huh?

Right here, right now I’m blaming both my brothers on weights-table incident. Don’t cha know one had to be spotting the other during the lift, right? So they’re both to blame for bending the beegeebers out of our table. I was probably doing my chores when all that happened so it couldn’t have been me…in fact I just know I was doing my chores, and my brother’s.

Well with that brief family history having been said, I read today that England is getting a serve in on all the rest of us. They are supposedly gearing up for the Olympics and going all out in the sport of ping-pong (OK..we’ll also call it table tennis for some of you).

Imagine going about your business one day and you happen upon a randomly placed ping-pong table on the sidewalk.

Would you stop and play?

Would you perhaps stop a by-passer and challenge them to a quick, friendly game to 11?

Would you hope for a weight lifter to come by toting his own barbells and looking for a table to drop them on?

Oh well.

What they’re doing in London with a ping pong table does sound interesting:

40 ping-pong tables to get ball moving for Olympics

Published on Friday 24 June 2011

More than 40 ping-pong tables are to be installed at locations including city landmarks, shopping centres and estates in Hull this summer as part of the build-up to the 2012 Olympics.

For four weeks, starting next month, it will be “anyone for table tennis” – be they at City Hall, Queen Victoria Gardens, Hull Royal Infirmary – or even waiting for a train at Paragon Station.

The event will have a grand launch on July 22 in Queen Victoria Square with the aid of the Travelling Ping-Pong Parlour, described as a “table tennis social club on wheels”. The size of a large ice cream van, it has fold-down sides and is set up so people can play against themselves.

The Parlour will park at 28 Paragon Street from noon until 6pm between Wednesdays and Saturdays to host everything from “ping-pong bingo” to film screenings and, one night, a dating game where singles may find their match. Last year in London, Ping! – which is funded by the National Lottery – attracted 50,000 players. It will return to the capital in time for the Olympics. A spokeswoman said: “The event is about getting more people – a million more people– to play sport in time for the Olympics.”

English Table Tennis Association chief executive Richard Yule, said: “Table tennis can help break down barriers, bring communities together and put a smile on people’s faces, so I encourage everyone to get playing and take full advantage of the free tables popping up in a location near you this summer.”

 

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