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“I like nothing better than a game of Book-Pong to relax after a really sweaty bout of buggery with one of my many 'special' friends.”
“Eh? What? Speak up!”
In recent years the ennui of modern life; the drudgery of work, home, food, hamsters and sex (repeat ad nauseum) has led to a rise in popularity of many forgotten, shit pastimes; Volleycock to name but one.
Book-Pong is one such game. It is believed to have it's origins in the Wang Dynasty of China. It was initially thought to be the brainchild of Dong Hung Lo, a Court Masturbator to the Emperor Wang III, but recent research has shown this to be a crock of shit and the actual originator was one Suzi Quattro, a Court Masturbator to the Emperor Wang II. The game flourished and soon became the fashionable pastime for both the nobility and the unwashed lowly chemists until the great 'Arthur C Clarke' scandal of 358BC in which the wrong book was chosen for a title match, and resulted in the death of 258,397 people, mainly from the small rural community of Shitole, near Witham.
Many, many years passed before anyone picked up a ball and book, until 1786 when a researcher at the University of Tiptree discovered a dusty scroll from China which contained not only the perfect recipe for Toad-in-the-hole but also the rules and philosophy of Book-Pong. The researcher, Brian Blessed, soon became intrigued and initiated the first competitive match seen in many years. Since that day the annual Book-Pong Championships have attracted literally tens of competitors from all over the world.
edit The Rules
On first sight the rules to Book-Pong may seem random and disorganised but to the initiated and anyone who cares,it is a complex and endlessly fascinating game, and certainly enlivens a dreary lunchroom in a dead-end poo-hole of a workplace. The full, uncut rules are best explained in the book 'Book-Pong and Me: The Full Rules And Regulations Of The Noble Game' by Sir Trevor McDonald.
The joy of Book-Pong is that it can be played anywhere there is a table; all one needs is a ping-pong ball (do NOT, under any circumstance, substitute a golf ball, a bowling ball, a small child or Auntie Vi's priceless collection of antique porcelain dildos) and a selection of paperback books - it is universally recognised that a slim volume of Pratchett, Earle or Clarke are preferable, but a hefty Dickens can be used by someone with abnormally large hands due to a pituitary condition. The most important factor is a group of participants with absolutely no self-respect, pride or prospects for the future.
Play begins with the age-old cry of 'Book-Pong' at which point participants grab their book of choice and position themselves around a table. It should be noted that the accepted playing position is sitting in a chair facing the table; standing is only acceptable in the event of a 'Loran' (see below in 'Specialist Shots'). The number of players is a question that has drawn much debate over the years but is now recognised that beginners should begin slowly with an optimum number of 4 players around a table 6 feet square. More advanced players can reduce this number for more energetic games or increase it for a quicker, more reactive game.
Once players have positioned themselves and have books in hand then the game begins!! The player nearest the ball repository (an egg tray from a fridge serves this purpose very well)takes a ball and twats it hard towards another player. The basic objective is to maintain a lengthy rally without a) the ball stopping moving or b) someone pissing themselves. The current world champions, The Tromboners from Essex, also hold the world record with a rally of 5 shots, although this has been disputed by others as the ball hit the balding forehead of a stray supervisor who walked into the room. The game is over when either it's time to do some proper work or the ball is lost in the corner between the sink and the coffee machine (known technically as 'Darrin's Corner').Once the basics have been grasped then players can attempt one of the many variations.
Over time many variations of Book-Pong have evolved, with varying levels of skill required.
- Dangerous-Pong: This is much the same as the basic version except any goodwill towards fellow participants is dispensed with and the sole aim is to maim, injure or, in the tragic case in 1786, kill the other players.
- Death-Pong: A very risky variation in which competitors aim to hit you with the ball. Warning - this is for seasoned campaigners only!!!
- Under-The-Table Pong: A variation played under entirely under the table - normally due to the ineptitude of the players.
- Coffee-Pong: A game played with the sole intent of getting the ball into the coffee cup (preferably full) of another player.
- Water-Pong: Similar to Coffee-Pong but with less stainage.
edit Specialist Shots
Many experienced practitioners of book-pong have many 'specialist' shots in their arsenal. These require years if not minutes of dedicated training, normally alone, late at night and in the bathroom. It should be noted that new-comers to the game should not attempt these shots without an irresponsible adult close-by.
- The Loran: An unstoppable smash aimed at nowhere in particular but normally ending up in 'Darrin's Corner' (see above)
- The Leanne: A highly skilled shot in which the player plays the ball approximately 2 seconds after it has passed by.
- The Darrin: A shot involving the scrabbling around on the floor - normally associated with falling off a chair and accompanied by a squelchy bottom burp.
- The Andy: A shot resulting in the injury of the player, normally followed by the traditional cry of 'Fuck, that hurt'
- The Griffin: An ineffectual flap at the ball but can be useful in a blocking role