Always on the look-out for things to discuss on the Podcast Dear Listener, tonight I attended the 5th World Pong Championships held at the John Hewitt Pub here in Belfast.
Created by Daniel Jewesbury, Richard West and Stephen Hackett in association with Cinilingus and the Belfast Film Festival, the tournament truly showcased the top talent of Pong playing here in Northern Ireland.
Here's Daniel and Richard getting G'd-up for the event. I love the Pong Prize perched between them.
Here's the console that the ultimate test of skill and endurance, Pong, will be played on.
Not knowing anybody at the John Hewitt I looked around for who I could befriend, sit down and chat with.
Oh yeah, that's my guy.
Turns out this guy's name is - I shit you not - S. 'Biggy' Bigmore. Sometimes I really do love living in Belfast.
The ladies love Biggy. Turns out he's done some acting. If I do another show for the Beeb I'm definitely casting this guy.
Here's his mate Barry. Barry's not the kinda guy you want to get into a bar fight with.
They had a big screen rigged up so you could watch the Pong live.
Here's two of the near-semi-finalists battling it out. Trust me Dear Listener these photos do not convey the sheer tension and excitement that permeated the John Hewitt tonight.
What mysteries does the Pong Prize conceal?
They also had a camera and projector set up so you could watch the players' reactions as they battled each other; how cool is that!
Hey, she looks cute - wonder if I should hit on her?
I'd better leave the table quickly before Barry kicks my ass.
These guys are going at it hardcore. The lady is a bride to be out on a hen-night and is wearing two illuminated dildos on her head. This would seem to be a clever strategy to distract the opponent - but he's a barman here at the John Hewitt and is used to this kind of thing.
The barman triumphs.
He displays the fruit of his winnings.
I go over to Barry to make up.
By the way - he has a grip of iron.
A competitor focuses before a big match.
I don't know who these guys were but they looked kinda shifty; they didn't budge from this spot for an hour. Part of the infamous Belfast Pong Mafia perhaps?
It begins. The crowd starts to rhythmically chant.
Richard tries to calm the crowd down. Things could get ugly.
The referee here has a nice, open going manner - but don't it let fool you. In all matters of Pong his word is law.
Oh my god! An upset!
The Organisers wish everyone well and send them into the night.
I had a great time Dear Listener and I'd tell you the name of the ultimate winner of the evening but I didn't make a note of it.
Tired and quiet frankly drained from all the Pong excitement I wandered out of the John Hewitt around Midnight - the streets were deserted except for these guys.
I said fuck-it and joined them for a drink at a pub round the corner...but that's a story for another time - talk to ya on this weekend's podcast Dear Listener.