Misadventures in Wonderland: Rock'n'Roll Ping Pong

Our intrepid columnist Alice tells us what she learned at Bongo Club's table tennis club night

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Misadventures in Wonderland: Rock'n'Roll Ping Pong

Photo: Danny Carr

This month we sent Alice to Rock’n’Roll Ping Pong, a monthly, amateur table tennis night with DJs and beer. So, what did she learn?

1. I’m not entirely negative. Before all my previous challenges for this column, I’ve been a real dick about it. I don’t know if it was the vast amount of attention I was getting from telling people that I was going to an amateur ping pong night in the Bongo Club or the fact I have an unquenchable yearning to do activities in places that sell beer. Either way, I was pumped for pong.

2. There’s no more fun left for anyone else. The reason you were having no fun this month is because I had all the fun there was to be had. The DJs at Rock’n’Roll Ping Pong are undeniably a cool addition but you soon end up forgetting they’re there because you’re entirely focused on the batting. I do feel sorry for you guys who are spending your Sundays pramming your children around the supermarket or dog fighting or whatever it is that people do on a Sunday. This is a good night if you still have the ability to make choices for yourself.

3. It’s inclusive unless you’re excluded. There’s a good mix of folk: ordinary, early middle-aged men in polo shirts; hot young men styled like mods in sharp suits; 50s-styled women with quiffs and swallow tattoos, who I just don’t think there’s enough of (that’s a joke). But when the ‘football lads’ who’d stumbled upon the event by accident turned up and started being disrespectful, they were tactfully turfed out.

4. It’s not just people who’ve been in prison that are good at ping pong. It’s also for people who’ve worked in youth centres. ‘How did I get so good at table tennis? I work in a youth centre,’ turned into a bit of a catchphrase. I used to work in a centre for people with special needs and I played the great game every single week. I never got good at it because I’d play against my Down’s brother and the rallies never picked up much momentum because he just didn’t care.

5. I’m a bad loser. The good players were handicapped by having to wear eye-patches, masks of the royal family, oven gloves and being forced to use tiny paddles. They looked foolish but not as foolish as me. I was the worst person in the room. If I wasn’t there in a professional capacity, I would have stormed out and cried in the street every time I missed a shot. I did get heckled during my first one-on-one battle and I turned round with every fibre of my body wanting to … [graphic description removed]. Next time, I’m going to murder everyone.

The next Rock’n’Roll Ping Pong is on Sun 26 May, Bongo Club, Edinburgh.

Rock'n'Roll Ping Pong

Free table tennis club with DJs Ding and Dong providing the music. If you're feeling brave enough it's £1 to enter the sudden death tournament (strictly amateurs), and the winner takes home the cash.

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