Recreation Room

Anyone for Table Tennis?

Beneath the table:



93 thoughts on “Recreation Room

  1. 1-0 to me

    3 days 8 hours and 47 minutes it took for that ball to make it across to the other side of the table… what curious phenomena

    first to ten? winner stays on?


  2. Ping.


    This game is rapidly becoming very analytical.
    Athough, I’ll admit,
    it IS nice to have some time to clip one’s fingernails
    inbetween volleys.

    1. You are clearly trying to befuddle my honed ping pong brain with idle chit-chat but it won’t work ah fuck

      It worked. I missed.

      4-2 to you and your serve again. I’m going to get some ear plugs. Maybe even a blindfold.

        1. Going to have to take this blindfold off – I’ve been feeling around on the ground for two hours now and so far all I’ve found is a water pistol, one of your feet, an abandoned bubble trumpet, several screws, a copy of Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot”, some crumbs, 5p, copious amounts of fluff, and a trap door that leads to who knows where.


  3. Pong.

    Quite a while – basically since I could start growing it. Miserable at first, but I’ve always liked it.
    Shaved it entirely off only once, for my senior portrait; a decision that is quite humorous in retrospect…

    1. I’ve had several variations myself – the most notable being a full beard circa 1999… it was promptly shaved off after a game of pool in our local pub when an elderly gnarly old chap asked one of buddies “Who’s your Iraqi friend?” That wasn’t the look I was going for at all.

      Thinking about growing it again though, see if the years have been kinder to my face… going for the grizzled sea dog appearance.

  4. Ouch.

    I believe that one burned a hole through my abdomen.


    Hold on, let me get the ball. It fell over in the corner. Hmmm, let me just wipe it off here with my handkerchief.

    That’s better.
    Your serve, chaplin, and a tie game, 5-5.

    1. If only there were two American commentators called “John” and “John” they’d be saying:

      “Did you see that John?”

      “I sure did John, that shot literally burned a hole through Simon’s abdomen. Smally’s on fire!”

      “I think Simon’s seriously seriously injured John… no… wait, he’s just wiping the ball down with a handkerchief and he’s… he’s playing on. This is quite incredible”

      “Awesome John”

      And ping!

    1. hai-ping!

      “Another devastating forehead smash from Smally. The atmosphere is truly electric inside the Recreation Room, John – you wouldn’t even know that these guys don’t even know that they’re playing for an Elephant Teapot.”

  5. Rats, Rats, Rats!

    That’s you again, chaplin. The score’s at 5-6.

    “Ooh. In a close match, every point counts.”
    “That it does, John. You can see that the balance of this match has the crowd on the tips of their toes!.”

    (Sir Matthew the Mighty has wandered into the room aimlessly, he sips from his coffee cup, pondering space.)

    1. Every so often a line really makes me laugh

      I was laughing so much at that last line that I totally fucked up my serve and ended up skelping the ball so hard that a spellchecker couldn’t even comprehend the word “skelping”

      It sounded like this “Pyyyyyyyyyuk… plop”

      The “…plop” being the ball which cannoned back off the ceiling and landed in Sir Matthew the Mighty’s coffee cup. I apologised profusely for the inconvenience quietly cursing another wasted opportunity.


      “John, these guys are going to pieces in the cauldron-like atmosphere of the inaugural Elephant Teapot Open Champingpongship”

      “I hear you there John, but I can’t take my eyes off that spectator fishing the ball out of his coffee and looking utterly bewildered at the coffee stains on his lovely green Utica Flower Co shirt”

  6. Aha, so here we are again – locked in the fearsome struggle of the tied match!


    (Oh, poor Champion of Science… it’s lucky that he’s extraordinarily good natured.)

    1. Oh that’s nothing, try this one on for size:


      Damnit, one p too many – p-ping p-pong is clearly not my style

      “7-6 to Piler John, and Smally is sweating buckets”

  7. Ah-ha! The Teapot will be mine!

    Hold on a second.
    “Ya, Champion, will you give me a sip of that coffee?”
    “I already drank part of it and just spilled most of the rest, Simon.”
    “I only want a sip, Champion.”
    “Look. Seriously, just look, there’s only about a gulp left in here.”

    “Oh, whatever. It’s just that I’ve been standing in here since May 14th, man. I’m kinda tired, you know.”

    Okay, sorry about that.


    1. I lost that Elephant Teapot more times than I’d care to remember on the Beach Golf course in 1997 – I’m not planning on letting it slip through my grasp again…


    1. Woo hoo!

      Okay, hopefully this is not too off-putting for you, but I’m in desperate need of a smoke

      (lights a roll-up, dangles from bottom lip, smoke in eyes)


  8. Ooh, you’re becoming either an octopus or Vishnu, eh?

    Or maybe a cartoon character?

    And, yes, yes, quite cool, actually.


    1. You have to be very careful round here – one innocent comment like “Or maybe a cartoon character?” and it can have devastating effects that can ripple on for months.


      That’s me screaming perceiving that my hands suddenly appear to have been sketched with crayons whilst simultaneously missing the ball.

      8-7 to you hoo hoo

  9. Oh, I don’t know whether to be sorry for you or
    to be very curious and get my instruments
    or to
    take a photograph…
    …or wait, you’re a cartoon, so maybe a photocopy, instead?

    This is very exciting!
    Although, wait, now, I am quite certain that we’ve got a game to play, here. Haven’t we?
    Hrumph, hrumph.
    It is a very serious game we’ve got going here,
    Hrumph, hrumph.
    It’s a very serious game, indeed.

    (Multitudinous face wrinkles.)

      1. Nah, no need to feel sorry for me… I’m actually feeling a bit better today and if everyone puts on these 3D glasses (produces a medium size cardboard box from nowhere) then you can hardly tell the difference

        Main drawback so far is that every morning I wake up and my bedsheets are a multi-coloured mess of ink…


        (licks the ball with a lizard-like tongue as it travels back across the net)

  10. Oh, yes, sorry. It’s a tied match! 8-8.

    Pong a long,

    but of course, I can’t blame you for losing count, after that whole episode in the freeeeezer…

  11. Wait. (Dissolving into I’s…) This is DIGITAL PING PONG, isn’t it!?



    1. Haha – the old binary technique, this should be… this should… aaarggh…. a-aaaaargghhh it’s…. not…. divisible by…. 8!

      9-8 to you Dr Piler & one point away from someone scratching your name with a badge-pin on the teapot


  12. Blast! Knew I should have installed that Digital-to-Analog converter in my paddle during one of those spare dozen hours between volleys…


    (Sweats out an atomic bumblebee from his hatbrim.)

    1. Malformed binary and HOOFs!!!

      Help ma boab!

      Scrambling frantic edge of your seat return PONG while scribbling with a black magic marker a scary face onto the ball in the blink of an eye thinking “this is it, this is it, keep it together” and an invisible audience of thirty two jammed into the corners, cowering beneath the table, and dangling from the rafters gasp silently.

  13. Sounds:
    (invisible, but audible audience GASPING!!!!!!! …and one person fainting. Simon yelping-as-in-sort-of-screaming and all-parts autonomically leaping away from table and falling, but with paddle accidental outstretched….)

    Eyes closed. Did I hit it? Where did it go?

    1. Yeah, you hit it.

      It’s stuck up there in the light fitting.

      What’s the rules on that? Do we have to wait for it to fall or play the point again? Does anyone actually know the rules of ping-pong?

      [Turns to crowd: invisible shrugging of shoulders and staring at shuffling shoes, furtive glances complimenting a sheepsih silence]

      More importantly, do we have a step ladder?

    1. Not a step ladder, per say, but certainly we could try using the rung ladder we use to get down into the storage hold.

      I think the ball is obviously out of play, so I’ll just forfeit the point to you.

      Besides, that makes it a bit more of a nail-biter, eh?

      9-9. This is it, now.

  14. Let’s give it another couple of days, see if it drops… I’ve scoured the ping pong rule book in search of an answer but apparently this is a first and I’d hate to end up winning on a technicality

    Soon as it falls I’ll be ready… just let me get my deck chair and sleeping bag… nobody move!

    1. Well, if you insist. I just think yer throwing away a free point, chaplin. I’ll be ambling about if you need me. Take this tin can two-way and holler if it falls…

  15. What can I say? It’s a gentleman’s sport.

    I’ve taken to a sleeping bag in the rec room in the off-chance the ball will drop in the night.

    I’ve also fired off an email to the International Table Tennis Federation querying if there is a rule re the ball getting stuck in a light fitting.

    Another precedent for the UFC? 🙂

  16. (Into a paper cup)

    Man I should check my emails more often.

    Reply for the International Table Tennis Federation:

    “You win the point when whoever you’re playing fails to return a shot in bounds, fails to execute a serve, obstructs the ball, hits another object that is outside the playing area or touches the playing surface with a free hand. In basement ping pong, nooks and crannies often become part of the game, providing angles you can use to your advantage.”

    So that’s 9-9.


    (long pause, rolls up sleeping bag kicks it under the table)

    (another long pause… you could hear a pin drop, probably because most of the invisible audience drifted away almost a week ago unable to cope with the suspense of the ball stuck up in the light fitting)

    (a tug on the string, just to let you know I’m serving for the teapot)

    (lights a cigarette)




  17. Loud and clear, Smally – a fine bit of digging you’ve done there, and certainly commendable.
    (Enters room, steps up to table.)


  18. in the context of what I was actually doing at the time, it honestly wasn’t arrogant…

    did you know that Jack Kerouac met Gary Snyder when he was 33 and a half – I find that kinda eerie.

    oops, just about forgot


      1. “Finnegan’s Wake”? Are you being serious?

        Eerie… it’s a long story and one that would inevitably distract me from the point at hand, namely going


        1. I guess we’ve already passed the ‘easily distracted’ phase.

          This is becoming quite serious.
          Extend-o-wrist PONG!

  19. No sooner have the words left his lips than suddenly everything to my left rushes to life, Simon, the stripy hat twirling, the whooshes of bat and ball, the little white orb careening over the net, plocking on the shiny red surface of the table, lifting upwards past my bat. Instinctively I leap into action, lunge to my right drawing back the paddle and I’m just about to launch a topspin shot back across the table when I feel a sudden pang of immense pain shooting up my arm, and all in slow motion I turn in shock to see Darko Jozic guiltily sinking his bright white teeth into my forearm. “Fuuuuuuuuccccckkkkkk!”

    The ball flies past us and lands on the floor. I fall to my knees as the big Croatian rips a mouthful of stained black sleeve and bloody flesh from my bones.

    Simon Piler wins the Elephant Teapot 10-9.

    The last thing I remember before passing out is Darko Jozic chewing and telling me, “You taste like prunes”.

    1. “Gads! Who the hell is that guy?!? Hey, stay right where you are, you!

      Oh, wait… I’ve won! I’ve won! Hee hee hee hee (jumping up and down) It’s over! I’ve won! Ha ha! (monkey faces)

      Oh, shit, Smally are you okay?
      I told you to stay where you are.

      I better drag him to the Sick Bay… Hey, Mr. Cannibal. Since you caused this damage do you think you’d mind helping me carry him? Why thank you.”

  20. [Shouting down to the basement]

    Not that I’m scared of that big mythical two-headed snake-dragon, but if it’s alright with you, I’ll just sit up here and shout encouraging remarks from time to time…

    From up here, the basement’s looking dandy!


    six hours left of 2009 for me… I think I’ll see in the bells playing Auld Lang Syne on my uke up on the roof of the toadstool

    Happy New Year y’all, thanks everyone who voyaged with us this year… it’s been weird, but a blast and I hope to see y’all again in 2010

  21. [Takes off boots and floats up to retrieve a bat and a ball from the ceiling]


    [The ball bounces off the table and floats back up to the roof]

    Shit. I imagined the lack of gravity would make this game quite immense, but there’s a flaw in the plan…

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