Historical, Ping-Pongy Fun At South Coast Plaza This Weekend

Am I the only one who thought, upon first hearing that there'd be a ping-pong tournament at South Coast Plaza this weekend as part of the mega-mall's “festival celebrating Chinese culture,” that the whole thing sounded a little… racist?

I mean, you (a racist) would expect those people to play games with funny sounding names like “Ping Pong,” wouldn't you?

Whoops. Turns out ping pong is called ping pong because that's how English people thought the bouncing balls sounded. At least, that's what Wikipedia says, and the eminently reliable PongWorld.com confirms it.

So you need have no enlightened liberal anxiety about attending the Ping Pong Diplomacy Rematch this weekend.

There'll be heavy-hitters (HA!) of the table-tennis world locked in tiny, mortal battles. There'll be archival footage of the ping-pong matches of the early 70s that marked Nixon's outreach to China.  Most excitingly, there'll be “challenge the champ” opportunities where any chump or beer-pong afficianado can take on a former Olympian.

It runs Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4, at the Crate and Barrell wing of South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Details here.

Oh, and to challenge the champ, you're required to donate $5 either to the Philharmonic Society of Orange County or the Richard Nixon Foundation. That last one, at least, should provide that ole liberal anxiety you'd otherwise be missing out on.

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