Wales has long lusted after major events, and the biennial Johnson & Johnson KY Jelly Pocket Pool World Championships 2014 in Newport promises to be the biggest and best event ever held in England’s back garden.
Many of the world’s leading players – and Carwyn Jones – will be encamped at the Celtic Manor Resort, which not only serves as the athlete’s village, but will also host the knockout and medal rounds in the 400m jack hammer, synchronised frot, the 100kg jerk and jerk and the tug o’ phwor. It’s expected to make the legendary Olympic orgies look like a theology seminar.Preparations have been ramped-up in earnest. The festivities are due to begin at Cardiff Castle with a special dinner and concert featuring local acts like hair-metallers Crankshank, dream-pop duo Looking For Clues With Fred And Daphne, urban hip-hop project The Large Hardon Collidor and folksters Zippy’s Massive Red Twanger.The details of the“fluffer party” – which will be used as a warm up before the games get underway – are always kept under wraps, but it’s understood pictures of wedding parties blown up by drone strikes and a special 30th anniversary showing of Threads will form part of it.
While it’ll be all hands below desk as the athletes marvel at how big and strong the erections around Cardiff and Newport are, the military will be enforcing a no low fly zone to prevent accidental spillage.Newport Labour Councillor, Rosie Palms, said, “Rumour has it the Prime Minister of Lithuania will pop in to the Ringland Shopping Centre to buy the ‘Daily Star’, boosting the local economy by 20p. It’ll help offset the multi-million pound cost of staging the competition.
“These events are so memorable – as well as culturally and economically important – that everyone can name the last five hosts of the Pocket Pool World Championship without looking it up.”
The Arsehole Laureate – Owain ap Bloggy Ogwr – was solemnly offered salt and vinegar Pringles by Literature Wales to produce a special poem to mark the occasion.
From the great northern sea they came,
United as one, jerking in a circle.
Around the table, prepping missiles for launch,
Are Obama, Cameron, Hollande and Merkel.
Jones is handing out canapés.
Giving a stiff salute to the Ruskies,
The masters of pocket pool at the top of their game.
Little Estonia, with half the population of Wales,
Even Luxembourg and Slovenia, their world footing the same.
Jones is taking their coats.
Where they play golf they now play billiards,
Balls and blood, trapped by steel rings.
As the protesters pitch their tents,
Jones walks the aisles, eyeing up cleaning things.
He’s stocking up on that bog roll with the bear on it.
Germany, Slovenia, Latvia, Norway and Denmark are ensuring a strong female contingent at this year’s competition, although they’re expected to drop out early on. Despite this, rumours are circulating that the German entrant has been granted special dispensation by the world governing body to hide the FIFA World Cup down her trousers, inviting David Cameron to give it a good shine. Other competitors have privately accused her of cheating. A spokesperson for the German delegation said, “These are groundless accusations. It’s ingrained in German culture regardless of gender. Our prison system, for example, has a long tradition of rats playing billiards with balls.” A member of the organising committee added, “International pocket pool is a progressive sport, and you don’t even need balls to play. All you need are receipts for military hardware you’re unlikely to ever use – as the gross sum of many nations’ defence responsibilities since the end of the Cold War have consisted of fisheries patrols, search and rescue operations and defusing fireworks thrown by angry immigrant youths. Russia noticed this. “You can tell by how valiantly we’ve come to the aid of the Ukrainians – and how we’ve put pressure of Israel and the Palestinians to stop trying to wipe each other out – how valuable international pocket pool is to global diplomacy and stability.”
Many aren’t happy with the tournament being hosted in Newport, with protesters threatening to disrupt the competition. Despite south east Wales being subject to some of the tightest security arrangements it’s ever seen, protesters are confident of getting within a mile of anyone wielding actual influence. This is in spite of excessive pocket pool being linked to selective deafness and blindness in politicians, where you can go right up to their faces and disagree with them and they just won’t notice.
Father Thumb – minister from the 8th Day Church of the Nuclear Biscuit, and emeritus professor of international relations and defence studies from the University of Twitter – joined the protest alongside his four daughters.
“There’s a worldwide shortage of nice people, but we can wrap ourselves in a duvet of delusion and pretend everyone’s nice,” he explained to the crowds. “It’s not as if there are people out there who are completely unprepared for the sort of death they’ve earned.
“ Vladimir Putin’s a nice guy and will be probably be President of Russia on off until the 2030s; all ISIS need is a stern talk over some organic green tea; while Kim Jong-Un is a chubby Father Christmas-like figure who could spread sunshine to the world if he just adopted a vegan diet. If we can convince ourselves these are really nice people, maybe we can also convince each other that this is really a nice planet we’re living on.
“Look at Crimea and Ukraine. All that is just Putin putting his throbbing maggot next to a microphone, the whole world listening to it grow as it grinds against the foam like a glacier carving out a rather unimpressive valley. He wants us to give it a stroke while making growling noises, that’s all. Don’t we owe him that? Think of all the billionaires he’s sent our way to ruin football.
“Russia is in desperate need of more breathing room because it’s not big enough, and there are plenty of historical examples of countries expanding their territory peacefully with few long-term consequences, like….” Fr. Thumb inexplicably stopped mid sentence.
“We should reach out to help them. I’m sure we can come to some sort of agreement, because Putin seems like the sort of psychologically robust person who would listen to reason.
“International pocket pool has come about because of an existential fear in Western Europe that we could be turned to ash with a few minutes notice. That fear can be overcome. If we think really, really hard – to the point our faces turn purple and we give ourselves brain haemorrhages – we can have a peaceful world. We just need to harness the collective power of thinking, talking, walking, camping and heart – like Captain Planet.
“This is a step up from doing nothing. This is proactively doing nothing.”
Fr. Thumb asked for some room and squatted down, slapping his temples like a bongo drum to get the brain juices flowing. Other protesters joined hands while some berk with an acoustic guitar played the theme song to King of the Hill. For four hours. Fr. Thumb was thinking so hard he resembled a constipated silverback gorilla, while his crotch became noticeably tumescent.
“HHHHHHNNNNGGGG!….Doing. Lots. Of. Thinking….Clapping….Talking….Nothing. Actually…. Happening….Should’ve.Gone….To.B&Q.Instead….Power.Of.Heart…..F**king.Useless!”
When he finished, Fr. Thumb went to relieve himself but pissed into the wind. He became disillusioned with the peace movement, changing his name to Commissar-General Kilmore Skullfaust. He quickly set up a deal to sell several crates of rocket propelled grenade launchers to the Lao People’s Army, both to fight American imperialism and commit genocide against the Hmong.
I asked a taxi driver what they thought, because people care what taxi drivers think.
“Look at-a traffic, mun….While multi-lateral defence pacts are useful in a crisis, they often fail to provide much benefit for geographically isolated partners. Unless the United States is able to live up to the disproportionate burden they carry in meeting the emergency defence requirements of these partners – who simply don’t have the manpower or budgets to adequately defend themselves in the face of aggression from a belligerent global power – such an alliance is rendered useless due to the reluctance by Americans and Russians to directly confront each other militarily and complicated Russo-EU economic arrangements.
“I suppose you could say NATO’s doing its job, but it’s over-reached in its eastward expansion and doesn’t have a clue where it’s going as a defensive military alliance – as opposed to becoming an expansionist liberal democratic club pushing for increased defence spending and indirectly eroding soft power. John Kerry’s chin just isn’t enough to frighten the world’s ne’er-do-wells anymore. You follow, butt?”
“What does any that have to do with the Pocket Pool World Championship?”I asked.
“Oh….I’ve stuck twenny quid on Merkel. A world cup can’t go limp.”
The First Minister was delighted to be hosting such a prestigious event. After he’d finished checking on the mini beef wellingtons he exited the kitchens of Celtic Manor resort, wiping his soap-sud laden hands on his pinny, casting it aside and straightening his red tie and suit as he approached the assembled Welsh media: three bloggers and a journalism student.
“Wales is now at the very centre of world affairs in the same way a marquee is at the very centre of a wedding reception,” he said. “Everyone gathered here today will remember where they were when Wales hosted the World Pocket Pool World Championships 2014….they were just off Junction 24 of the M4, ample parking….in Wales. This is a truly momentous occasion in our histor….”
“Jones!” a voice shouts from a doorway. The Prime Minster jingles a glass of Highland Park at him as he entertains a fellow pocket pool athlete, “Ice! Now! Or do I have to bally well go to Russia to get it!”
The First Minister’s smile fades, his head drooping as he turns to go back inside.
“Aren’t you forgetting something, Jones?”The Prime Minister grumbles. “For heaven’s sake man, we have company!” Jones picks up his pinny and fastens it.
“Frightfully sorry. “ The Prime Minister turns to his guest, “You just can’t get the help these days.”
Clean-up operations at the Celtic Manor resort and protest sites are expected to last six weeks.