Down and dirty - battle on the QWERTY

Britain, for some strange reason, is due to host the Olympics in 2012. Hence now is the time to start dreaming up ridiculous sports that we might have a chance of winning a few medals at. For those whose mind immediately goes to the world of speed mobile phone "texting" (or as Neighbours recently termed it "ess-emm-ess-ing"), well it is a contender but there is already competition out there.

For, dear readers, a couple of days ago it was the US National Texting Championships.

Pitting East Coast vs West Coast texters against each other a grand prize of $25,000 was available, drawing in plenty of contestant interest, especially (unshockingly) amongst the teenage age bracket.

Competitors entered the judge's mobile number into their phones. A message - ranging from "what we do in life echoes in eternity" to "OMG, nd 2 talk asap," - would then flash up on a big screen and wannabe-champions strove their hardest to get it typed in and sent to the judge as quick as human/machinely possible. The first message to reach the judge was deemed the winner. Some might feel this a bit unfair due to all the different phones and carriers out there, but rules are rules.

It was slightly evened up by the fact the event was rather heavily sponsored (some might say "created for promotional reasons by") LG Mobiles, under the hilarious tagline Down and Dirty - Battle on the Qwerty. The rules specified that participants must own a LG enV or V handset and be on a Verizon service which may have somewhat limited anyone who happened to own one of the other millions of combinations of phone and service out there, but hey, this was just the first attempt.

Rules seemed a bit sketchy on whether predictive text was allowed or not, but certainly any abbreviation software had to be turned off.

The event was covered by the AFP, who included such choice quotes as a despairing semi-finalist's tale of woe "It was so nerve wracking. My hands started to shake. I couldn't get my apostrophe", and even more humiliating for a 23 year old engineer runner-up "I just got beaten by a teenage girl, but you know".

For yes, a teenage girl won it. In the tense final, West Coast champion Eli Tirosh turning up in a satin boxing robe and accidentally forgot not to try and be a mystical ninja by claiming that relaxation, deep breathing, symbols, the wisdom of Buddha was the key to a whole new realm of "lightning speed and accuracy". Tirosh was battling against the nimble fingers of just-crowned East Coast champion Morgan Pozgar (13) who, whilst not appearing to be adopting any such Karate Kid type methodologies, does deserve some recognition for being possibly the only person in the universe to get good value for money out of their phone contract - sending about 8000 messages a month under a 10-dollar unlimited text plan. Yes people, one every 5.5 minutes or so.

Just to keep you in suspense, here's a youtube of Tirosh winning the West Coast championships:

So the whistle blew (if there was one), and the final word came up on the screen - the lyrics to Mary Poppins' "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". Suddenly Tirosh put the phone down first expecting great fame and fortune to arise with such wonderfully early completion of the task, but - tragedy of tragedies - there was a spelling mistake. Not so in Morgan's attempt, making her the reigning US National Texting Champion (well, amongst those who could be bothered, had the right sort of expensive phone and the right contract to participate anyway).


Down and Dirty

Why do I see a neat little red cross instead of a picture when viewing your title page but a nice picture of a laptop (or similar - ? mobile phone) when I click the "read more" link?

Hmm, I have no idea seeing

Hmm, I have no idea seeing as they are both supposedly coming from the same source! I redid the image upload - hopefully it works better now.


All fine, now!

All fine, now!

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