Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, achieved worldwide fame for his pronouncements during the 2012 Olympic Games. BoJo, as he is affectionately referred to in London, frequently turns a colorful phrase. He raised eyebrows in a Daily Telegraph article with his newfound appreciation of beach volleyball: “As I write these words there are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto. They are glistening like wet otters and the water is plashing off the brims of the spectators’ sou’westers.”
Today’s pinnable Table Talk quote is taken from what Boris Johnson said at a party in Beijing to mark the handover of the Olympic flag. Wiff waff was a game that English lords first played over 300 years ago on large dinner tables using cigar box lids as paddles and a cork. It was called wiff waff because of the sound the lids would make when hitting the cork.
“Virtually every single one of our international sports were invented or codified by the British. And I say this respectfully to our Chinese hosts, who have excelled so magnificently at Ping-pong. Ping-pong was invented on the dining tables of England in the 19th century, and it was called Wiff-waff! And there, I think, you have the difference between us and the rest of the world. Other nations, the French, looked at a dining table and saw an opportunity to have dinner; we looked at it an saw an opportunity to play Wiff-waff. And I say to the Chinese, and to the world, that Ping-pong is coming home!” ― Boris Johnson