Thursday, November 03, 2011

World Memory Championship update

I'm not going.

It's a month before the competition, and all we're hearing is debates about whether it's going to happen, whether there'll be any prizes and whether anyone will go. In the complete absence of any communication from the people running the event, I've been waiting for the German gang to decide whether or not they're going before I book my tickets - I know they've been talking with the WMSC about the last-minute changes and shambolic organisation - and when I had an email last night from Boris, Mister Memory Enthusiasm himself, saying he still didn't know whether he'd be going, that was the final straw.

If I'm not excited about the World Memory Championship with a month to go, there's something seriously wrong. I've decided it's time to flex whatever remaining muscle I've still got in memory-competition circles and make a stand - because if I don't, I can see what's going to happen: we'll all go to the competition anyway, it'll be generally rubbish, and then next year will be even worse. So I'm staging a one-man boycott, and if the handful of people who haven't already done the same want to join me, more power to you.

This isn't the kind of decision I take lightly, you know. The World Memory Championship has basically been my entire life for the last decade. But this year's event just doesn't feel like the World Memory Championship any more. It's very sad...

I do feel guilty about depriving people of the opportunity to beat me, of course. When I won the WMC in 2004, I got no end of "Well, Dominic O'Brien wasn't there" responses, even though I would have totally beaten him if he had been. I'm not sure if my absence would have that effect on this year's winner, but I still feel bad about it.


Lee Viner said...

I have decided not to go too. Shame as I was really looking forward to competing but I can't afford an air fare only for it to be cancelled. I would have no other reason to go to the city.

Mike said...

But surely you should build on the many positives that have help us to get to the point we are at today.

Chris D. said...

I think you are awesome, whatever you decide to do.

Tony said...

Bonum Vesperum Benjamin,
Quomodo vales?
Please attend what will be the greatest show on earth; my World Memory Championship taking place in a city somewhere in Asia soon. No panic is needed. Everything is sorted apart from the venue, sponsorship, attendees and hotels.

Quippe I comprehend your frustration that despite expected global viewing figures of 6.84 billion , we have struggled to get the 40K sponsorship we need but be reassured a solution is around the corner. Chang’s Dry Cleaners have expressed a firm interest provided we mention that they do same day cleaning for half the price.

The World Memory Championship is steeped in history with 20 wonderous years of mental warfare. Who can forget (pun intended) the first World Memory Championship where the great Dominic O'Brien outfought his auntie and his mate to secure his first of a fantastic eight titles. That was the start of the story but Benjamin ‘remember’ that you became part of the story with your victory in 2004 and subsequent wins. Your hat, your beard rapidly became engrained in folklore in the same way Simon’s peculiar head movements during Spoken Numbers and Gunther’s increasingly unpredictable attire have since become.

Prize money is not a concern as I have plenty of my old books and photos to distribute to anyone who finishes in the top 50 in all of the disciplines and the presentation ceremony itself is guaranteed to last under 24 hours this year. Also please be sure to attend the “Celebration of the Extraordinary Perfect Brained Super Humanoids Megapower Mind Dinner” after the event. I have negotiated a price of just £250 per noodle at the “Golden Throne Restaurant”. You can ill afford to miss it even if you can ill afford it in the first place.

Bene Tibi and Flores Magnificos

Zoomy said...

Okay, that was... brilliant. Spot on! If I set up my own Andi Bell-esque rival world championship, will you come and be Tony?

D.O. Liver said...

You may have well beaten Dominic O'Brien in 2004, but you'll never beat his liver!

Anonymous said...

Heading for retirement???
No, you are too good to follow Dominic's way. I have to jeer you to motivate you to training and finally to go to China whether it be Beijing, Guangzhou or Shanghai. Easyjet is surely planning a cheap flight there.
I am going to become WM champion one day too and there is no fun beating Chinese I never seen, but it would be huge fun to beat memory man off the telly that got beaten by a monkey.