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Cub reporter triumphs at Reg Pop-up Ad Olympics

But dope testing shame for McCarthy mars otherwise sportmanslike games

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You hate 'em. We hate 'em. Just last week a recently discovered tribe of Brazilian rainforest Indians massacred everyone at the local Jesuit mission station in a fit of savage e-rage. The reason? These simple people had just been introduced to the delights of web surfing by the e-smart brothers. However, every time they got onto a good drinking petrol or glass bead site, some bloody advertising pop-up exploded onto the screen. Let's get one thing straight, they noted before melting back into their verdant paradise, we want firewater and worthless trinkets. We don't want credit cards at 4.7 per cent or unbelievable deals on web hosting. So you can take your civilisation and stuff it. Gentlemen of the Amazon basin, we sympathise and salute you.

This got us thinking down at Vulture Central. How quickly can you close a pop-up window and how quick does it need to be dissed in order to avoid the sort of apoplectic attack which did for the hair-shirted God squad? To answer these questions, the Pop-up Olympics were born.

The organisers scheduled four events in a fun-packed afternoon of laughter and corporate bonhommie. Reg hacks were invited to enter in the sprint, relay, sychronised and modern poptathlon. Unsurprisingly, veteran hard-hitters Drew Cullen, John Lettice and Linus 'Fish Fingers' Birtles swept all before them in the relay. They smashed four pop-ups on four separate machines in a combined time of 6.3 seconds. An outstanding display by Rob 'The Pond' Blincoe, Tony 'Nine Hats' Smith and Andrew Thomas dispatched 231 pop-ups to e-oblivion in a seven-minute sychronised underwater routine. Linda Harrison in New York clinched the modern poptathlon in a nail-biting session which saw the Reg's own IT girl close 11 pop ups on four different platform and various browsers in a breathtaking 1 minute 2 seconds.

Unfortunately, the closing sprint event was marred by an unseemly attack on the line judge by Internet editor Tim Richardson. He was immediately disqualified for shouting and mouse abuse. More seriously, hot favourite Kieren McCarthy tested positive for a raft of drugs including John Smith's, Abbot Ale, whiskey and coke and several banned hangover cures. Organisers immediately sent him home to work on some very, very tedious chip stories. The gold medal eventually went to cub reporter Lucy Sherriff whose outstanding wrist control eliminated an infuriating hardware ad in 0.24 seconds.

Despite the controversy, the Pop-up Olympics were judged a resounding success by all at Vulture Central. The management have already secured a multi-million pound deal with Sky Box Office to screen next year's event. If we can raise a big enough bribe, expect to see pop-ups at the 2004 Athens Olympics. ®

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