In the spring of 2006, Yasuhiro Matsunaga had a dream. It wasn't complicated, like how to bring about racial harmony or build a rocket ship. Matsunaga had discovered a bunch of mouse pads in a storage locker, and his dream was to toss them all. Not into the trash, though. Matsunaga's mama had taught him "Waste not, want not." No, this inspired young man decided to toss the mouse pads like frisbess. Again and again. Until it became an Olympic sport.
Matsunaga and his three buddies quickly founded the Japan Mouse Pad Throwing Association, which sounds much better in Japanese. Instead of playing a rugby-like game, the men decided just to fling the damn things and measure the distance. The only rule is this: while you are hurling, you must scream out Maaaaa!" (Seriously.) The only restriction on the pad itself is that it be made from polyurethane foam, so nobody loses a limb. Success is measured by the distance of the throw.
The dream grew. The first World Mouse Pad Throwing Competition took place in 2006 with 40 entrants. (Not sure how many were blood relatives of Matsunaga.) The second WMPTC, which also sounds better in Japanese, was held this year and got 150 entrants. The third will be held next summer, when the record to beat will be a 63 meter throw from Gifu Prefecture's own hometown favorite, Hiroki Osawa.
And yes, Matsunaga and friends do wish to make this an Olympic sport, but I think even 2048 is pushing it, especially if laptops continue to edge desktops out of the marketplace. [Asahi Shimbun]