Discount Slingback is probably the UK’s leading professional all-weather freestyle toast catcher. Slingback first came to notice and national acclaim when she won the silver medal at the 2007 Olympic Games in Newton Abbott. She earnt the medal with a stunning triple summersault, half pike grab of a slice of wholemeal toast as it ejected from the Olympic standard toaster in the Domestic Trials arena.
Of course, in the past, the British teams have had a strong showing in the Domestic trials at the Olympics. For example, the British 400 yards mixed vacuuming relay team has won gold at the last three Olympics, as well as winning the Six Nations Vacuuming trophy for the last seven years in a row. The teams displayed some of the best vacuuming ever seen on an international standard fitted carpet according to commentators, at least since the heyday of the French vacuumers of the mid-20th Century.
The British team has also had a strong showing in the Mixed Doubles Washing Up. All displaying some of the best techniques for removing dried on gravy stains developed at the British Sports and Domestic Tasks Science Laboratory in Skegness. However, the traditional British weakness with the drying towel has often meant that the British team has often missed out on the medals in this significant event. However, with the new British designed tea towel about to be introduced into the competition, hopes are high that – at long last – the British team will be among the medals for the Washing-Up Heptathlon at the next Olympic games in Luxemburg. Providing – of course – that the Olympic Standard washing-up sinks are completed in time. Nor that they have the drainage problems that so bedevilled the last games. That situation caused the Brazilian washing-up pair to have to improvise with a bucket and a hastily cobbled together washing-up brush made out of a stick and a tranquilised hedgehog.
However, in the Mixed Doubles Washing-Up there is still some concern about the use of banned substances in the washing up liquid, which led to the exclusion of the Japanese team for the next three Olympics.
However, none of that need concern Slingback whose ability to grasp the still burning hot toast as it is ejected from the toaster is unmatched, particularly in the top-flight competitive level. She seems to have an uncanny ability to know when the toast is about to emerge that seems almost supernatural to those of us constantly surprised by the toast ejecting from the toaster at seeming random and arbitrary intervals.
Of course, Slingback spends several hours a day training for this exacting Olympic event. Often including at least three hours a day getting to know the relative toasting speeds of all the bread types from brown farmhouse wholemeal through the various granary and seeded breads, right down to ordinary thick white sliced supermarket bread. She studies each bread type until she knows by finely-honed instinct just when that particular bread will be toasted to Olympic standard.
Of course, it is not only a matter of catching the toast before it hits the floor of the Olympic arena; she must also butter it to the necessary Olympic standard. But that is a talent she seems to have been born with. All we can do then is hope that this intensive training pays off, and wish Slingback all the best and look forward to her winning a well-deserved gold medal.