Before I begin this factual writeup, let me explain something about the word "pling" to you. Should you do a search for it on the internet, a lot of computer related terms pop up, almost exclusively leaning towards the explanation that pling is slang for an exclamation mark. The other ones tend to attach pling to really mundane stuff like poor dental care or things that are interesting to about three other people on this planet, excluding you.

In the following context pling is an onomatopoeic word, and it's closely connected to football. Simply put: when you watch televised football and drink beer, you have two thirds of what you need for a pling party. The last bit is explained below.

You see, in 1969 the Norwegian national broadcasting company NRK started airing live football matches from England. Yes, England, and usually the Midlands. That is why my middle-aged neighbour knows more about Leeds United and Ipswich Town than he knows about the local team.

From around four every Saturday afternoon, men of all ages sat down in front of the television to soak up some English football. Since more than one channel was unheard of in the 1970's, I suspect quite a few used the match as a good excuse to stop doing whatever they were doing.

Like reading the newspaper.

Other guys had veins so full of fleas that they couldn't just sit down and watch 90 minutes of sports without involving some kind of alcohol. The preferred alcohol in the land where you had to turn to government outlets to get some hard liquor (and by the way, you still do) was beer. Norwegians make good pilsner. Other types of beer are virtually unknown.

Thus, the pling party was born.

"But wait a minute! Where does pling come into all this?"

Just be quiet and read on. The exact reasons for NRK travelling to England in 1969, requesting TV coverage of First Division matches was to drum up support for another government controlled activity: football betting. The Norwegian word for this is Tipping.

Every week from 1948 onwards, twelve matches were put on special coupon called Tippekupongen, and everyone's job was to guess the outcome of all the matches. Pretty simple stuff: home, away or draw. Prizes were handed out for 10, 11 or 12 correct guesses, and by 1969, all the matches on the coupon were English.

We're coming to the pling now.

During the TV match, whenever something happened in another game on this week's coupon, a bell sounded and an ancient form of TV graphics displayed in the upper right corner of the screen. I never saw any other info besides the match number, what teams were involved and the current score.

The bell was commonly known as "the pling" even if it sounded rather like a gong. So, if you have a bunch of young guys, local beer, a football match and a bell that "plings" at random intervals, you're all set for a pling party.

Whenever the government drinking cue, the pling, sounds, finish your beer. A really really simple way to get really really drunk. It's Saturday after all. Just pray all the matches doesn't end 5-4.

Good luck.

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