Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Our local pub, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, runs a weekly quiz on Tuesday evenings. It became a bit of an institution for me for a number of years, exercising the brain by trying to dredge up answers to all manner of trivia questions, all in the company of my team mates.

In the last 6 months or so I've let it slide a bit though. It can sometimes end up being quite a late night - well, for late me anyway - and I've taken on other activities like bellydancing so the evenings get quite busy during the week. Tommy generally goes along but I don't always join him any more.

Yesterday morning I got a call from Trish, the bar manager, to see if Tom and I would fill in for the evening as our Quizmaster and his lovely assistant (Alan & Lesley) were unable to run the quiz this week. Tom had already spoken with Trish and said we could probably do it but check if I was up for it. We have filled in once before and it was a bit of fun so I told Trish we'd do it for them. Alan had drawn up all the questions and answers for every round except the music round so for the most part all we really had to do was show up.

When I arrived home from work Tom had pulled together a list of potential songs to use for the music round. It's a bit of a hit and miss affair given the wide range of age groups usually represented in the contestant teams and trying to pull together a suitable range of songs is by no means as easy as it seems... and Alan has to do this every week! Tom played me snippets of each we whittled the list down to 10 songs based on my reaction to each. Anything that wasn't vaguely familiar to me was ditched immediately, the ones I got both the song title and artist right away were ditched which left us with a selection of songs that I could name either the title or the artist or that were familiar to me but until I was told what they were couldn't place them. We edited out snippets of each of the 10 finalists, pulled them together into one soundtrack to transfer onto the laptop and then it was down to the pub to set up.

I made sure the music round was going to work over the sound system as Tom read over the questions and answers to make sure we could follow Alan's handwritten notes, all the while punters filtered in the doors and settled themselves into their usual spots.

Being the quizzers is just as much fun albeit a much different experience to participating as quizzees. This being the second time we've filled in and so not a whole new experience, I think we were far more relaxed this time around. The reading of the questions, collecting and marking each teams sheets, updating the scoreboard and finally providing the answers to each round fell into a easy rhythm as we worked our way through the quizz. I have to say there are certainly some creative people out there alongside the very knowledgeable ones, some of the answers we got back were really clever despite being most obviously wrong! Sometimes you'll get a sheet back with blank spaces left beside the questions a team can't get but the real creative stuff happens when people make up answers even when they don't know the right answer. It certainly adds to the amusement factor!

.... Q. who were the two main characters in the TV series CHiPs?
.... one of the Answers submitted A. Salt & Vinegar.

Tommy really seems to enjoy acting as quizmaster and plays up to the role throwing in his own spin on things and telling the occasional joke. He also loves to watch the reaction to the music rounds we pull together and seeing if the answers that come in follow mistakes he'd predicted as were making it.

All in all we had a great time despite the rather late hour we finally arrived home.

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