If its anyone’s fault, I suppose that its John’s. I’d better qualify that. Yesterday John jetted off to Hong Kong for a well earned break, so that he and Lynne could visit their daughter. Nothing wrong with that either. However it does leave me with a quandary, namely, what do I do on Sunday evening ?
I could give the quiz in the Dyffryn Arms a miss. Lets be realistic, that’s not going to happen. Which means that either I play on my own, or I offer my services to another team. Neither of these options is without its problems.
If I play on my own, then I face a pretty boring evening, apart from the actual time that the questions are being asked. I’m not going to lie, either, I don’t like the idea of seeming like some sad , old, Billy-no-mates ( even if it’s true ). Then there’s the whole thing about what do you actually do if you win. Now, I’m not saying that I am guaranteed a win in the Dyffryn Arms. John and I together were beaten only a couple of weeks ago, so it can certainly happen. However I definitely might win. The quiz we had last Sunday, we won by quite a large amount, and I think either of us would have won it playing by ourselves. So while I’m not saying that it would happen, I’m saying that there’s a definite possibility that it might happen. I’ve played and won on my own in a couple of places before, and its not necessarily always the most comfortable experience you’ll ever have in quizzing. Having said that they are a terrific crowd of regulars in the Sunday quiz, and I don’t imagine for one minute that there would be any ill feeling at all if it did happen. Still . . .
If I offer my services to another team, though , well , that’s not necessarily always a good thing to do. For one thing, you like to play with the people you know. I wouldn’t want any team letting me play with them just to be polite, when really they’d rather play with their regulars. For another thing, its awkward when you join a team you don’t know. John and I have played together on a Sunday and at other times for so long now that we know each other’s game pretty well. He knows my weaknesses, and my areas of strength pretty well, and vice versa. He knows when I know what I know, and when I just think that I know what I know, and vice versa. As a result, neither of us throws away the other’s correct answer other than on very rare occasions. However the first couple of times you play with an unfamiliar team, it’s a little like walking on eggshells.
It works like this. A question is asked. If you know the answer for certain, then its not a problem. You’ll insist on your answer. If you haven’t a clue about the answer, then its not a problem either. Someone will chuck something on the table, and you’ll go with that, since its an answer to nothing. However if you have an idea, but are not certain, then it’s a real problem, especially if someone else on the table has an idea, and its not the same as yours. You have to make a very quick decision : -
Do you insist upon your answer, ( arrogance ahead – warning ) bearing in mind that you’re probably a more successful quizzer than the person you’re arguing against ?
Do you give way , not wanting to rock the boat and upset the team you’re with, even though you suspect that your answer is probably the right one ?
There’s no right answer to the question above. And it all comes about because you just don’t know the other people you’re playing with. You don’t know their strengths. You don’t know who amongst the team is the kind of person who’ll shout the odds when they really don’t have a Scooby Doo, just to reassert themselves within the team. Likewise you don’t know which member of the team doesn’t know what day of the week it is, but could write a book on Italian second division football, for want of a better example. And that’s how you can end up throwing away points that you’d almost definitely have answered correctly if you were playing by yourself.
The ideal thing is to actually be invited to play with another team. Then the thin vizard of corinthianism can be shed, and you can allow all your natural drive to win come to the fore. Of course, this does mean that the team will have such a trying evening with you that they will never invite you to play with them again, but then that’s the way it goes.
The absolutely worst thing that can happen is what happened to John and me years ago when we used to play in a pub in Bridgend on a Sunday. Nice pub, decent quiz, and always packed out. We usually won, and one evening a couple of people approached us and asked if we’d join them for the evening, since they never won, and they’d like to just once. – Sure – we said, all condescending smiles – we’ll help you out. We lost. We had our worst evening down there ever, and not because we were accepting the answers that they supplied, either. No , this was all our own work. If you didn’t know better you’d have said we were doing it deliberately, so poorly did we play that night. The ladies who’d asked us to join their team never did ask us again.
To finish off, I did once get some advice from an old quiz acquaintance on the whole subject of playing as a singleton. He always reckoned that the only thing you had to worry about was if you won, in which case he had these 5 invaluable tips : -
If you should win a quiz playing on your own : -
• Don’t smile.
• If someone else traps you into conversation, remember your mantra – “ I had a lot of lucky guesses tonight “
• Don’t be tempted to engage in conversation, or even worse, banter, with the question master. NEVER tell him about the mistakes he has made with his questions.
• Leave the quiz 12 and a half minutes after the end. Anything quicker makes you look guilty. Anything slower makes it look as if you are basking in it.
• A lap of honour is totally out of the question.