I know its not the first time that I’ve said this, but the fact is that it is a bad Thursday when there’s no quiz at the rugby club. Thankfully, like jockey’s legs, these occasions are few and far between.
The rugby club quiz, like many social quizzes you’ll find, has a handout as well as the regular rounds. In our quiz the handout is given at the start of the quiz, and doesn’t have to be handed in until the end of round 6. If there’s 7 teams, then the team with the highest score gets seven points, and so on down. In the event of two teams scoring the same, the team who handed in first out of the two get the higher score. You get how it works, I’m sure. Now, most of the time the handout round is a picture round. I have no axe to grind about this. Personally I’m just not very good at this. I know some people who are excellent at recognizing faces, but I’m just not. There, the secret is out. Still, most people who come to the quiz absolutely love the picture handouts, so I normally put a picture handout in when I compile the quiz for the club. Altogether now – when you compile a quiz you’re not doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for everyone who’s playing, to try to give them the most enjoyable evening you can.
So, on Thursday night I was a little surprised when we weren’t given a picture handout. Hallo – I said – things are looking up. – Normally whatever is given instead of pictures – we’ve had dingbats – Ask the family type arithmetic problems – 24 H in a D , that sort of thing in the past, well , whatever is given we normally tend to do a lot better with them than the pictures. Still, even given that I was expecting to do quite well, I wasn’t expecting what we actually were set. Dai Norwich – so called because a) his name is also David , and b) he’s from Norwich – had printed off a page with the names of London landmarks and places of interest. The task was to name the closest Underground stations to them, as given by LRTs own website.
OK, it’s a quarter of a century since I lived in London. However when I was a kid I absolutely loved the tube. To me, the tube meant days out, and visits to interesting places, and even when things happen like I get stuck waiting in a tube train for half an hour , with a 3 hour drive to Wales ahead of me, even when that happens I’ve never lost my enthusiasm for it. I think that I should add that there was not another Londoner in the quiz on Thursday night, and to the best of my knowledge there never normally is. Which is why I write really. Don’t get me wrong, I am not the kind of man to look a gift horse like this in the mouth in a quiz, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I have to say that it did cross my mind whether a whole handout on the London Underground was the best choice for a social quiz in Port Talbot- which is over 150 miles away from London. As it was it didn’t make a huge amount of difference, because of the scoring system used. We had more than a dozen more correct answers in the handout than the team who had the next highest score in it, but we only scored 1 point more than they did, which is just as well. I have been to quizzes in a few places where you could comfortably win five or six general knowledge rounds, yet lose the whole quiz by a mile because of one handout round which particularly suits one of the teams, when each answer on the handout earns a point.
Looking forwards to tonight, my best mate John is having an operation today on his shoulder, and so I’m going to be on my own this evening. Strictly speaking I could honourably give it a miss tonight. John’s missed three or four Sunday quizzes this year, and I’ve managed to squeak home on my own in each of them. To try it again may well be tempting fate. On the other hand, sod it, it’s a quiz, its Sunday, and I’m going. After all, its what John would have wanted.