Here’s a thought, and not a very happy one at that. This is the first week of the school summer holidays – now there IS a happy thought – and every summer I find myself toying with the idea of the week long quiz marathon, trying to play a quiz each night of the week. This would have to be next week , you understand, being as it’s already Tuesday and I didn’t go out last night. Still, albeit that I already have Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday planned, this still left the other three days, and so I found myself googling to see what, if any, quizzes that I don’t know about might be happening within a reasonable distance from home.
To say that there’s not a lot being advertised is a bit of an understatement. We have what I believe is technically called an ongoing Old Mother Hubbard situation. Yet that’s not the saddest thing, sad though it certainly is. No, the worst thing is when I started looking fairly close to home I kept coming across pubs in which I’ve either played social quizzes, or league quizzes at some time in the last twenty years which have closed down, some of which have been converted into flats, and some of which have even been pulled down completely. Maybe it’s a sign of the times, or maybe it’s always been like this – I don’t know. But it is a shame
Now, before you start to draw your own conclusions from the mournful tone of this post, I want to stress now that my sadness for the passing of these pubs has nothing to do with the consumption of alcohol. I’m certainly not a hard drinker ( hard drinker ? No sir, I find it very easy . . . boom boom – Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show c.1976 )In fact virtually teetotal. But it is a shame to see a pub where you played in some good old ding dong league matches, or where they held a fun and well attended social quiz, all shut down , boarded up and forlorn, or heaven forbid, gone completely. When you think about it there aren’t that many essentials for a pub quiz. You need the questions and the answers, people to play and a question master. And you need a pub. Yes, I’m sure that we’ve all played in places like village halls and leisure centres, and these are worthy ventures, capable of hosting a good quiz. But they’re not the same.
Not that I’m suggesting for one minute that the local pub will disappear completely. But it does lead me to worry for the small place that has its own question master who prepares an individual quiz just for that place , and those players every week. In the words of Joni Mitchell, don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got till it's gone. (Mind you she also wrote that they paved paradise, so how much attention should you pay to her ?)