MDNs – or – Morally Deficient Numpties. You might have read another rantfest of mine last week about the phone cheating in the quiz in the Rugby club last Thursday night. I wish I didn’t let things like that get under my skin so much, and I will admit that it took the two quizzes on Sunday and then on Monday evening to help me get it all back into perspective. OK, so , last night’s quiz approached, and I was inwardly girding my loins, fully expecting the same cheating to go on, and resolving to keep my gob shut, however blatant and unfair it might be.
The first sign that I was going to have a good night was when John and Christine, who play in the Sunday night quiz in The Dyffryn Arms, turned up in response to my many invitations, and joined my team for the evening. I wouldn’t describe them as serious quizzers in the way that I would describe myself as a serious quizzer, but they go to quizzes regularly, and most importantly they are good company, and over the course of an evening they are going to get some thing which none of the rest of us know. Which is pretty much what the doctor ordered as far as my team were concerned.
Possibly the best thing about the whole evening happened right at the start, though. The quiz master was Alwyn, who always does a good quiz, and published his own film quiz book a couple of decades ago. As he began the quiz , quite calmly and matter of factly, he announced “ Turn your internet phones off please. “ I could have kissed him. How can I explain it ? I’ve sometimes felt that I’ve been ploughing a lonely furrow in my pleas to teams ( alright, to one particular team ) not to use their phones in the quiz. AS far as I can recall, no other QM has yet taken up the issue at all. In those few, simple, matter of fact words Alwyn showed that it’s not just fussy, old taking-it-all-far-too-seriously me who notices it going on, and objects to it going on. What I really liked was the fact that the way he said it didn’t come across as ‘I don’t know if you ever use your phones, but if you do, then please don’t do it again ‘. No. It was ‘ I do know you’ve been using your phones, and you ain’t going to do it tonight. ‘ . The fact that it was Alwyn who said it made it even better, since Alwyn carries real respect in the club. Deep joy.
Of course it worked. I didn’t see both of the worst MDNs last night – although one of them was certainly there, and the other may have been and I just didn’t notice him. Their team was still the biggest team, and I think that they came third in the end, but in truth their score was nothing above what you might have expected if all was kosher and above board – which I have no doubt that it was. So without the influence of Nokia and 02 ( LAM would like to point out that there are other phone networks available as well ) it was really a two horse race. With our two guests, and Lemurs below full strength, we managed to get enough of a lead on the questions ot be able to withstand their higher score on the pictures, and recorded our first win for what seems like years, and is certainly months. Even deeper joy.
It’s my turn to be question master on Thursday, and I will definitely be repeating Alwyn’s “Turn of your internet phones now “. Mind you, there’s no guarantee that what worked for Alwyn will work for me. I can but try – watch this space.