A couple of times this week I played the game of ‘worst case scenario’. You maybe know it under another name. You play it just before a quiz starts, or before the format and the titles of the rounds are announced, if that’s what normally happens in the quiz in question. Basically it involves everyone in the team taking a turn to suggest what the worst possible subject for a round could be. Of course, you could suggest completely unrealistic round subjects such as, for the sake of argument, Etruscan Pottery , but then this would defeat the object of the game since rounds like that would never be asked in a pub quiz in the first place. Well, not in the kind of pubs I go into, anyway. No, the point of the game is that if you voice your deepest fears before the quiz starts, then they are less likely to come true when it does.
This will show you how paranoid you can get when you start taking quizzes too seriously. I did think twice about writing this post, in case anyone who sets quizzes I play in will read it, and use it to set a quiz to put us at a disadvantage. How pathetic is that ? Well, at the risk of giving away our kryptonite, I’ll tell you. As I said, I played the game twice this week and four rounds came up both times. These were : -
Food and Drink
Pop music since 2000
Any round of ‘local interest’ questions
If you read my post on the Mega Quiz you’ll know that food and drink did actually come up , and unusually we had a full house of ten out of ten on it. The quizzes where we played worst case scenario it didn’t. So maybe it worked .
Are we a particularly suspicious lot, quizzers, or not ? I can’t think of many superstitions I have with regards to my quizzing, although I do have a lucky shirt which I’ve worn for several broadcast quizzes. Actually that’s an interesting thing in itself. My lucky quizzing shirt is my pink shirt, the one I’m wearing in the little thumbnail photo on the About Me section of this page. I had no intention of actually wearing it, but you know that they ask you when you go on any show to have a selection of shirts of different colours you could wear. The day before my Mastermind final in Glasgow I bought this and a couple of other shirts from M and S in Swansea. I wanted to wear the light blue one, but Derek was wearing a light blue shirt, so they insisted I wear the pink in the final. So I did as I was told. Voila’ – a couple of hours later I had won, and the shirt, an ordinary one when I bought it, had been transformed into The Lucky Shirt. It has had a pretty good career since. I wore it in the first round of Are You An Egghead – won that show. I wore it in the first round of Brain of Britain – won that show. I wore it in the first round of Only Connect – won that show. I wore it in my heat of Champion of champions – no, alright, I didn’t win. But look what I did do. I set my highest ever specialist score – and I took Pat, who won the title, all the way to the wire – he beat me on passes. Alright, so Pat wasn’t on top form that day, but that just goes to show that even he could be affected by the power of my lucky shirt.
Funny things, superstitions, aren’t they ? You’ll have noticed that I made an excuse for the shirt when I didn’t win my champ of Champs show wearing it. I have only ever worn it on those 5 occasions ? Why , you might ask ? I’ll tell you why. Because if you wear your lucky shirt too much, then you are abusing its powers, and the magic may wear out . Of course, there is always the answer that if you wear it too many times you’ll end up losing your fair share of times when you’re wearing it , and be forced to recognize the unhappy fact that it is, after all, just a shirt.
To quote Edmund Blackadder, “Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man’s a mushroom etc. “