I warn you now that this has every chance of developing into another whinge. It was my turn to be question master at the rugby club last night. I’ve told you how my attitude about this has shifted over the years. 18 years ago when I first started I couldn’t wait for my turn to come around, and I would have done it every week if I could. Now, while I don’t mind doing it at all, it’s not something which really bothers me if I have to go four, five or six weeks between turns at being question master. It’s certainly not a chore, putting the quiz together, but I guess it’s just that I have other outlets for the creative urge, I suppose.
One of the recurring irritants of doing the quiz for the club is the technological problems we’ve got. Twice already this year I’d had to present the quiz, shouting out the questions and the answers from the bar because the microphone wasn’t working properly. Last night it wasn’t working at all. Consequently I’m sitting here feeling a little sorry for myself this morning with an aching throat. My ‘teacher voice’ works pretty well in this situation, but as much as I like the sound of my own voice I don’t tend to use it so much, at such a volume, over a period of about 2 hours at one go.
I don’t know, maybe I have no right to moan, but nobody likes it when they feel that what they do is not valued. If the rugby club does value the quiz, and the contribution it makes to the coffers by bringing 30 – 50 people into the club who wouldn’t otherwise be there on a Thursday evening, it has a very funny way of showing it. I don’t ask for remuneration, and in fact I always said that I’d do the quiz there for nothing, simply for the pleasure it’s given me over the years. But when the ‘reward’ for doing the quiz was downgraded from 6 ‘beer tickets’ – redeemable at any time, to £12 on a card behind the bar which HAS to be spent in the same evening – no chance of doing that on my part – I couldn’t help feeling a little narked. Then there’s the lighting issue. In the corner where my team, Boyks (don’t ask) always sit, the lightbulbs went about 6 months ago. The club has yet to replace a single one. Like I said, all subtle hints that the quiz is not really valued by the club at all.
I was in a bit of a, for want of a better word, ‘arsey’ mood when I got there last night. So when I was told that the mike was not working my first thought was ‘stuff this for a game of soldiers’, and I thought about getting up and going. But you can’t do that. I don’t know whether the club realizes it, but they’ve really got you over a barrel. Are you really going to turn up to a bar full of people, many of whom you think of as friends, all expecting a quiz, and say that you won’t do it because there’s no microphone? For most of us the answer is no, of course not.
We were talking about this after the quiz last night, and there is another issue as well. Let’s say that a QM did just that – refused to do the quiz without a working mike. So that evening there would be no quiz. Apart from the fact you’d be letting the quiz regulars down, there is also the whole question about the effect it would have on the quiz. It wouldn’t take more than one or two times of turning up to no quiz for teams to decide that they won’t bother, and that would be the end of the quiz. OK. Maybe that wouldn’t be the end of the world. Maybe that would make the powers that be at the club wake up a little when they see the drop in the bar takings on a Thursday night. It’s not as if there aren’t other places I could go on a Thursday night. But there aren’t other places I’d want to go, that’s the rub. But I suppose that’s life. In the words of Robert Frost
”Nothing gold can stay”
I must have missed the episode when David Jason came out with that one.