Thursday, 2 April 2009

Post Mortem Googling

"Count Your Beans" is, of course, a jolly jape to herald the arrival of the month of April, apologies for that. Although to come to think of it I am sure that I have seen sillier shows on TV in the past than "Count Your Beans ". 3 - 2 - 1 comes to mind. I am sure that you needed to be a Bletchley Park level code cracker to unravel some of the rhyming clues on that show. Now, back to reality.

Reality on Tuesday night took the shape of the quiz in The Duke of Wellington in Cowbridge. You may recall that we're currently attending this particular quiz every other week, and that the last time we played there we were beaten by a couple of points, although we won the Lucky Seven jackpot. You know how it works - 7 questions are asked which are seperate from the rest of the quiz. Anyone who gets all seven right gets a share of the rolling jackpot. If nobody gets all seven right, then it rolls on to the next week. If you're the only team who get all seven right, then you scoop the whole lot yourself.

We won the quiz this time, although we didn't win the lucky seven. I am ashamed to say that to the question
"Who won the 2008 British grand Prix ?" I confidently declared that Lewis Hamilton was too obvious, and so we plumped for Felipe Massa. Of course it was Lewis Hamilton. Then I also confidently declared that Framlingham Castle was in Norfolk. Of course its Suffolk. Finally, though, none of us knew the answer to the question
"In December 1993, who became the only act ever to have a number one hit in the UK, with a song which was the same name as the act ? "
In case you don't know, I'll put you out of your misery by telling you that it was that all-time classic, "Mr. Blobby" by , of course, Mr. Blobby.

As I say, we won the quiz, dropping two points in the process, and yet we only had one answer wrong. At the end of round one, there's always a 'lyric question'. Part of the lyric is read out from a pop song old or new, then you have to name the song and the singer - a point for each. Unusually, this time we were even given the year - 1973. Now, unfortunately, this didn't help at all. The words we were given
"25 for speed limit
Motorcycle not allowed in it
You go to the store on Friday
You go to church on Sunday"
might just as well have been read out in Serbo-Croat, or any other language I don't know for all the good it did us. By this time, no doubt many of you will have allowed the words "Nutbush City Limit - Ike and Tina Turner " to have passed your lips, and you are indeed correct to do so. However I mut admit I couldn't help thinking that 1973 seemed a bit late for Ike and Tina. Well, blow me down, when I got home and googled it, 1973 was absolutely spot on.

Apart from my closest quiz friends and my family, you are now the only people to whom I have revealed this dark and shameful secret : I am in fact a post mortem googler. The shame of it. Yes, I am that anal that when I hear an answer that really surprises me, or alternatively, that I think is 'dodgy', I do go home and look it up on google to find out if its true, or if the question master/question setter has dished up a wrong'un.

Not that there's a huge amount you can do if he has dished up a wrong'un, most of the time. The only time that I can recall a post mortem googling session bringing me anything other than a moment or two of fleeting satisfaction was after a jackpot round in the Dynevor Arms. In case you haven't been with me from the start of the blog last summer, the Dynevor Arms is a pub in Groesfaen near Cardiff. They do a nice little Sunday night quiz every other week. John and I stopped going there when we dragged it out of the question master that a number of teams had stopped coming because we kept winning too many times , and so he was going to do a "bingo quiz" format instead ( aaarrrrgggghhhh ! ) Right, well, back to the story. Ralph the question master on this particular night asked 3 jackpot questions, the last of which was "What was the name of Britain's first ever national airline ? " We had the other two correct, and we thought that we had the last one right with our answer " Imperial Airways ". Ralph announced the answers, then said "I'm afraid that you had to have the last one absolutely right. One team got very close, with Imperial Airways, but it was in fact Imperial Airlines."

The only thing is, the correct answer really was Imperial Airways. However instead of the backlash from us, which probably Ralph expected, he was surprised to get a backlash from a few other teams as well about it. To this day I don't know whether
a) Ralph just made an honest cock up - which he really shouldn't have done in a jackpot round
b) He didn't want us to take any more money that night, and so deliberately gave a wrong answer.
Whatever the case, he immediately qualified it with the caveat that if we could prove he was wrong, we would have the jackpot due to us in a fortnight. I printed off the relevant pages from three different sources, and went back to the Dynevor in a fortnight, armed and ready for battle. For battle which never came. Ralph cried off that night, but he cravenly left the jackpot with the landlord to give to us. So either he knew perfectly well that we were right, or he carried out his own post mortem google.

As I recall this was all over a far from princely £10.

Its the Aberavon Rugby Club tonight, and its Clive's quiz. Clive, you may recall, does a good, old-fashioned bread and butter quiz, the kind that you won't win by getting difficult things right, but you do win by not getting easy things wrong. I dropped two sitters last time he did a quiz, on rivers, and we lost by those two points. So tonight I shall do an hour or so's pre-mortem cramming on rivers, just to make sure that I don't do that again. Of course, you can be pretty sure that he won't ask anything about rivers this time round.

Does a win matter ? No, and also yes. No, it doesn't matter, because its all for fun, and if you lose there's always next week anyway - it doesn't cost a penny to enter , and there's no prizes. Yes, it does matter for personal pride. I have only lost one quiz in the rugby club so far this year. Considering its now April, and I have only produced three of the quizzes myself, that's a pretty good batting average, and something I'd like to keep up, especially since on more than one occasion we've won against large teams with only three of us playing.

All of which crowing from the top of my own dungheap will, I'm sure, practically guarantee that we won't win tonight.

No comments: