Friday, 30 July 2010

What has quizzing ever done for us ?

My team in the rugby club for the Thursday night quiz are a pretty tolerant bunch, I have to say. They’re fully aware that I’m my own favourite subject, and they tend to tolerate my latest boastful episode with all good cheer. Last night it was my turn to do the quiz at the club, so I didn’t get that much of a chance to chat until after the quiz. When we did talk I told them about my interview on Jamie Miller’s website, which I mentioned in an earlier post this week. This moved on to a general discussion of the website itself. We were discussing the idea that some people can make a living from quizzing and as a result this question was put on the table –

- Have you ever got, won or achieved anything as a result of being a quizzer, which wasn’t a prize in a quiz ? –
If you’ve been a LAM reader for any length of time you’ll probably appreciate that this is the sort of question that I find irresistible.

Everyone around the table managed to come up with at least one example of impressing non-quizzing work colleagues or friends by producing some or other fact gleaned from quizzing at an appropriate moment. To be honest, though, most of what we came up with were actually really quiz prizes when you analysed it. For example, about the best I could come up with was when I won a pair of diadora trainers in a Mail on Sunday competition. This was back in about 1988, just after I started quizzing, and it involved naming the Olympic marathon champion, the world marathon champion, and the world record holder for the marathon at the time. Since hardly anyone had ever heard of the record holder at that time I thought I had a good chance. First prize was a holiday in Rome – so you can imagine that I was a little less pleased to win second prize than I might otherwise have been.

Thinking about it 20 years ago Mrs. Londinius used to subscribe to a magazine/newsletter which offered to help you win promotional competitions and the like. To be fair to the people who ran it, it was chock full of details of competitions which you might otherwise have missed. Did it make us any more successful ? Nope.

Mind you , they did have some funny criteria in some of these competitions, I’m sure. For example my oldest daughter is now 24 years old. When she was 18 months old we entered her in a national colouring competition, in conjunction with the well know “Where’s Spot ? “ books. Basically, she had to colour in an outline of Spot. Well, we sat her at the table, and put some crayons in her hand, and let her get on with it. Bearing in mind she was only 18 months old at the time, she did alright. I mean , some of the crayon did actually go on the paper rather than the table. The final result, though, would have done Jackson Pollack proud.

She was one of the winners !

Honestly, she received a set of the books, a cuddly Spot, and a very nice letter which praised her very original and individual use of colour !


Another Anne said...

Few weeks ago, I had a letter from the Beeb containing an email from someone who'd listened to the Brain of Britain final, clocked that I was a freelance proofreader and wanted to know if I'd do a job for her.

In fact, I turned it down as it wasn't the sort of thing I do (though not before pointing her to a relevant website), but I suppose I could say I nearly got a job out of it.

Londinius said...

Hi Anne. That certainly qualifies as a benefit.

I suppose that you could say that I did get asked to do a couple of quizzes at a couple of pubs locally directly as a result of Mastermind, and each place would give you a couple of free drinks, which are not to be sniffed at even by a virtual teetotaller such as myself. So I guess you could say that these were direct results without being prizes too.