Saturday, 29 January 2011

A confession

Despite my fulminations against the evils of certain quiz practices such as using your mobiles to google answers, I have to admit to you now that I am not a paragon of quiz virtue. Only last night I was a willing participant in the rather dubious practice colloquially known as ‘bringing in a ringer’. Yes, I was that ringer.

Just in case you’re not up on the jargon, bringing in a ringer means drafting a player into your team for the sole purpose of winning a specific quiz. The player involved may well have no connection with the team at all , and never normally play in the competition involved. It’s a shady practice at best, and while not necessarily against the letter of the competitions involved, its certainly against the spirit of it. Does the fact that I recognise this make it any better ? No, didn’t think so.

Well, as Friar Lawrence tells Romeo , “Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift” so I’d better tell the story. You know about my friend John. Well, a friend of a friend of John’s asked if we would both take part in a quiz specifically for employees, family and friends of the company which he works for. We are not employees, nor are we family, and since I had never even met the chap before last night I think you’d be stretching it a bit to call us friends. Most of the times when I’ve been asked to do this I’ve found that at the bottom of it isn’t a great desire to win the quiz, or whatever prize may be on offer, it’s a desire to win bragging rights over another team, and this was the case last night.

There’s one problem with being a ringer. You might lose, and believe me, losing in these circumstances is far worse and far more embarrassing than any other you could imagine. Last night a third of the quiz was specifically to do with things work related, which john and I couldn’t help with. The upshot of this being that we had an 8 point lead after the first third, which had been whittled down to a 1 point lead going into the last part of the quiz. We just about limped over the line to avoid the embarrassment, but it was a close run thing.

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