Saturday, 15 October 2011

Don't worry - I'm still obsessed

What with the dearth of posts through the week, and then my flurry of activity yesterday , and what with my going on about my two quiz books, you would be forgiven for wondering whether I’m actually doing any quizzing at the moment. Fear not. Interest and enthusiasm may be temporary, but obsession is permanent.

Take last week. Now, I mentioned some time ago that John recently underwent a shoulder operation, which has kept him out of action for a while. Bearing in mind that John wouldn’t be playing, I volunteered to produce the quiz for the Dyffryn Arms in Rhos. After much nomadic wandering on Sunday evenings, John and I have been happily ensconced in this one for a couple of years now. Volunteering to be a QM is always something I think very carefully about before doing. After all, I do try to sell sets of questions on my web store – not with any huge amount of success I hasten to add – and so I’m conscious of the fact that I don’t want to be bidding against myself, as it were. Still, the fact is that this quiz is one of those admirable institutions kept going by dedicated volunteer setters, and therefore not a potential customer at all. So I produced something a little more gimmicky than I’d do for the rugby club – of the 5 rounds, first and last were GK, but the rest were a connections round, a last letter first letter round, and a consecutive letters of the alphabet round. The first time I do a quiz at a new venue my instinct is always to go easier rather than harder. After all, I’ve never had a whole pub moaning because a quiz is too easy. Too hard, on the other hand . . . Well, it seemed to go alright , because I’ve been invited to join the regular setters.

That was Sunday. Now on Monday we had our first match this season in the Bridgend Quiz League. The League season actually started the previous week. However one of the registered teams has dropped out, and since they were out opponents that week, this left us with a bye. Which was all well and good, except that it meant that we started our league campaign with a match against our biggest rivals from last year, and our conquerors from this year’s Muriel Williams, the Tyrisha Nomads. We had a problem. There were only three of us. John was still incapacitated, and our replacement, my friend Rob – mentioned in these posts on several occasions – is not well, and worries that he may not be able to play with us for some time , possibly all season. Hence some frantic ringing round on Monday afternoon, which led to Brian from the rugby club stepping into the breach. All of which made our win a little surprising, but nonetheless very welcome.

Thursday was the rugby club quiz. Now, I won’t lie to you. I take this quiz – well, all quizzes – far too seriously. There’s no prizes in the club, its just for fun. Nonetheless, as I enter the club every Thursday night I can’t help doing a mental inventory of the most likely opposition, the ability of the QM, and the likelihood of a win. With no Rob, therefore no Lemurs, with Brian doing the questions, I thought that our chances were extremely good to nigh on nailed on. Then , after three rounds, we found ourselves three points behind. –What the . . . – went through my mind, I don’t mind admitting. I’m not being horrible, well, maybe I am, but the fact is that when I do the quiz I mark every paper, and I see the kind of answers that these two teams write down, and, well . . . they’ve never shown that kind of ability before. So , being what I am, I wasn’t thirsty but went up to the bar anyway, ostensibly to order a drink, but really to get a better view of what was going on with the other two teams. I’ll admit that I could see no skullduggery going on with one of them. The other, though, had one of their members, a lady old enough to know better, merrily googling away on her iphone. Alright, alright, I’ve gone on enough about this sort of thing in the past. I did my usual – stared at her and the people sitting next to her, and shook my head in sadness, and left them to it. The other team’s scores started to dip a bit, and we overhauled them. The phoning team still kept scoring highly, but we had made up our mind not to make it easy for them, and we put together a great run of rounds – so much so that a great run on connections gave us a tiny lead going into the last round. To cut a long story short, we maintained this through the last round, and increased it on the pictures. For all the monkey business, they still didn’t win. Serve them right.

Well, it’s my turn again next week, so in between world cup rugby, and art gallery going with my daughter Jessica, I shall be compiling for the club. I’ll let you know next week whether the result is kosher or not.

Oh, and a slight indulgence as a footnote if I may. A huge thank you to the kind reader who downloaded the Mytholgoy Quiz Book last night. I hope that you enjoy it.

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