Question – what percentage of women kiss with their eyes closed ? The correct, indeed the only acceptable answer to such a question is, of course, who gives a stuff ? Now I wouldn’t want you thinking that any local question master has upset me recently by asking such a question. In fact I was at the Dyffryn Arms last night, and I thought that the quiz was actually very good. Graham, one of the regular question masters there, has a little bit of a habit of going gimmicky – last letter first letter rounds and the like – but last night I thought that he pitched the quiz very well indeed. IN fact there were a couple of genuinely interesting questions that caught me out – for example, the country that produces more cheese annually than any other. Now, I knew that I’ve been asked this before, and I knew that the answer I gave then, France, was wrong. In fact the only thing I didn’t know was which country actually was the correct answer. It was actually USA – good question.John wasn't there last night, and I have a feeling that he'd have had that right. It's one of the reasons why we work well as a team - he knows stuff that I don't, and vice versa, however, I digress. Any question where you immediately think you should know the answer, yet you still get it wrong is doing something right. Coming back to the question I began this post with, on a question like that, there’s no earthly reason why anyone should either know or care that 97% of women kiss with their eyes closed.
I hate this sort of question. You might just as well say name a number between 1 and 100 as ask something like this. I’ll tell you what makes me raise this issue today. My oldest daughter runs a charity shop in Port Talbot. I popped in to have a chat a couple of days ago, and I noticed that someone had donated a box of continuation trivia questions. They were made for WH Smiths in the mid 80s during the Trivial Pursuit boom, and though they obviously couldn’t say it on the box it’s pretty clear that they were meant to be used with alongside TP or ’other trivia board games’ . You can see the box in the photograph. I paid for them – all above board, you see – and when I got home to have a good look, to say that I was disappointed when this question was one of the first to rear its ugly little head would be an understatement. In the interests of fairness I should probably add that they’re not all like that. Still, it does lead me to question what the point is of writing and including a question like that. Unless the thinking behind it is that it’s a game, and after playing , and being asked that question a few times you could amaze your adversaries by answering it correctly. I suppose.
What I don’t really understand is why anyone would want to include a question like this in a pub quiz – and unless you’re very lucky indeed I’m sure that you’ll have been to pub quizzes in the past where questions of this sort will have been asked. I certainly have. Of course this is just my opinion, and of course you must feel free to disagree, as always, but when I compile a set of quiz questions, what I don’t want is any of my questions to provoke people taking part to ask themselves :-
* How on earth can anyone here be expected to know that ?
* Who would ever want to know the answer to that ?
* How does the question setter KNOW the answer to that ? I mean - has he ASKED every woman in the world if they do or not ?
* Who cares about it anyway ?
I expect most question masters would feel the same way. Unless , that is, the purpose of your quiz is to try to show off what you know and prove how clever you are by producing a quiz where nobody in any of the teams can answer a large number of the questions. I’m afraid that there are still a a few QMs like that out there too. Still, not, thankfully in the rugby club, and not in the Dyffryn Arms.