Saturday, 23 February 2013

Best Behaviour

Allow me to ask you a question if I may. What would you say is the connection between Fred PERRY – SCOTCH Broth – Richard MEADe – Hospital PORTER ? We thought it was fairly clear , and so we wrote down ‘alcoholic drinks’. For which we did not receive a point. Why not? You may well ask. Was there, perhaps, some esoteric connection which had nothing to do with this? In a word, no. The connection wanted was – things you can drink! His explanation – scotch broth is not alcoholic! True. We pointed out, quite reasonably , that even if scotch broth isn’t alcoholic, scotch as in scotch whisky very much is. He wouldn’t have it. Now, you probably know how I felt about this. The fact is, as we all know, that the questionmaster isn’t actually always right. While I agree that at the end of the day it has to rest with the questionmaster to say ‘this is the answer that I want, and this is the only one I will accept’, then along with this right a questionmaster also has the responsibility to say ‘you know what – I hadn’t thought about that, but you are right, so you can have the point’ – when all common sense points obviously in that direction. However after briefly joining in the general chorus of catcalls and protests from all corners of the club, I let it go.

It’s OK, I’m not ill. The fact is this. I’ve felt for the last few weeks that I need to be on my best behaviour in the club. I’ve mentioned about my friend Brian, who has been the organizer and leading light in the quiz in the club since long before I started playing in it 17 years ago. Brian’s not been at all well for the last 6 or so weeks. I went to see him on Wednesday, and I’m delighted to say that although he’s been through a terrible time, he’s looking a bit better, and he’ll be back to the quiz hopefully within the next few weeks. Still, this has meant that it’s been down to me to keep things going with the quiz while Brian’s been ill. And that’s the rub. I just feel as if while I’m in charge of the quiz at the moment I should be on my best behaviour. It doesn’t come naturally, I can tell you.

What has been nice is to see how many people have made a point of saying to me words to the effect of ‘you will keep the quiz going, won’t you? - .Things like that just tell me that the quiz in the club means as much to them as it does to me. Now, as it is, Brian will hopefully be back very soon, and he is welcome to take the ceremonial carrier bag full of clean answer sheets back from me, and I’m quite sure everyone will be happy about that. When he does, will I maintain my good conduct? Don’t hold your breath.


joe said...

The obvious answer is indeed alcoholic drinks. Whether scotch broth is nonalcoholic doesn't come into it. It's the capitalised words that count. Sack that quizmaster!

Londinius said...

Ah, sorry Joe - the capitals were mine! The basic problem - and I don't want to suggest that it wasn't an enjoyable quiz, when it was - is that the QM is perfectly ready to use just PART of an answer when it suits him. For example, in a previous connection - about dances - we had to link Morris Garages - a couple of other clues I can't remember - and foxgloves. Now, foxgloves - he said - were meant to give you foxtrot. - For me it's a question of consistency. If you are using only part answers for your connections in one set, then you can't expect players not to do the same thing in another set.

I don't claim to have all the answers, but in circumstances such as I've written about in this post I think you should always be ready as QM to say - well, it's not what I was looking for, but you've definitely got something in that, and so you can have a point.

Unknown said...

This sort of slapdash question setting annoys me. I'm going to a quiz on Saturday, and I'm sure there will be something there that is patently wrong. I usually just bite my tongue.