Saturday, 28 September 2013

Fame at last . . . Again

One of my shows from the 2007 SOBM of Mastermind was on Classic Mastermind last week. My friend Untruth emailed me a couple of days ago to tell me anyway, but even if I’d have missed it, I would have known anyway. I’ll tell you how. Mrs. Londinius and I went to a car boot sale this morning, in Rheola market near Neath, and I was stopped by two ladies who said, “Excuse me – were you on Mastermind yesterday?” I knew that they were talking about the classic Mastermind in the afternoon. . . but I’m not sure that they did. They seemed to think that it had been shown live, and asked me when I’d got back, and when I’ve got the next show. I considered telling them that I got back about 6 and a half years ago, but that wouldn’t have been nice, so I explained that it was a repeat. Well, I don’t suppose it’s the worst mistake you can make. Still, it’s good for the ego, and now means that I can say I’ve doubled the number of times a complete stranger has asked me if I was on Mastermind.

In a way, I almost hope that not too many people round here did see it. You see John and I have begun scouting for pastures new, and trying out different quizzes on a Sunday evening. Variety is the spice of life, they do say. I don’t know about you, but when I’m about to try out a quiz in a pub I don’t know I always look up what people have to say about it on Trip Advisor. I did this for the pub we went to last Sunday, and I have to say that reviews headed with phrases like ‘this is a local pub for local people’ did not fill me with enthusiasm. Still, you never know until you try. It was a little bit strange, actually when we went. For one thing the organizer ignored us completely, and we had to go and ask if we could play. The organizer was perfectly nice, but his excuse of ‘Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t know you wanted to play’ was a little odd considering he never asked in the first place. I’m willing to admit that it might all be in my imagination, but it did seem that there was a bit of a frosty atmosphere towards us, until we donated the bottle we won for the first round to one team , and the bottle we won for the second round to another. As I’ve said before I’d never drink it, and John doesn’t want it. Still, the organizer did make a point of saying that we should come and play again, which was nice of him. It won’t be tomorrow, since we’ve another one to try out. Ideally if we could find three or four and rotate between them, then that would be perfect.

I’ve mentioned my son Mike on more than one occasion, I’m sure. He and Ceri have just bought a house about 10 minutes away from us now, and so we’re seeing quite a bit more of them, which is fine by me. OK, I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that Mike is besotted with his new nephew, which I can totally understand too. Still, he asked if I wanted to go to a quiz with them on Wednesday night. Despite the fact that the last time he did this we ended up at a god-awful bingo quiz I still agreed. We actually ended up at a quiz in a place just down the road from us. Then I remembered that we had played once in this quiz about a year ago, and I’d decided that once was enough. I just couldn't remember why. I soon found out. It was a three round quiz, which is fair enough, and home-made, which is all to the good. However, the problem with it is that even though it’s billed as a straight quiz, it is almost exclusively entertainment. Well, OK, I can live with that. But the question master – well – I’m sure that the regulars love him, but he got on my nerves. Jabber, jabber, jabber, like a hospital radio DJ. The kind of question master who wanders around the room while he’s asking the questions, stops to have a look at your answers and then passes a comment. Let me give you an example of the man’s wit and wisdom. In one of the two or three straight general knowledge questions he asked “Which animals do the French train to hunt for truffles ?”. We put the answer ‘pigs’ down, as you would. He leaned over, had a look and said “Ooh, look – he’s just put Smurfs!” Hmm, so Oscar Wilde really is alive and well and living in Port Talbot.

Alright, like I said this really isn’t for me, but I’m sure the regulars love it, and good luck to them. Quizzing is a broad church, and just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s a bad quiz, and if I really don’t like it that much then nobody is forcing me to play in it again, I know that. Poor old Mike though. We had about three wrong all night, and he was sure we were in with a good shout. I tried to tell him that the rules change when it’s an entertainment quiz. In my experience, when people know something about Entertainment, then they tend to know an awful lot, and I thought that chances were we’d be beaten into second. Well, Mike was wrong, and so was I. We didn’t win, but we didn’t even get second. Two teams beat us, and good luck to both of them, because there were some difficult questions in that lot.

What a contrast Thursday night’s quiz was. Brian never does a bad quiz, but Thursday’s was one of the best. Alright, it did help that it suited my team down to the ground, and we played a bit of a blinder. Three full houses in the middle rounds gave us a commanding lead which we never relinquished, and wonder of wonders we even won the picture quiz. Which is all fantastic apart from one thing. It’s my turn again on Thursday, and I have to follow that. Fat chance.

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