Thinking about this, I'm pretty sure that I would hate to have somebody who behaves like I do on one of the teams when it's my turn to do the quiz in the Rugby Club. I take it all far too seriously, and although I know, understand, and fully accept the rule that "The Question Master Is Always Right - Even When He's Wrong" - but there are times I just can't stop myself from disputing.
Now, if a question master gives a wrong answer to a bread and butter question, that's one thing. The sensible ones will see that every side has put the same answer which isn't his, and amend his answer accordingly. Alternatively he'll do what I've done on more than one occasion, put his hands up and say, look, sorry - you may well all be right, and if the answer I've got here is wrong I apologise, I just don't know enough on the subject, but I have to stick with what I've got. I can live with that.
However, there are other times when the QM will ask what seems to you a difficult question, which you feel most of the other teams won't answer. Take last night : -
"Who was the first Scot to be Prime Minister of England and Scotland, in 1762?"
The date was the giveaway. I wrote down the answer , "The Earl of Bute", feeling pretty pleased with myself. The QM gave the answer: -
"John Stuart". To which I replied,
"Yes, known as Prime Minister by his title , "The Earl of Bute". I wasn't making this up, it's true. If you look on many lists of British Prime Ministers, he's one of those Prime Ministers known by his title, in the same way that Henry John Temple is much more commonly known as Lord Palmerston.
"It's not what I've got here." he replied, not unreasonably adding, "So I can't give you the point."
In the cold light of day I am glad that I did not succumb to the urge to stand up, and metaphorically slap him across the face with my gauntlet and suggest that we settle this with pistols at dawn. I did, on the other hand, spend the rest of the evening moaning to my team about the way that we were being robbed of a good point, about question masters who can't be bothered to check whether there are alternative answers to their questions - look, I'm not going to go on about it, but I wasn't very pleasant at all. A couple of times I deliberately ridiculed his pronunciation of a couple of words - mind you, to be fair he did insist on pronouncing Poitiers as Potty-arse, so there was some mitigation. You're quite right if you think that this was all very childish and pointless - we wouldn't have won even if we had been given the point for the answer.
Which is a shame, because, it wasn't a bad quiz when all was said and done, and did have a great hand out - well, great for me, anyway. We were given a sheet of paper with the titles of about 30 quiz or game shows, and the year they first began, and asked to name the first presenter. You know that I love quiz shows, and so this sort of thing was right up my street. In fact, I was convinced I'd have all of them right, until the QM announced - "What's My Line - 1951 - Gilbert Harding." I had written Eamonn Andrews. Thankfully I resisted the temptation to make a comment, on the possibility that this might be right - and I googled it when I got home. Quite right, Harding presented the premiere, but threw a hissy fit when he was handed the cards about the contestants in the wrong order, or something of that ilk.