Sunday, 18 March 2018

Pub Quizzes and me

I don’t write much about the pub quizzes I play in any more, do I? Well, that’s partly because I don’t play much in pub quizzes any more. For a long time I was playing the Bridgend League on a Monday night, the rugby club on a Thursday night, and a range of different pub quizzes on a Sunday night. Go back a few years further, and I would often play on a Tuesday and/or Wednesday.

One of the main reasons I don’t keep up this schedule any more is that I can’t. If I’m not in bed by 10:30 at the latest, then I really struggle in work the next day – sad but true. John and I stopped going out on a Sunday a couple of years ago. Basically, you find a new pub quiz. You go along, and the first time, people are lovely and welcoming. You win and everyone seems happy for you. Win 4 times in a row and it’s a different story. I just got to the  point when I didn’t want the bad feeling any more.

As for the league in Bridgend, I really enjoyed playing in it for 7 years or so. However, I didn’t really enjoy playing last year all that much – I wasn’t even going to play in the season, but our friend and teammate Brian passed away, so I stepped in. I didn’t want to carry on playing begrudging the time, and so I quit at the end of last season. 

Which just leaves the rugby club. I’ve been going since the summer of 1995, playing or setting quizzes, and there’s always been a good reason why I haven’t been able to go – being out of the country – work – whatever. In the last 12 months or so I’ve missed a couple of quizzes simply because I couldn’t be bothered. I don’t tend to post about the rugby club quiz now because, well, I don’t know if anyone in the quiz ever reads the blog, but if anyone does, I wouldn’t want to upset them with my unreasonable gripes and moans. Besides, normally I’ve got over my whinging by the weekend.  

However, I do want to get this moan out of my system. It’s one thing when the question master gets something wrong, and you don’t get a point which you should have had. It’s another thing totally when you dredge your memory, come up with an answer you’re really pleased with, and THEN the question master gives a wrong answer. 

Our question master last Thursday is one who’s quiz I would try hard to avoid missing, and I really like. He usually does an old fashioned type of quiz, where almost everything he asks is within the range of what I think is reasonable to expect a quiz team to be able to at least have a pop at answering. Thursday’s was a bit more way out in some of the questions, but still fun. He asked this question : -

Who did Princess Diana call Squidgy in an intercepted phone call? – well, that was very much the gist of it. Now, you may well, as did I, have noticed the problem with the question. For Diana did not call ANYONE Squidgy in that phone call. She was the one being called Squidgy. Now, the obvious answer would be James Hewitt, since he was the ‘cad’ who had the much publicised affair with Diana to which she admitted in the famous Panorama interview. And to be fair, I wrote his name down at once. Then I had an instant feeling that this was wrong. I dredged my memory, and came up with the name James Gilbey, who I was sure was the James in the phonecall, and it was Gilbey who called Diana Squidgy. 

So I changed my answer to Gilbey. Later checking when I got home revealed that I was correct. Of course, the answer that the question master gave was James Hewitt. 

AS I said, I really like the question master, so I said nowt to him about it – an act of remarkable self control on my part given my past track record. But I’m annoyed – 1) because I didn’t get the point for what I felt was a good feat of memory – 2) I was pretty sure that he was going to give the answer Hewitt, and I didn’t play the man and not the ball.  

Actually, I was remarkably restrained all evening, considering that I was looking over to a nearby team who were matching us point for point, and watching one of their number holding his phone in his lap, looking up answers. All I did was look at their skipper, shake my head and say 'It's not on you know.' I'd like to think that I wouldn't have had a hissy fit if we hadn't won. But we did, so thankfully that wasn't put to the test.


Claire Slater said...

David, did you speak to the question setter after the quiz about the squidgy question? What was his reaction ?
Also, using your mobile phone to check answers is cheating, what's the point of doing a quiz if you know you're going to cheat. It spoils it for everyone and defeats the object of the quiz
Gets off soap box

Londinius said...

Hi Claire.

I didn't speak to the question master, no. I have a reputation for doing just that - actually for loudly correcting the question master while the quiz is still going on, and this doesn't go down well. Experience has taught me over the last 20 years or so that other people hate it when I do that, so I try not to. And as I said, I really like the question master, and I didn't want him thinking - he won the quiz anyway, what on Earth is he complaining about?

I hear what you're saying about cheating. If you look back, about 7 or more years ago every post I made about this quiz and some others was a rant about phone cheating. I hate it. . . but . . . it's difficult to do much about it in the context of that quiz. Firstly, his own team don't tell him to pack it in, which I think they should. When I had a team member a few years ago who offered to look up answers on his phone, I always replied with a firm thanks but no thanks. Secondly, it's difficult when you're not the question master. Even if you're 100% certain that the other team are cheating on their phones, what are you going to do if they deny it? The attitude amongst other teams tends to be - yes, we know they're cheating, and it's wrong, but nobody appointed you the phone police. It's difficult to say any more without talking about the personality involved, and I don't want to do that. Basically, if the QM either doesn't notice, or decides not to say anything, then in this particular quiz, you're probably better off putting up and shutting up, as morally repellent as this is.