Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Q and A

I have a confession to make. I went to a supper quiz on Sunday night. A charity do for some youth group or other. And it doesn't end there. This was the second supper quiz I attended this month. The last one was a fundraiser for a local hospital. My friends are (rightly) horrified by this downturn in my street cred. And let's face it, I had little to start with.

The thing is, a supper quiz is one of the only places you go to where you really appreciate being single. You don't have a frustrated partner poking your arm mid-question and whispering (often too loudly) "Oh, I know this". Or worse, pointing the finger of blame when the answers are announced and screaming "I told you it was Italy! Why did you insist on putting Spain!?"

But there is a certain set of givens with a supper quiz. Some of which are:

1. The person who is writing the answers down has to confer with the rest of the team before he commits to a particular answer. Even if he knows full well what the answer is. And if he knows what the answer is and the team don't - he's got trouble. You try convincing a bunch of people, blouted on supper quiz food, that the capital of Peru is in fact Lima and not Chile. He has to go through the charade of asking the rest of the team before he writes down every answer or he risks being sacked.

2. As a result of rule #1. the person writing the answers has to say, at least once every round, "does anyone else want to write?", or "I'm not the captain, we're all equals in this team" etc. until it drives you mad.

3. There is always a moment during the quiz when you know the answer is x while the rest of the team thinks it's y. But you don't want to press the point too heavily just in case you're wrong (though you know you're not). You don't want to run the risk of being wrong and the whole team groaning loudly when the answers are read out. So you either mumble the answer quietly or don't bother speaking up.

4. As a result of rule #4. there is always someone who says, in very accusing tone, "I told you it was Lima" and then sulks for the rest of the evening. This is compounded when the results come in you never hear the end of it. "How was the quiz?" - "Fine. We came second. Lost by one point. We'd have won if they'd bloody listened to me about Lima!"

5. The names of the rounds have nothing to do with the content of the questions. So the 'If music be the food of love' round is never about music, or food or love. It'll be about quotations, or shakespeare or furniture.

6. There is always one team who takes it all far far too seriously. It's usually a men-only team. They challenge every answer. Then demand a recount. They ask their long suffering wives (who have cleverly stayed at home) to fax over a copy of the map of Burma, or page 247 of 'A History of British Pop Music' or this week's issue of the JC. And you overhear them using the words 'farce' or 'fiasco' on your way out.

7. Every team has a player who knows all the answers after they've been read out. Each correct answer is followed by a muttered "yes" or "I knew that one" or "I thought so". When the questions are being read out, this person doesn't say a bloody word. But afterwards, they score 100%.

8. The members of the team must fall out at least 3 times during the evening. An argument has to break out over a) when to play the joker, b) whether the quality of the food justifies the price of the ticket and c) whether it's fair that there are other teams with more players.

9. On the way out of the quiz you realise that actually you're not as clever as you thought you were and that there are gaping holes in your general knowledge. And you quietly resolve never to attend another quiz.

10. Within a few weeks of making your resolution, you've bought a ticket to the PTA supper quiz. Bring it on.


Blogger Linda said...

Globalisation at work. I see your 'supper quizzes' are just the same as 'quiz nights' in Australia. Aaaarghh!

11:53 am  
Blogger bangedmyhead said...

and what about the awful row when the team has to decide on a team name and each team tries to out wit the others.

6:15 pm  
Blogger R.x said...

Luckily, we were given table numbers and settled for 'table 18' as our team name. As it turned out, it felt more like Combat 18 than Table 18. But that's a whole other story.

By the way - check out the message from Linda. They have supper quizzes in Australia!! Who knew??

1:28 pm  

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