Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Dark, nerdy secrets....
I have a dark secret....it's time you knew the truth about me....
As some of you may know, I take part in an inter-pub Quiz League during the winter months. I play for my old local in Bamford and every Sunday night from October to April we compete in tense, hardfought, 1 on 1 quiz battles against other pub quiz teams from all over the Derbyshire Peak District. Our team tends to be the youngest of all the 12 teams in the league with an average age in the 40's rather than 60's and we tend to have a better mix of women to men but I do accept that it's still a very "nerdy geek" type of activity.
I know a lot of people enjoy pub quizzes - the turn up with a few friends and play on a Wednesday night sort of events. Taken seriously but not TOOO seriously.
This is not like that. In this league there is a question master, scorer and sometimes a separate timer-keeper! The questions are sent (by the mysterious, nay mythical, question-setter from Burton-Upon-Trent) in a sealed envelope to the pub and must be unopened at the start of the evening. All very stringent.
There are 30 team questions and 5 individual questions (one each). The questions are divided into different categories so both teams answer one question in each category so there is much scope for discrepancies between the 2 questions in each category. Before you start each team nominates 3 categories to be "starred" questions which attract double points - your "jokers" if you will. The individual questions also have to be allocated to each team member from the category only at the start of the game - such pressure if you don't know yours and can see the rest of your team staring at you, clearly knowing the answer...
For the first half of the season, we play all the other teams once, either home or away. Then at the halfway point, the league is split into 2 divisions and we play the teams in our division twice more, home and away. (Like the Scottish SPL if that helps!!)
So, last Sunday was the last match in the first half of the season. We were playing the team at the top of the league - the team that ALWAYS wins - the team that we have never, in 9 years of trying, beaten - the team who were on Eggheads! They're a pretty boring bunch to be honest and travel from miles away (out of the official catchment of the league) to a "pub of convenience" just within the catchment area purely to play in yet another pub quiz league. They really ARE nerdy. All the other teams in the league talk about them 'cos they know so much and are so without character. I've seen them work out the answer to a question by working their way through all the Prime Ministers since 1900 in chronological order and party. (I had never heard of this chap!)
You know what's coming now, don't you??
Yes, you're right - we beat them!
What a triumph. It was close but we overhauled them and won 62-66. AND we won the beer round too so got a free pint/glass of wine each as well. The sweet, sweet taste of success.
After they had left, tails between legs, we chattered long into the night about our famous victory. It was mentioned on Facebook (without a hint of irony). No doubt it will be sung about long after we're gone - erm, perhaps not - but it was very, very satisfying.
What gems of knowledge did we have to retrieve to achieve this mighty feat?? My favourite (because of my starring role, obviously) was knowing which book by Charles Dickens starts with the words "Chapter One - I am born"? I had started David Copperfield THAT DAY and was only on page 41 on Sunday night - I could still remember reading those very words - what are the odds??! (Historically we're rubbish on Dickens too,which is a category that the question-setter seems to love.)
So now, as a result of that victory, we have scraped into the top half of the league and have to play all the tough, boring teams from nasty pubs in villages miles away rather than the nice, friendly, easy teams from cosy pubs nearby. It's not the greatest reward for our endeavour! Hey ho.
We have been a very strange team this year - we have beaten the top 6 teams but lost to the bottom 5. How weird, even the new team which lost to everyone else managed a victory over us whereas the top of the table titans succumbed.
I see it as exercise for the brain - perhaps it'll help me stave off the dementia which is destroying my mother, perhaps not, but it can't hurt. I do the physical stuff to keep my body healthy so why not blog and quiz and learn french to keep my brain active?? And it's a laugh, with beer.....