JCT

#32 Pub Quiz

In midlife on February 17, 2010 at 12:11 am

As cheap and cheerful entertainment goes, the pub quiz is king. Apparently quizzes now run a close third behind darts and snooker as Britain’s most popular bar room sport, with almost half the pubs in the country now hosting one. find a pub quiz near you

I’ve no idea whether pub quizzes are a British phenomenon (though it should clearly be a 2012 exhibition sport) and the few sources I can find suggest they didn’t really evolve until the 1970s, but a generation who grew up with Top of the Form, Blockbusters and Ask the Family got given Triv one Christmas and is now lapping up Weakest Link and  …Millionaire. (Or QI and Celebrity Mastermind if you like to think of yourself as an intellectual.)

The pub quiz I go to is less than 150yds from my front door. This is what passes for a Big Night Out for me these days. It is held in one of the area’s last unreconstructed boozers, or at least half unreconstructed: a curious hybrid where the front half is stripped tables and Sky Sports, but the saloon remains exactly how it was 20 years ago – red velour banquetttes, wildly patterned carpet, wonky frosted glass wall lights, mismatched wallpaper, and a nicotine brown ceiling which, bearing in mind the even tone and the fact that smoking has been banned for two and a half years now, must actually be painted that way. Apparently they do occasionally renovate, it’s just that they always renovate it exactly how it was.

It once flirted with a wine list, but soon reverted to its red v white arrangement, though to be fair they did upgrade from the previous house vintage, the worryingly named  ‘Esperanza’. As far as cocktails go, you are looking at a spirits shelf that contains things called ‘Aftershock’ and ‘Micky Finn’. It has even been known, on more than one occasion, to run out of bitter.

This is not a ‘destination pub’, it is a local. If you lived on the other side of London, you wouldn’t choose to come here. If you lived on the other side of the main road, you’d possibly consider nearer options. But I don’t. So I go.

Some pubs boast celebrity comedy pub quizzes, we have a man with holes in his socks. But he’s a nice man who compiles the quiz out of a sense of civic duty, gives £1 of our £1.50 participation money to charity (the rest goes into the jackpot),  and is always smiling. There’s the usual rivalry between two teams who take it in turns to win, but when the top prize is a crate of beer and the second a bottle of wine to share, no one else really minds. It’s more fun just to pick sides and cheer them on.

When the ugly rumour circulated last week that the quiz, or rather quizmaster, might go as the management wanted to ‘try a new format’,  there were strong mutterings on the local gossip forum.

So if you can’t get there before the end of this month, or live on the other side of the main road, you can still replicate the experience by painting your ceiling brown, pouring yourself a Spitfire, arguing over a witty name, and answering these (most of which our team got right):

Who claimed ‘An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.’

Who said: ‘I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.’?

What was the last No1 of the 1980s?

In which city is the Hallé orchestra based?

The name of which capital city translates as ‘I see a mountain’?

Which poet wrote about ‘Matilda who told such dreadful lies’?

Where did the Beatles give their last public performance?

If you were to sail west from Lands End, which country would you hit first?

‘Is it a book you would wish your wife or servants to read?’ Which book?

Which two countries fought the battle of Flodden?

And because there was always a waterways question: What river does the Scottish city of Perth stand on?

The jackpot question,  ‘Which 1980s band had a singer called Fish?’

 

 

 

 

 


ANSWERS

(look away now)

Who claimed ‘An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.’

Agatha Christie

Who said: ‘I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.’?

Isaac Newton

What was the last No1 of the 1980s?

Band Aid II

In which city is the Hallé orchestra based?

Manchester


The name of which capital city translates as ‘I see a mountain’?

Montevideo


Which poet wrote about ‘Matilda who told such dreadful lies’?

Hilaire Belloc

Where did the Beatles give their last public performance?

On the roof of the Apple building, Savile Row, 1969

If you were to sail due west from Lands End, which country would you hit first?

Canada

‘Is it a book you would wish your wife or servants to read?’ Which book?

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Which two countries fought the battle of Flodden?

Scotland & England

And because there was always a waterways question: What river does the Scottish city of Perth stand on?

Tay

The jackpot question,  ‘Which 1980s band had a singer called Fish?’

Marillion

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  1. […] night I said farewell to our pub quiz; tomorrow I’m treating myself to a morning of core stability exercises and supervised lying […]

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