Last week, I went to a pub quiz.
Now, much as I love a good pub quiz, I should explain that this particular event was a ‘networking’ quiz, organised by a bunch of lawyers, for a bunch of lawyers. And, if there is one thing guaranteed to suck the fun out of a social occasion, it’s populating it with members of the legal profession (as a solicitor myself, I readily accept that we are generally a humourless bunch, but hope I am one of the exceptions to the rule).
Normally, I wouldn’t think twice about attending a pub quiz, but when you add in the words ‘legal’ and ‘networking’, it does rather spoil my anticipated enjoyment. It would be like inviting me to a football match….. at Old Trafford, or a sexy strip show…. at a retirement home.
Anyway, I weighed up the pro and cons, and ultimately agreed to attend, because if nothing else it was an excuse for a child-free night out, and the mention of a free bar and buffet was enough to persuade me.
Sadly, due to the fact we arrived at the venue with barely minutes to spare, the ‘free bar’ had been depleted to just a few bottles of Budweiser – which, if I was to rank the beers of the world in order, would feature somewhere near the very bottom – together with some nasty looking white wine (in fairness, it may have been a very nice expensive white wine, as I am by no means a connoisseur, but given the beer choice on offer, I’ll wager it was cheap shit). Still, it was free, so I tried to hide my disappointment and took a bottle of Budweiser while I still could.
Sure enough, as we located our table in the gloomy surroundings and sat down with our teammates for the evening, an announcement was made that the free bar had run dry before the quiz had even started. Awesome.
In the organiser’s defence, clearly some teams had arrived early and, for want of a better phrase, taken the piss (which, bearing in mind they had grabbed armfuls of Budweiser, is literally what they had done), and they did replenish the stocks about half an hour later, but they did so with more Budweiser, so it was a relatively empty gesture. I know this makes me sound ungrateful, but there are far better beers out there for an equivalent or lower cost.
My spirits (oh, how I wished there had been spirits) were raised somewhat, when I realised this was a proper pub quiz, with not only a picture sheet (and a ‘clever’ link between the answers), but rounds on film, sport and music – which allayed my initial fears that, with this being a ‘networking quiz for lawyers’, the organisers might think it fun to include legal questions. And that really would have sapped any remaining joy out of the occasion.
The first round was actually entitled ‘2018’ and, as the name suggests, it was based on the events of last year. It seemed to go relatively well, too, until it came to swapping our answer sheet with the team behind us for marking, when it quickly became apparent that they were, to put it mildly, pedantic fuckwits, who would stop at nothing to win.
For example, the very first question was (paraphrasing) “Which company got Facebook into trouble last year, by stealing everyone’s personal information?” Now, you may or may not know / recall the answer, but the company in question is called Cambridge Analytica, however our team (and I take responsibility here, as I was in charge of writing) mistakenly put Cambridge Analytical.
Now, had I been marking that answer, I would have allowed the slight error to go unnoticed; but unfortunately for us the group behind (who resembled a University Challenge team on a stag do) not only marked our answer as incorrect, but chose to query it in front of everyone.
“Erm, excuse me, but the team behind us have put Cambridge Analytical, so am I right in saying that’s incorrect and we shouldn’t give them a mark?”
Fuck off, Hugo.
He even scoffed when announcing this, and I so desperately wanted to insert a Budweiser bottle into his rectum (big end first) in retaliation.
It’s not that I am necessarily competitive (much), and so long as our team avoided the humiliation of finishing last in the quiz I was happy enough; but I can also be a petty bastard at times, particularly if someone behaves like a cock, so I made a mental note to return the gesture should Tarquin and his chinless colleagues require any discretion with their own answers later in the quiz. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait very long.
Round Two was ‘Film’, and one of the questions was “Which musical is based on a Charles Dickens novel?” Now, the answer to that is Oliver! (and I made a point of adding the exclamation mark on our answer sheet especially, in case Team Trust Fund were going to insist on its inclusion for the full mark), but to my delight when we swapped sheets again, they had put ‘Oliver Twist’.
Oh no, my friend, that’s the book you’re thinking of, whereas the musical is just called Oliver!, so you’ll be receiving a massive cross next to that particular answer, you bell-end. Ha-fucking-ha.
The best part was, when we swapped sheets back after all the answers had been announced, he actually made a point of checking my marking, and then tapped me on the shoulder.
‘Erm, excuse me,’ he said smugly, ‘but you appear to have marked our answer for question 8 as wrong, when we actually got it right.’
‘Erm, actually,’ I replied, making his smugness seem almost subtle in comparison, ‘I think you’ll find the answer was Oliver! WITH AN EXCLAMATION MARK, not Oliver Twist, which is the Dickens novel. It’s a common misconception…. among idiots.’
‘Well, it’s only one word different.’
‘Indeed, but in the last round you might recall that you marked us down for having one letter wrong, so you can kiss my ass, douchebag.’
Of course, as I have said before, I loathe all forms of confrontation, so what I actually responded with was:
‘Fine, whatever, give yourself an extra point.’
I couldn’t be bothered with the argument, to be honest (although I did mutter douchebag under my breath, which I felt was a moral victory at the time).
The remainder of the quiz was thankfully rather more amicable (thanks in no small part to the fact we swapped the rest of our answer sheets with the team to our right instead, who proved to be rather less competitive – and infinitely less anal – about the whole thing, and even at one point traded some answers with us), although I did briefly lose my shit over a James Bond question which the organisers had clearly got wrong (it’s my specialist subject, and Never Say Never Again is NOT an official Bond film).
Anyway, my fears of finishing last were unfounded, as our team ranked a respectable seventh out of twenty-five; and, even better, the pig molesters behind us didn’t win. It turns out, it doesn’t matter how much Daddy paid for your education, and how pedantic you are in stealing points, if your knowledge is ultimately inferior, chaps.
That’s nearly it for this week’s entry, but before I draw matters to a close, I would like to leave you with one final anecdote from that evening.
Due to the fact the beer on offer at the quiz night had been mediocre at best (even once we had abandoned the free Budweiser, the alternative beers at the bar weren’t much better), we decided to dash back to Poynton for last orders at the local Wetherspoons. Fortunately, having raced through the door at 11.02pm, it transpired that they were serving until midnight, so we had plenty of time to fuel our hangovers for the next day.
At one point, shortly before we called it a night, I needed the loo, and if there is one thing I apparently specialise in (other than quiz questions on James Bond), it is dodgy encounters with other men in toilets (wait, I had better rephrase that….).
As I entered the gents (which, after the last sentence, should also perhaps be re-phrased), I noticed two younger men in there standing by the mirror admiring themselves, and upon seeing me one turned to the other and said ‘you should ask him’, motioning in my direction.
Agreeing, the first chap turned to face me, and asked ‘do you think I look fat?’
‘Do you think I look fat?’
‘Oh. Well, that’s not very nice.’
‘What? You want to look fat?’
‘No! I said, ‘do I look fly’?!’
‘Yeah. You know, like Pretty Fly for a White Guy?’
‘Oh. Right. In that case, erm, yes?’
In truth, he didn’t look very fly at all, he looked like an early-twenties Millennial in skinny-fit jeans, who clearly wasn’t used to drinking lots; but I wanted to appease him to avoid any further toilet confrontation, and because I was in desperate need of a pee by this point (which I was rather keen to do in peace).
It seemed to work, too, because not only did his face immediately break into a wide grin, he exclaimed that we were now friends (awesome, I love making new friends in the gents), and he insisted that we ‘fist bump’ (which I prayed was the cool/lame handshake definition of the phrase, and not some weird sex-thing that Millennials are up to in public toilets these days).
Turns out, it was the handshake-type gesture I expected (which was just as awkward, but infinitely less painful, I suspect), and he was thankfully on his way.
Thanks for reading x