Things you learn at pub quizzes
There’s often an element of skulduggery at our monthly quiz nights. The town’s brainiacs, and not-so-brainiacs pit their general and local knowledge against each other to raise funds for the local fire brigade or Plunket or golf club, or whoever needs it.
Ears are sharpened to hear other teams discussing answers a bit louder than they should. Shoulders are peered over as one meanders through the bar on the way to the toilet. People gaze at upside down or answer sheets under the false pretence of saying hi to a neighbouring team.
There’s a risk of writing down another team’s wrong answer, but that’s the risk you take if you don’t know which country won the World Elephant Polo Championship in 2004.
But it’s when the raffles are drawn that the real competition begins. Our four-person team, which often has six members, tries to spread out our numbers so we don’t double up.
Because it’s the numbers that matter you see, not the fact that you’re a yellow diamond or a green spade. If number 33 is called it’s a free for all for everyone with that number to get to the table first to snap up the best prize.
And what a bounty of prizes there are to choose from.
Bottles of wine are usually snaffled up pretty quickly.
The town’s bachelors make a beeline for the home baking, of which there is usually plenty, as the town’s bakers whip up cakes and biscuits for this month’s good cause. Preserves and chutneys made from produce in our own gardens are prized too - because who has time to make your own when you’re running a farm?
The fun really starts as the numbers get called and the prizes start to disappear. Grown men race to grab a set of John Denver cassettes before anyone else.
Tins with no labels are swooped upon, and no-one takes the top off the dodgy looking bottle of Macho Sport Scent to smell just how bad it is before claiming it as their own.
The thrill of just being first wears off when you realise you’re taking home a pack of mystery meat from someone’s freezer.
But sometimes, they’re the prizes that keep on giving.
I’ve got a bottle of wine in my fridge that is so yellow a team member doubted its authenticity and asked if it was, in fact, a bottle of wees. That’ll make an appearance on the table again sometime soon, unopened.
Our team has a pair of raffle table glasses that are too strong for some and too weak for others, but we use them collectively to read the questions every month.
One friend bought in five bottles of lemonade for the table one night and went home with a dozen. It pays not to head outside for a smoke and let your friends pick your prizes.
And believe it or not - Scotland took out the World Elephant Polo Championships in 2004. The things you learn at pub quizzes…
Ears are sharpened to hear other teams discussing answers a bit louder than they should.