The things you learn at pub quizzes...

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Gardening | Meanwhile, Outside Auckland - RACHAEL KELLY

‘‘The thrill of just be­ing first wears off when you re­alise you're tak­ing home a pack of mys­tery meat from some­one's freezer.’’

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 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, though that’s the risk you take if you don’t know which coun­try won the World Ele­phant Polo Cham­pi­onship in 2004.

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, 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 num­bers get called and prizes start to dis­ap­pear. Grown men race to grab a set of John Den­ver cas­settes be­fore any­one else. Noone takes the top off the dodgy look­ing bot­tle of Ma­cho Sport Scent to smell 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 glasses from the raf­fle ta­ble that are too strong for some of us 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.

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