Another Wednesday…

So, another Wednesday, another quiz night. Or, more appropriately, another chance for Mark Gilbranch to display his exceptional grasp of general knowledge. Needless to say, he didn’t disappoint…So, Mark got the team off to a flying start, which, as we all know, is vital for a successful quiz team. “Question 2, how long is the Channel Tunnel?”. Mark chirps up immediately… “It’s about 35 minutes”. You couldn’t make it up, and that’s why we love him so. Dave and i burst into fits of giggles, before trying to come up with a more meaningful answer. We discuss this – we think the Channel is about 22 miles, and there’ll be a bit of tunnel either end. So, i say “I think around 26 miles”. Dave’s reply, “Yeah, i was thinking around 26 too”. Mark’s contribution, “Well, let’s split the difference”, and with that he writes down 27.At this point i should just point out that Mark is an excellent teacher, organised, prepared and confident around his students (especially when asked to go into more detail about sex education), but sometime his common sense just seems to escape him.

Despite all this, Mark did redeem himself by knowing that there were 206 bones in the human body. How did he know that? He’d been doing the body with his class this week. Congratulations Mark, you know one fact on the syllabus that you teach. That certainly raises you in my estimations…

Mark’s comment of the night, however, came later in the quiz. “Following an inquiry, which hospital had to admit to stealing body parts in the year 2000?” George Meighan, resident expert on all things medical (he does work in a hospital, but seems to spend more time ogling the nurses than actually doing anything) grabs the paper and correctly writes Alder Hay hospital. the surprise on Mark’s face is evident. “Wow, how did they get away with that?” Erm, they didn’t, hence the question…

So, all in all we came second. By one point. And only because we had one of our answers turned down for not being specific enough. Pretty much sums up our evening!

Actually, this is a bit unfair on Mark, as Dave dropped a bit of clanger last night. “Which is the southernmost state of the USA?” Instantly i said Florida, but wondered aloud where Hawaii was. Dave, in a cool, calm, studied manner, said “Puerto Rico’s quite far south”. Yes Dave, thanks for that nugget of information. “Definitely further south than Florida”. Yes Dave, again, i can’t fault you there, superb knowledge. “One problem with that, Dave. Puerto Rico’s not a state”. Hogarth’s expression never changed. His brow never once trembled. “Not affiliated or associated to the US in any way?” he said almost rhetorically. “No Dave, it’s an independent country”. “Oh right, maybe i’m thinking of Costa Rica”. “No Dave, that’s not a state either”.*

As yet, i don’t think George or I have really dropped any clangers on this sort of scale, but i’m sure it’s just a matter of time…

Now, i’ve had a few messages complaining that some people haven’t been mentioned, or, and i quote, “aren’t cool enough for the blog gang” – yes Matt Roberts, i’m talking about you – so, i thought it might be time to introduce a few more of the Gladiator family.

So, i’ll start with the aforementioned Coach Roberts…

roberts.jpgA former Gladiator, Matt Roberts is currently defensive co-ordinator with the Essex Blades, and head coach of the fledgling Gladiator youth team. He has an opinion on everything you can think of, and is never shy of expressing it. Nobody’s really sure what he does for a living, but judging by his regular daily contributions to discussion threads on every football website under the sun i think he’s best described as a “Profession Forum Surfer”. He also is the lead commentator for all Gladiator home games, and never fails to amuse. “What’s that Lassie?”

george.jpgThere’s also George Meighan, another quiz night regular. He’s a Gladiator veteran on the Offensive line who’s toyed with retirement, but “could be persuaded back”. He wears 74. Last year he was able to double as a student and represented the Essex Blades in BCAFL. George is a gentle giant who seems to be a bit of a hit with the ladies in and around Colchester General Hospital. I was quite impressed until i realised he worked on geriatrics…

ant.jpgAnthony Sweetman is a former Gladiator, and now professional supporter (in that he doesn’t seem to do much work!). A professional cameraman-cum-runner-cum-studio hand-cum-well, we’re not really sure what it is he does. He just swans off to various locations, and returns claiming to have got some great film. So far we’re all jealous of his dancing in an Australian comedy sketch show, but we all sympathise with him for being the housemate of Tommy Clarke and Mark.

slider.jpgAnd finally, Slider. Or Alex Robinson, as he’s less commonly known. Slider (so called for sliding to stop the clock on his first play as a QB) is another of the “Friday night brigade”, and can often be sighted in and around the pubs and clubs of Colchester. Slider is known for two real things, firstly his exceptional speed on the field, and secondly, his exceptionally fit mother…

So, the next entry will be post-Wembley, and we expect loads of stories from that – what nuggets of information will Mark give us? Just how stressed can Dave get? How many people will turn up? Watch this space…

* Dave has asked me to point out that (according to “Ben’s Guide to US Government for Kids”):

  • American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands are all territories of the United States. Washington, D.C. and the Northern Mariana Islands are commonwealths. Puerto Rico was once a territory, but is now a commonwealth.

  • Territories and commonwealths are partially self-governing areas that have not been granted statehood. The indigenous peoples of these areas are citizens of the United States.

  •  Dave, point made. You’re still wrong though…


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