Multinationals, Musicians and Mark

Now, before i start talking about this week’s quiz, let me pose a quick question. Which multinational company has a logo consisting of a black “M” in a white circle? Just think on that for a minute… annoying isn’t it?

So, two main events this week, firstly, our annual awards night… but seeing as i didn’t win anything, i’ll just gloss over that. Suffice it to say, a good time was had by all, and the awards were all well deserved (especially the Colchester Gladiators award for academic excellence which went to our beloved Mark Gilbranch).

About now you’ll be picturing something like this…


But keep thinking.

Anyway, back to the important stuff – our quiz night. This week, lacking George, but retaining the services of Martin from last week we entered with high hopes. This confidence was almost jeopardised on question 2 – What is the southernmost point of the British mainland? Our newest recruit chips in with “Well, it’ll be some little island off Cornwall”. No Martin, a little island is not on the mainland. But, we can forgive that as a first offence, and as Dave and I were certain of the answer (Lizard Point) our confidence remained high.

Mark quickly dashed it on the following question, suggesting that Hans Gruber was the Nazi propaganda minister. I had to explain that Hans Gruber was the character Bruce Willis throws off the top of a building in Die Hard. So near and yet so far.

Then question 10, when it was my turn to slip up. “Who preceded Michael Faraday on the £20 note?” Some debate on this one, and Dave suggested Florence Nightingale. I chirp up with “Not sure that’s right. I thought Elizabeth Fry was the first woman on a banknote”. Needless to say the others gently broke it to me that the Queen is, herself, a woman.

Now, you’re probably thinking of something like this…


Anyway, moving on.

Only 5 questions later, Mark made his second blunder of the evening. “What is a sporran traditionally made from?” Quick as a flash, Dave leans into Mark and whispers an answer. Mark’s expression looks confused, and he asks Dave to repeat. He does so, and Mark’s expression still looks befuddled. A third repeat and it’s as if the penny has dropped, and Mark quickly writes what Dave had told him. No Mark, sporrans are not made of Haggis. That’s right, our beloved primary school teacher thought that the humble haggis had been hunted to extinction by fashion conscious Scots. Mark managed to redeem himself a little by knowing that the holiday celebrated in the US on 2nd February is Groundhog Day.

So, we powered throught the second half of the quiz knowing that a team has to travel 3.6m to win a tug-o-war competition, and that cougars are also known as pumas. Or “poooomars” as our favourite quizmaster liked to pronounce them. Finishing with our top score ever of 39/50, we were beaten by 2 points. We actually blame George for this, as we think he’d have known a sporran was made from a Badger, and that insulin was produced by the pancreas. As a musician he may even have known that a not that is neither sharp nor flat is a “natural”. He may even have known the ragtime musician that died in 1917. And those answers would have seen us walk away as comfortable winners. So George, you’re to blame!

So, managed to work out the black “M”? We didn’t either. It had us all thinking, and Martin seemed to be realyl frustrated by this one. Various suggestions emerged, but were dismissed, and Martin sat chuntering away about how annoyed he’ll be if he knows the company but not the logo. As it transpires what you should have been thinking of was this…


That’s right, Motorola. The company that manufacture Martin’s phone. The same phone that sat in his pocket through the entire quiz. Genius.


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