Tie break torture…

So, another Wednesday, another quiz night. As defending champions we strolled in, nonchalantly, with nothing to prove. People turned to watch us stride in, whispering and murmuring in the background as people recognised a group of winners entering the arena. Mark’s eyes narrowed as he caught sight of his nemesis. The opponent stared back, and Dave and I restrained Mark, and stopped him saying something he may regret.We sat out of the way this week, off the main “quiz floor” so as not to have dozens of pairs of eyes burning into us, examining our every move…

Ok, it was actually just really busy, and we had to find a table somewhere!

Anyway, the quiz got underway, and Eric, in his thick Stoke drawl began with…”Which satellite…”

“Telstar”, George pops up with immediately, probably because it’s the only one he’s heard of, but it was the best guess we had, so down it went. A positive start for the defending champs. Well, at least until the old Gilbranch curse comes out again, after only 4 questions. “Blimey, we’re looking good tonight boys – we could be on a winner…” Dave and I look at each other before yelping in despair! “Mark’s cursed us again. No hope now…”

However, the questions continued to come, and we still felt relatively confident. Surely a bad sign. We reached the halfway mark feeling good, a couple of guesses, but generally pretty solid.

A short break was followed by the second half, where our only aim was not to fall apart. And it was all going so well until the last 10 questions. “What is Trinitroluene better known as?” Blank looks from our quartet.

“Cereology is the study of what?” Erm… No Mark, not Shredded Wheat. I was sure i’d heard it before, but couldn’t place it. Something to do with farming? Crops? Maybe Crop circles? Don’t know, but Crop circles was as good a guess as any, so down it went.

“What was Lily Munster’s maiden name?” No Mark, it’s not Lily Savage! Well, she was some sort of vampire wasn’t she? Just stick down Dracula, he was a vampire too.

No! We can’t let it fall apart after 40 questions! But, fall apart it did. So, somewhat desolately, Mark trudged up to pass over the answer paper to Eric. Silence then ensued as the tension mounted…

“So, now the answers…” We were confident that our first half would put us in with a chance, but the second half would kill us. “Question 1, which satellite…” Again, George chirped up, “It’s Telstar, it must be.”

“…was Telstar.”

We let out a little cheer of contentment, and George grinned inanely.

Eric continued answering the questions, and the correct answers kept flowing. After the first 25 questions we had 21 points. One of which was an inspired guess that Dorking and Dark Cornish are breeds of chickens. But now we felt that our fate was decided. There surely wasn’t a chance of any type of victory with a poor performance in the second half.

So, on with the answers… and here something odd happens. We continue getting the answers right. In fact, the first 14 questions of round 2 were correct (including Dave’s inspired calculation that there were 22 boxes in Deal or No Deal). But we were still convinced there were problems brewing.

“Cereology is the study of…Crop Circles” What? You’re kidding? That was a guess, maybe slightly educated, but a guess nontheless…

“And Lily Munster’s maiden name was Dracula” Nothing educated about that one! Blind luck there…

All of a sudden we’re back in the running and we finish with a total of 41 out of 50. Could it be? A win out of nothing?

“Easy ones this week”, Eric insists. “So, anyone with 45 or above? Nobody? Have you all gone home? How about 42 or above? 40 or above?”

We erupt! Well, at least Mark squeaks a little before getting up and wandering over to claim 41. However, a familar face met him en route. His nemesis was stood, grasping an answer paper with 41 declared too. Eric would have to mark them both.

We sat, nervously. Mark sat chuntering about “how on earth that Ronnie Barker look-a-like can get 41”. Then Eric approached… “I only make it 40”. Our faces fell, but with Mark doing all the marking, anything is possible. I checked through it, and saw that he’d marked a question wrong, when it was actually correct. Eric admitted his error, and then…Tie break time!

Now, i should jsut explain something here. Instead of a traditional “nearest the answer wins” tie-breaker, Eric likes to ask another question. Well, actually he likes to ask another 2 questions (just to make sure!). So, firstly “Where is the HQ of the International Red Cross?” George again jumps to the fore, announcing that it’s Geneva. “Question 2, what does Bisto stand for?” Erm, we didn’t even know it was an acronym! But, we resigned ourselves to the fact that this might be the last question of the night, and engaged our sense of humour, writing – “BISTO = Beef Is So Tasty. Oooh”. Needless to say, that wasn’t correct. Interestingly though, neither was the nemesis’ reply. So, after two questions it was 1-1. Eric continues…

“In Malay, what does Orang-utan mean? And where do 80% of the world’s shoes get manufactured?”

Dave’s knowledge bank gets raided here, and he comes up with “Old Man of the Forest”, and China. Both correct, both matched by the opposition.

Questions 5 and 6, “What does the average American male do 5.33 times per week? And when was the first concentration camp built in Nazi Germany?”

Well, we’ve had the first one before, so we know that’s shaving. The second is trickier. War was in 1939, Hitler came to poer in 1933 (we think), so around 1936. Turns out, Hitler was more proactive than we gave him credit for, and he built it in 1933, but the opposition slipped up on that one too. So, 1-1 in that pair of questions. We continue…

“Question 7, Why was Cliff Richard forbidden from entering Singapore in 1978, despite his sell out tour? And question 8, what is French for ‘already seen’?”

Th second one is easy- that’s Deja vu, so even Mark got that. The first is trickier. Probably something to do with religion we decided. Turns out that’s what the opposition put too, but we were both wrong. Apparently his hair was too long. Hmm, that means only one thing…

“Tiebreak question 9, Which Hollywood star had measurements of 70-30-32?”

Only one question this time, but none of us can thinkof an woman with a bust of 70″! Cartoon characters get bandied around, and eventually we stick with Jessica Rabbit. It was Miss Piggy. Neither team got that.

“Tiebreak question 10, how many even prime numbers are there? And question 11, Who or what was ‘Big Willy’?”

Only one even prime number, and that’s 2. But Big Willy? George thinks a canon, i’m inclined to agree. Turns out it was a tank, but neither team knew that. So, more questions…

“Question 12, Which metal is most commonly found in the Earth? And Question 13, what does PDA stand for?”

Personal Digital Assistant…boy could we use one of those right now! Loads of Iron ore in the earth, must be that. No, it’s Aluminium. And the opposition got that right. But they didn’t get the PDA! So, more questions…

“Question 14, which Peanuts character carried a security blanket? And Question 15, who sang the theme to the bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me”?”

Dave and I immediately say Linus for the first question, and George comes up with a winner – Carly Simon. 2/2 for us. Mark wanders up the now well trodden path to Eric’s booth. His nemesis presents his answers… One of which is wrong. WE WIN!

So, it took a total of 65 questions to separate us, but we’re the best! Reigning champions! Dynasty in the making! Well, we’ll see…


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