‘Quizzing’ by Oliver Cross

Dear all
AS part of what is called the new normal, the weekly quiz at the Chemic Tavern in Woodhouse has moved online. Apart from the lack of 3D humans – not a bad thing in every case – this has bought some improvements, including a big increase in the numbers taking part.

This may be because many pub quizzers are more drawn to quizzes than to pubs, which I find odd because it’s the combination of the two which has taken such a hold on the British public. Pub quizzes are a way of expressing our competitive, sporting spirit and the joys of teamwork, without having to get changed into inadequate clothing and run around on chilly sports fields.

Quizzes without the pub element can be found on most TV channels at most times of day, which is one of the most unwelcome lessons of the lockdown.

But even when I watch them armed with a bag of crisps and a can of beer and try to start pub-like arguments with my partner, Lynne, there is no real substitute for a room full of happily-occupied humans taking part in an activity which only makes sense to other humans; it’s rather like a chimpanzee like bonding session minus the frenzied sexual displays, ideally.

One of the casualties of the present catastrophe has been the end of prize money for winners of the weekly Chemic quiz. The money, which would only be life-changing if you found yourself in a very bad fix indeed, was in the pre-crisis folding form, which those of us on lockdown now see so seldom that they might as well be ducats.

There would now be no safe way to collect your winnings without washing your hands to the bone and, even if there were, you would probably feel obliged to hand over your  prize to any passing health or care worker in order to demonstrate your support for the NHS.

So now the only obvious incentive to do well in the quiz is to demonstrate your superiority to other contestants, which isn’t really in the ‘we’re all in this together’ spirit. Fortunately, since we isolated ourselves from our cleverer quiz teammates, Lynne and I generally perform no better than very respectably, which, in a suddenly over-heated world in need of reassurance and normality, is a result in the best traditions of pub quizzery.

Written by Oliver Cross, Caring Together Member

Thank you for once again sharing your thoughts Oliver. Take care