We have a quiz night coming to the Legion. There are two kinds we tend to host.
The first is the usual thing: teams of up to six members appear, pay a couple of quid, and crowd around a piece of paper with several dozen photographs on it. For about ten minutes before the official start, and all the way through the quiz, we try to name as many of these famous and celebrated as possible. There’s usually someone from reality TV, which throws me quite completely.
Anyway, there are usually three rounds of questions – along the lines of Arts and Music, Sport, General Knowledge, that sort of thing. The answer sheets are passed around the crowd, we mark each other, the winner is announced and bottles of wine are produced as prizes. Everyone has a good time, and it’s a great night out.
The other kind of quiz is the one that’s coming: a different kind of great, but I love it.
Those who show up on the night, pay a couple of quid, and we all play as one team. We call out our answers, and we play against dozens of other pubs and clubs across Devon.
We usually place in the upper half of the league table. But it’s not about winning. It’s about going out on a Thursday night, drinking my weight in Guinness and getting away with shouting out the answers.
Since I’ve been writing for a living, all arts and literature questions are met by a dozen eyes, searching my face for remedy.
So, here’s the secret to doing well at quiz nights when you’re the local author: write the winners of major literary prizes on the palm of your hand and try not to sweat.