THE other day I was asked if I fancied a few pints in the pub with a few friends and given I had nothing better to do I said yes.
I arrived to find my friends sat with a pen, paper and a sheet on which were 20 photos of celebrities from the 1990s, their foreheads creased with irritation. My first instinct was to turn round and walk out of the door and head for home.
Instead I ordered a pint (£4.30 for Amstel - it was one of those type of pubs) and wearily agreed to participate, but I’d originally come to the pub with the intention of engaging in idle chit-chat about, I dunno, Eastern European footballers (a favourite subject of mine) bands nobody else likes or how many weddings we have to go to in 2014.
Instead I had to sit quietly under near-exam conditions occasionally exchanging whispers about what a female swan is called, scribbling down ‘hen’ before hearing later that it’s ‘pen’ and mumbling “fiddlesticks” or words to that effect.
I must clarify that I don’t mind a pub quiz per say, but I do like to know in advance that I have been entered into one and can therefore decide if I can be bothered to go.
I fell out of love with them when the smart phone became a mainstream accessory, having come second to two cretins with an iPhone who had the intelligence of a potato who had quite blatantly ‘googled’ every answer and even began bragging about it after collecting my £60 prize.
However, the quiz is still a staple aspect of pub entertainment and there I was unimpressed, while being told to “ssshhh” every time I opened my mouth by a table full of junior accountants and HR types (yes it really was that type of pub).
There really is nothing worse than been in a pub quiz when you don’t want to be. The music rounds, followed by the search for a team name wittier than ‘Norfolk and chance,’ the repeating of questions three and nine, the swapping of answer sheets with the smug illegitimate children at the next table - all serve to create a HR workers dream in a series of highly administrative tasks.
Quizzes only serve to split groups of friends into two groups: those who couldn’t give a toss and those who suddenly scream “TOLSTOY” like they’re the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket.
Other than the famed google incident I can pinpoint the precise moment I became disillusioned with pub quizzes. Halfway through a geography round a few years ago the quizmaster asked the obediently silent drinkers what the capital of Honduras was, but he pronounced it ‘Hongduras’ and repeated it a second time.
I remember sitting there thinking I’ve paid £2 to drink in silence while a stranger vigorously test my general knowledge and the fool cannot even pronounce the questions correctly...I didn’t stay to hear how he pronounced ‘Tegucigalpa.’