Oh, Blankety Blank!
No, I am not swearing, I promise you. It’s just that last night Mr B and I had somehow managed,
presumably in a moment of random and misplaced enthusiasm, to sign ourselves up for a Blankety Blank evening at the Bowls Club. When it actually came to it we were both, shall I say, a little luke-warm at the prospect.
Mr B prepared everything we needed to take with us – two plates, knives, forks and spoons, wine glasses carefully wrapped up in tea-towels, bottle of Pinot Grigio, can of Coca Cola, and several
kitchen towels to act as napkins but also to wipe up any accidental spills. I know what you are thinking – you can’t remember any of this apparatus appearing on the TV programme, Blankety Blank. Ah, but you see, the game (if game it is considered
to be) was to be preceded by a cottage pie supper, painstakingly prepared by the Bowls Club’s Social Secretary and a few Little Helpers. It was, indeed, the thought of all the work which had gone into the preparation of our supper, not to mention our
entertainment, that made me inject a little more excitement into my voice: “It’ll be a bit of fun!” I said, in my most jolly voice. Mr B responded by saying that he had “a bad feeling” about it. He telephoned our friends, Bob
and Val, who said they wouldn’t be going. At this news, Mr B sunk into further gloom as he had been banking on sitting next to Bob who would have enlivened the proceedings by coming out with the most outrageous comments, jokes and asides throughout the
Do any of you remember watching Blankety Blank on TV? One of the members of our Nomination Whist Group tells me that there is a new programme on TV at
the moment which is very similar in its format, a kind of modern-day equivalent. As she couldn’t remember what the new programme was called, when it was broadcast, or on which channel, this was of only moderate help.
As we drove to the Bowls Club I reminded Mr B that we went to a previous Blankety Blank evening about a year ago. “That’s what I’m worried about,” he muttered.
When we arrived, we sat at a table in the middle of the room. This was a ploy on Mr B’s part, assuming that we would have a chance to assess the state of play before it was
our table’s turn to contribute. This was a serious misjudgement on his part, and one which could have been avoided had he only bothered to look at the wooden pencil and notebook holder right there in the middle of our table, bearing the number 1.
We bought some raffle tickets (“There’s always the raffle,” said Mr B, sounding ever so much like youngest grand-daughter, Eleanor the Hopeful), poured ourselves a glass of wine and waited for everyone to arrive. Yes, we were early. We are
always early. Even when Mr B has a bad feeling about something, he will still want to turn up early, as if wanting to wring the very last vestiges of awfulness out of whatever it is.
The idea of Blankety
Blank, as played by the Bowls Club rather than the TV version, is that one person from each table in turn has to open an envelope containing three sentences in which a word or words have been left out – blankety blanks – and fill in the missing
words. Each table, including the contestant's own table, then has to come up with its own idea of what the missing words might be – bearing in mind the person supplying the answers.
So, for example, when it was my turn to be the contestant, one of the sentences in my envelope was “Love Blank”. What would you have put, I wonder? My offering was “Love Actually.” Some of the
other tables guessed correctly but not my own table. Mr B said it was a silly answer, almost as bad as my answer to statement one which, if you are interested, was “fish and chip shops.” Mr B said I should have answered “garages.” I
bet you are all dying to know exactly what the statement was but unfortunately I can’t remember except that it was something about oil. The one good thing about being the contestant was that the organisers allowed us to help ourselves to a
delicious mini Easter egg. I am, as Mr B would surely say, Always Thinking About My Stomach.
Our table came second. By just one point, too. We didn’t
even get a Blankety Blank cheque book and pen for our efforts. But then, as Captain, Our Captain explained: “This is a game where winning is less important than taking part - in other words, there are no prizes.” This was some small consolation
to Mr B who would have been far more upset if we had missed out on a bottle of wine and a packet of jelly babies.
And, no, Eleanor – we didn’t win
the raffle either...