‘Tis the time of Christmas parties - and with them, the Christmas Quiz where we all struggle to remember the names of Father Christmas’s reindeer and that of the leader of Plaid Cymru. “Could I phone
a friend?” I asked, mindful of all my Welsh family and friends. No, was the answer from our Quiz Master Extraordinaire. Mr B asked if we could have half a point for answering “a Welshman”? No prizes for guessing the response to that query.
Over the last week I have participated in two Christmas quizzes at two Festive Occasions and I didn’t fare particularly well in either. This was a source of some personal
chagrin as I pride myself on being pretty good at quizzes (though I say so myself, as shouldn’t...) The first of the two Occasions was the Worthing U3A Christmas party where members of our Singing for Pleasure choir were singing for our supper. I shall
refer to this as Party One. The second was the “Bit of a Do” at our weekly Sporting Memories meeting which I shall call Party Two, even though it wasn’t exactly a party, more (as I said) a bit of a “do”.
Both competitions started with a Picture Quiz. These are my least favourite rounds as I am spectacularly bad at recognising people’s faces, particularly when they are disguised
as Father Christmas as was the case in Party One. Fortunately one member of our team of four was quick to identify the bewhiskered faces in question. Unfortunately he wasn’t always correct. At Party Two, the nine photographs were much easier to identify
and every team was awarded a score of ten out of ten. We even scored an extra point by guessing that Olivia Newton-John was the second oldest of the nine, behind Julie Andrews. You are thinking, I know, that this means we made a Good Start but, sad to say,
it only served to lull us into a false sense of security. The twenty General Knowledge and twenty sporting questions which followed were diabolically difficult and our team scored only seven out of ten in each round - making a grand total of 24 / 50. Which
doesn’t sound too bad until you remember that the picture round accounted for ten points of our Not So Very Grand Total.
At Party One, all the questions
were Christmas-related and, if I had had any sense, I would have spent a useful hour or two beforehand cramming up on the answers to potential questions. I was, however, much occupied putting together a PowerPoint presentation of the words to the songs and
carols that our choir would be singing so that our audience could, if they so wished, sing along. It’s a while since I prepared a PowerPoint presentation and I was a little fearful about actually getting my carefully prepared slides from my laptop, onto
the large screen, via the U3A projector. I took my own advice and took everything one step at a time, refusing to allow myself to panic when the cables supplied were incompatible with my laptop. You will be proud to hear that I stayed at it, even though I
could have helped myself to the free glass of wine which came with my party invitation. I reasoned that even a small rush of alcohol to the brain would be unlikely to solve my Cable Catastrophe.
It all worked out in the end. I discovered some different cables at the very bottom of the projector case. We sang our little hearts out and our audience was able to join in by following the words on the big screen. At the
end of our 17 minutes 46.2 seconds of local fame, I retired with my fellow singers to the tables at the back of the hall, sipped at the wine some kind person had fetched for me while I was searching for compatible cables and studied the photo quiz - suddenly
aware that they all just looked like Santa to me...
Party 2 was notable for Mr B’s Moment of Fame when he correctly answered the question “Which team
was Jensen Button driving for when he won the World Motor Racing Championship?” Nobody else knew the correct answer. I was extremely proud of him. It almost made up for our deplorable score. Though only almost.
Next year before going into any social occasion where there is likely to be a quiz, I will be better prepared. At the very least I will know the names of all Father Christmas’s reindeer and will remember that they were
actually all female on account of having antlers.
Could someone please just remind me next year...?
PS Jensen Button was driving for Braun. Apparently. As for the reindeer, well I’ll check that with them when they fly past in nine days time...