Do you know the way to San Jose?

Countdown to happiness continues… three days away from the yUK and my two babies… way-hey!!

Last night was quiz night in the pub around the corner, ‘Talking to a Stranger’. It does it more than a slight disservice to call it a pub; it’s really more like a very spacious open plan house/garden with a very well-stocked bar in the corner. Derek and Wendy, the hosts, are a gregarious Australian couple who behave as if all their customers were friends who’ve just popped round for a drink and a chat, which, once you’ve been there a couple of times, you really feel to be the case. It’s almost tempting to ask if you can just sleep on the couch as the night wears on and the beer takes hold…

Mr R and I arrived in plenty of time, and then proceeded to spend a great deal of the time we had saved in discussion over the team name. As we were two, he was quite happy with my cringe-inducing suggestion that we go under the moniker of ‘Duo know the way to San José’. The quizmaster was not so enamoured, and promptly shortened it to ‘Duo’. The first of the evenings many mind games had commenced…

I get annoyed with myself for taking these pub quizzes too seriously, but there must be something (more prevalent in the male psyche, judging by the gender balance of teams) which lends a certain type of person to be drawn to participate in these peculiar rituals. I have christened it the ‘know-all syndrome’. I suffer from this badly. Just ask my wife. I can be insufferable in the amount of meaningless trivia I can ingest and spew forth at will, whilst conversely being completely unable to remember the more important things in life or retrieve them from their resting place in my grey matter.

What is the purpose of a pub quiz? Is it a harmless bit of fun? A night out with your mates, a few beers and a good laugh? No, no, no… a pub quiz gives the opportunity for a group of ‘know-alls’ to get together and prove their ultimate superiority over those who choose not to ‘know-all’, or rather to know that which is actually important in life. This is of course tempered by the ‘oh really – I thought (insert answer here) was the answer?’ response to the questions that one gets wrong. That’s wrong. You know, as in not right. Yes, it’s the ‘Denial of know nothingness’ syndrome, which of course the majority of ‘know-alls’ will also strongly deny that they suffer from. So really, the pub quiz is (for those who take it seriously) either a nerve shredding deconstruction of your psyche (if you are getting answers wrong) or a smugly self satisfying demonstration of your neural superiority over the other mere mortals privileged to share the air that you breathe (if you’re winning).

A good friend of mine was inclined to dismiss blogging as mostly cod philosophical musings, and in the case of this blog I say ‘hands up, Michael, you’re right.’ Who cares what I think about pub quizzes, and why should I seek to analyse, abstract or demean the enjoyment that many get from participating in them, myself included? Why indeed. So, the subject is closed.

By the way, we came second.

…and we were robbed.

…and did you know that there are 1,792 steps leading to the top of the Eiffel Tower?

I do now, and I will store that information until I need to use it again…

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