A Guest Blog from James Alexander-Sinclair
So there we were, Joe Swift and I: slightly damp and a bit knackered after a hard days prancing about for the entertainment of the unappreciative masses. We decided that a swift dinner in the pub next door to the hotel would be in order but little did we know that this simple desire would lead us into participating in a Pub Quiz.
Now, there may well be many of you (more worldly and dissolute than I) who spend your days loitering around public houses aching for the chance to name that tune but I have never participated in one of these things before. Once you get over the really annoying voice of the compere (who sounded like the worst sort of Hospital Radio Disc Jockey*) it was all rather entertaining. We failed miserably at the first hurdle which was choosing an amusing name for the team: we came up with the Hampton Court Jesters (my first suggestion was the Tossers but we thought that might give a bad impression) which is feeble. One team was called Crouching Woman, Hidden Cucumber which might be even less tasteful than our original idea.
One of the advantages of a (very expensive) Classical education is that a lot of strange facts tend to get lodged in the furthest crannies of the mind. For example that wind is measured by an anemometer, that half of Haiti looks like that, that the Bounty Mutineers ended up on the Pitcairn Islands or that Kelsey Grammar (playing the same character) won three Emmys for three different shows. We were, however, defeated by the name of Perry Mason's receptionist so a round of web based applause and a lavish helping of virtual free love for anybody who can give me the answer without Googling.
Joe, on the other hand, is really crap at quizzes and spent a long time on the maths problem coming up with the answer 466 instead of 17.
We could have won but instead chose not to draw attention to ourselves by coming a more modest fifth.
But at next year's Hampton Court we are coming back in force with a crack team of four boffins. The locals better look to their laurels.
* Does Hospital Radio still exist? I suppose it must. I remember listening while lying around after an appendectomy many years ago. There were a lot of cheerful requests for Mum in obstetrics or Grandad in Genito-Urinary. I also remember that quite a lot of comedy records were played for instance 'Jump Up and Down and Wave You Knickers in the Air' by St. Cecilia
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