Wednesday, 8 July 2009

After Hours at Hampton Court

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


Louise said...

I am sure the masses are very appreciative of your appearance at Hampton Court. Certainly love the guest blog; laugh out loud funny, but wondered about the reference to Perry Mason's seccy and a classical education? I must have been asleep during that class.

Rothschild Orchid said...

Yeah! Little less of the unappreciative please :oP

I thought you looked very fetching (as always) in your lovely hat! But how come you didn't get your own personal lackey to run around after you carring your clothes for you like Rachel de Thame did?

RO xx

emmat said...

Ha ha last time I did a pub quiz my friend Steve said "Ah, fourth; fourth place is the polite person's first."

Fat Rascal said...

I confess - I googled. I won't say anything though as I cheated.

Were there any gardening questions? Or ones on the Tudors as you must have been swatting up on them.

Anonymous said...

i know the answer but can't remember
It was something like Delia
When all is revealed i shall add it to our list
Minnie Ripperton
Mr Jinks
Pat Metheny
Plumbers' Arms

Ms B said...

I am deeply fascinated by what a 'swift' dinner entails when accompanied by the ubiquitous Joe!

Hah, & the wv is 'gastri'

Y.A.N. said...

Della Street

Now I shall worry about myself. When I can't remember what I went upstairs for, or why I am staring into the fridge, why can I remember that?

Martyn Cox said...

If I'm around next Hampton I'll join you. Specialist subjects include 70s ice lollies, the works of Popol Vuh and Rushden and Diamond Football Club (the football league years).

VP said...

A good education, plus years of reading Look & learn mean my head's so full of trivia, there's nothing sensible or useful in there at all. Except for being in a quiz team of course.

I requested The First Cut is the Deepest when the hospital radio guy came round to see me after I had my appendectomy. For some reason he didn't find it as funny as I did.

Unknown said...

I do miss the days of the Uni pub quiz! We were so good!!

I'm usually the nominated expert on science and nature along with general knowldege. Food and Drink along with music is also a relatively good one for me.

Sign me up for the next one James!

Ryan (Ryan's Garden)

Anonymous said...

I was nearly right.
Shame that nearly right means wrong

YAN said...

You'd have got there in the end, Anonjan, you were looking in the next door cubby hole.

Now, as it seems that we are almost working from the same filing cabinet, can you help me with where I put my Filofax???

Anonymous said...

Well, my Mum used to say she thought she might have that disease beginning with A, but she could never remember what the name was.
I reassured her a zillion times that she hadn't got it until she found she had put her purse in the fridge.
Check the fridge.
Oh, and when you can't remember what you went upstairs for, don't waste the effort - bring a load of washing down
Anonjan (all mental health issues addressed sensitively)
Ps I find stuff in the compost bin if that helps at all?

YAN said...

Thank you for your wise and sensitive advice! I did, in fact, check the fridge - I once found I'd put my cup of coffee in there, but in the end the Filofax turned up under a pile of newspapers that had been put down in the kitchen en route to the re-cyling box. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

My pleasure
I pronounce you as normal as the rest of us.
I found a spork in my compost this year when I turned it out
And a pair of scissors

VP said...

I'm always finding teaspoons in mine