Wrongipedia and the Sound of Summer

I’ve discovered there’s a lot of pressure you put on yourself when you write a blog. You need to have that (in my case) weekly spark of creativity to produce something entertaining but within a specified  and self-imposed format – even when you have a regular readership that struggles to reach double figures. Advertising the blog, so as to increase that readership, is even worse. The use of social media seems to produce results at a glacial pace, so much so that I’ve even considered setting up a page on Wrongipedia.

However, before indulging myself in my weekly rant – the results of this weeks quiz:

Beer – Woodfordes Wherry and Butty Bach … Quiz – 3rd

I’m glad I tried the Wherry as I didn’t much like it (two pints – just to make sure) and this has saved me both time and money on buying the home brew kit. I’ll stick to the Festival kits for now.

Third place was again due to being undone by the gamble questions (see previous blog) as well as being distracted by the England v Poland match. Winners this week were Trivia Newton John, an all female team including one Pole – probably not the best week to join your mates in the pub! However, she did spend 5 minutes arguing with The Governess* over one of the answers – doubly fruitless as (a) the Governess is always right, especially when she’s wrong, and (b) TNJ got the question right anyway!! However, it did allow Amber Nectar* the opportunity for their weekly complaining session, this time about being kept waiting to hand over their score for the round AND because 1981 was not an Olympic year (which no-one actually said it was). It also shows up The Governesses prejudice against Wrongipedia.

Wikipedia is a much maligned site. Having spent almost two years now researching and writing quiz questions, verifying facts from multiple sources, I’ve found that Wikipedia is no worse than any other source, and a lot better than some. Most of the key pages are now locked down, so they can’t be altered, and display a gold star to show that the data is accurate. Unfortunately, this also means that gone are the days when TMS could hijack the Wiki page for Caroline of Brunswick on the basis that she looks like Marcus Trescothick – it took Wikipedia almost half an hour to cotton onto that one and shut the page down for repairs.

For the uneducated and uninitiated, I feel I need to explain TMS.

TMS, or Test Match Special to give it its full and correct name, is (according to Wikipedia) “a United Kingdom radio programme providing live commentary on cricket matches”. While, on one level, this is exactly what it is, on another level this quote is the perfect example of underestimation. Even the greatest fans of cricket will admit that, in a match that lasts from 11am to 6pm over five consecutive days, subject to the vagaries of the British weather, sometimes the game can be a little bit boring. Enter TMS – a group of middle aged men (and those are just the younger ones) who only refer to each other (and everyone else) by a nickname, and spend this time arsing about on the radio.

To let you know what I mean, I’ve included a quote about one on the commentators who’s been doing the job since the last time England played Poland in a must-win World Cup qualifying match at Wembley – “his cricket commentary is characterised by his plummy voice and his idiosyncratic mention of superfluous details regarding the scene, including things like construction cranes or numbers of pink shirts in the crowd; as well as pigeons, buses, aeroplanes and helicopters that happen to be passing by. After the tea and lunch breaks he is also known to talk for extended periods of time about the food on offer, in particular cakes, with occasional interruptions to describe the situation on the field”. For those of you who have ever listened to TMS, you’ll immediately know what dear old thing I’m talking about.

Of course, the ‘proper’ way to watch cricket is with the sound turned down on the TV and TMS turned up in the background. To get your TMS nickname you need to take the first syllable of your surname and add ‘-ers’ e.g. Blowers, Tuffers, or ‘-ie’ e.g. Vaughanie, Goochie. If this doesn’t work – you get to make up your own e.g. CMJ, Boycs, The Bearded Wonder. It’s almost like being in a pub quiz team.

TMS has entertained the listening public since 1957 and, from the opening bars of Booker T and the MGs Soul Limbo to the shipping forecast, it truly is the sound of summer. This clip from 1991 tells you everything you need to know.

Anyway, now I’ve finished waxing lyrical about those halcyon days, the moral of this story is, when you need to research or check something Wrongipedia is a good place to start and usually finish. Please take note both The Governess (the ribbon of the Victoria Cross is crimson – it is not, and never has been, purple) and Mark ‘The Beast’ Labbett (the conflict between the British Empire and the Boer Republics that took place between 1899 and 1902 was the Second Boer War – not the Boer War, that took place between 1880 and 1881) – check Wrongipedia and you’ll find it’s Rightipedia.

Footnote: On the 600+ men who’ve played international cricket for England, Marcus Trescothick is the only one whose surname contains all the letters of the word cricket. Blowers father went to school with Ian Fleming and, when Fleming needed a name for his arch villain, he used that of his old school mate. Click here for classic Blowers – 20 minutes 40 seconds in. The ribbon of the Victoria Cross was also Navy Blue for awards to Naval personnel (including RNAS) prior to the formation of the RAF on 1 April 1918.

*see case list

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