The Rules

This week has been a week of feedback and rules. Way back in the late 1990s I joined a start-up bank and was trained by a bloke called (REAL NAME ALERT!!) Geoff. Now, Geoff was a great believer in feedback, continually referring to it as the ‘breakfast of champions’. However, I’ve found that this advice differs from that given to me by Mr IT Botham over the intervening years. Given that my morning diet of 40g of feedback smothered with 125ml of cold skimmed milk has not yet resulted in my ability to score 149 not out and take 7 wickets for 109 against the Australians, maybe the time has come to listen to Sir Beefy of Somerset and switch to Shredded Wheat instead.

Geoff also believed in other HR Bollocks (technical term) such as the positive-negative-positve feedback combination, which I understand is known in non-HR professional circles as the “Shit Sandwich”. Nevertheless, before I move on, the results from this weeks quiz jury:

Beer: A large and varied selection including, but not limited to, Guinness, Spitfire, Hobgoblin, Greene King IPA and Doom Bar
Quiz: A second consecutive win, more about this later

On the quizzing front, I would like to correct an error in last week blog (The Beautiful Game). Parker* has pointed out that, although he did go to The Duck, he never went for Pete’s Thursday Night Music Quiz. Additionally, the then soon to be Mrs Parker needs to be upgraded from an occassional member, to a semi-regular member, of The Corner Crew.

One of the subjects I became very good at for Pete’s Quiz was UK No.1 singles (1952 – 1990), which came in very useful this week when The Governess* asked us to name 10 of the 14 UK No.1 singles that had spent 9 or more weeks topping the chart, up to 1995. While I didn’t remember Al Martino’s Here in my Heart or David Whitfield’s Cara Mia until too late, Slim Whitfield’s Rose Marie and Frankie Laine’s I Believe helped us nail the points and, subsequently, the win.

The feedback I received this week falls into two parts. In respect of The Blog, regular reader The Divine Mr M advised me that people read the blog because they want to hear what the writer actually has to say, a situation I find most perplexing. I also received generally positive feedback on my first attempt to host a quiz since 1993, the Fifty50 round and Penalty Shoot Out format finding particular favour with The Seven Year Bitch*, amongst others.

This served as a reminder that everything has a set of rules that need to be considered, if not adhered to, and that includes blogs and pub quizzes. I say everything, but it’s probably just almost everything. While pub quizzes definately have rules (clearly the first rule of pub quiz is you don’t talk about pub quiz), the Song of the Day Competition does not.

I share a bank of desks at work with three colleagues – T-Mo*, Penzance* and Stunni* – and every working day we submit our choices for the S.O.D. The only rule seems to be the winner is chosen by universal acclaim (as long as the universe consists of four middle managers in various states of overweightedness). Not actually having any rules, therefore makes it difficult to abide by / bend / break them. For example, this week Name of the Game and Gypsy Woman were winners, but Bean Bag was just scoffed at by the other three. This sadly means that Jilted John has as much chance of winning as England have of beating Belgium in the semi-final match up I was so hopeful of in last weeks blog!

The only rule of S.O.D. seems to be that Penzance’s protected status (she’s Cornish you know) does not guarantee her any special treatment, much to her chagrin. However, it does mean that the song that was written especially about Penzance will sadly never win.

Lucy would like me to make it clear that she refused to stick by the rules when she started out in her career. She has also spent the week practicing for the upcoming Pot Noodle eating championship at work (we really live the life!) in case T-Mo decides to drop out. Why I stick with that woman (Lucy, not T-Mo) is sometimes beyond me, as Shakespeare once said “the lady doth nag too much, methinks”.

Pot Noodle

This week also saw one of my semi-regular nights out with The Engineer*, The Mortgage Broker* and The Tax Man*. We were also joined by three brothers, who were friends of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (The Engineer and The Mortgage Broker’s older brother). In some kind of weird Brothers Grimm / National Sterotype Jokes of the 1970s mash-up the three brothers were an inventor, a DJ and a college lecturer.

The result of this was a long and detailed conversation about how the inventor could get his product (a device that allows you to use just the right amount of grip on a golf club to gain maximum distance without affecting accuracy) to the notice of the wider public, without the Faustian dilemma of having to sell your soul to The Devil (or Duncan Bannatine as he’s better known on Dragons Den). This lead to whole conversations about websites and it turns out that The Mortgage Broker has a website entirely devoted to rules – a new set of wargaming rules to be precise. As this fortuitously linked in with this weeks blog, I said I’d include a link – here it is.

To wrap up this week, while confirming the spelling of fortuitously in the dictionary I came across flotarium which turns out is a place where you can hire commercial flotation devices – who’d have known? Also the list of countries with readers of this blog has again grown this week, with the addition of Qatar. I can only assume that it was the head of their World Cup organising committee looking for tips – engineer the draw to ensure an England v Belgium semi-final is a great tip, it’s not as if you don’t have a history of bribery and corruption.

If you click on no other links this week, the Jilted John video is class, and will take less than three minutes of your life. I guarantee it will make you smile. It also reminded me of a long conversation I had with Penzance about IQ classifications, and what exactly is a moron. The answer can be found here.

Footnote: The full List: I Believe by Frankie Laine (18 weeks); (Everything I Do) I Do It For YouI by Bryan Adams (16 weeks); Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet (15 weeks); Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen (14 weeks); Rose Marie by Slim Whitfield (11 weeks); Cara Mia by David Whitfield; I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston (both 10 weeks); Here In My Heart by Al Martino; Oh Mein Papa by Eddie Calvert; Secret Love by Doris Day; Diana by Paul Anka; Mull of Kintyre by Wings; You’re The One That I Want by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John; and Two Tribes by Frankie Goes to Hollywood (all 9 weeks). Umbrella by Rihanna (10 weeks) and Crazy by Gnarls Barkley (9 weeks) are the only songs to join this list since 1994.
Shakespeare actually said “the lady doth protest too much, methinks” – technically he wrote it, not said it, in Hamlet in 1602. Finally, there was an Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman who were on a building site / in a broken down car in the desert / captured by cannibals etc. I’ll let you work out the rest yourselves.

*see Cast List
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One thought on “The Rules

  1. Pingback: The Good Life | Beer and Quizzes

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