Wednesday 16 September 2020

Question Time

Hello, dear readers!

Ask a silly question and you get a silly answer.

This is a truism I'm more than aware of, both in the asking and in the answering senses. In fact, it's not just silly questions that leave themselves open to being answered in kind, sometimes serious, fact-seeking, knowledge-hungry questions are treated to real humdingers of an answer, as any outtake video from Family Fortunes can attest.

Giving the wrong answer with conviction and certainty something yours truly is far from immune to as the host of the last quiz I attended can (and will) attest (both loudly and frequently). 

This week, however, the tables are turned. This week I'll be the one asking the questions.

The Voices, The Voices

That possibly sounded a little more sinister than I intended. In fact, as I wrote those words, the little voice that lives in my beleaguered brain decided to do a bad impression of Herr Flick of The Gestapo. This probably says something about me. Hopefully, just that I've recently seen an episode of Allo Allo, but potentially...? Well, who knows.

Anyhoo, the fact of the matter is that Friday of this week will see me and my ever-lovely wife, Tina, play virtual host to an online quiz. This is something which set up as a regular event by a collection of family and friends who all, by a massive coincidence, attend Tina's church.

We won the last quiz, but it's not a simple matter of 'winner stays on'. No, apparently I volunteered for my part in coming up with some questions. I say apparently because I'm not entirely sure how this volunteering came about.I'm assured I was in the room at the time, so I'm just going to take it as a lesson to not say yes to things when I have my headset on.

Like The Corners Of My Mind

In truth, having had my name put forward, the devising of said quiz is something I'm looking forward to (why yes, you may safely assume that with two days to go I've not written a single question down. How did you guess). There's a plethora of handy resources online which, when coupled with my ability to retain absolutely useless facts above and beyond my ability to remember birthdays, names, appointments, or what I ate for my tea two nights ago. I want to say Pasta Bolognese but in these uncertain times who can really say (not me!).

So, anyway, yes, where was I? Right, question setting. Now as I say I am, at the time of writing, yet to come up with any. This does not, however, mean I've not given it at least some thought. A theme has been devised for each of the two rounds I've been ill-advisedly left in charge of (I've thought better of making a round bible themed. I want to stay married after all), and now it's just a matter of thinking of 10-to-15 entertaining and quiz-worthy explorations of people's mental acuity.

Just Right

The questions can't be too easy, you see, because then everyone's a winner (baby, that's the truth), no-one gets the bragging rights, and everyone feels a deep and abiding sense of disappointment. 

They can't be too difficult either. If I turn into Jeremy Paxman and start asking about the atomic weight of an element no-one's ever heard of then we are again left wondering why we bothered getting dressed for this mess.

No, I feel in the matter of quizzes the Goldilocks rule should apply. There should be a mix of questions which are in the main get-able if not guessable with a couple of real stinkers thrown in to sort the wheat from the chaff. I also feel that it's going to be important, nay vital, to check, re-check, check again, and then, uh, check the prepared answers to my questions are precise, indisputable, and uncontroversial(ish). We don't want any repeats of the great Rankin Trivial Pursuits fiasco of several past family Christmases. To be fair, some of the blame for those may (may) land at my feet, but if you don't want to win then why are you playing the game, hmm?

Winner, Winner!

Hopefully, any such bad loser/winner syndrome can be avoided in what will be a socially-distanced affair between upstanding pillars of the community (plus two). It is also to be hoped that when the time comes, Powerpoint behaves and I've managed to actually put my part of the bargain together and come up with my apportioned rounds.

There are more questions than answers, right?

Until next time...

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