Four general knowledge laden hours passed. An inquisitional tarry undertaken by six northern Englishmen; bonded by decades of acquaintance, fondness of the creative and incriminating photos. Despite quizzical feuding for 240 minutes, or so, the contest concluding with no identifiable winner of any of the segmental battles, or the ultimate war.

A disorganised hotchpotch of questions and rounds, where nearly every inquiry or answer had to be repeated. Their inaugural airs drowned out by loud, oft humorous interjections from the chaps occupying six tiled video screens. A chaotic format, indeed, but it turned out as four hours of utterly splendid entertainment.

This snafu of questions and unfettered behaviour unearthing the massed laughter which’s been concealed for far too long during COVID-19 confinement. The pathogen depriving us of free movement but, as long as we keep it at arms length, not an ingrained sense of humour or friendship bonds.

It’s fair to say, the only thing I can proffer with certainty about the groups ability to answer the majority of questions posed was that we couldn’t. The rounds of collated catechisms, which oddly all concluded on an odd number, residing on a plateau of difficulty which’d manifest brow perspiration from even the most erudite Egghead.

In fact, so offbeat were some of the queries, the intentionally absurd ‘True or False’ round I offered up (of which I wrote in The Glove From Above) was potentially the least head scratching of these dubious inquisitional exchanges.

As alluded to, the sextet of participants didn’t cover ourselves in general knowledge glory. However, it mattered not. Following this wonderfully haphazard and jocular occasion this morning’s reveille will be greeted with the taste of stale beer and a smile, as opposed to the staleness of existence which’s hung like a millstone since coronavirus.

At the quizzes conclusion, Mick, sensing the uncertainty unpinning the episode, proudly boasted he was the victor.  However, as the affable Gateshead lad reads his newspaper upside down, the remaining five were reluctant to countenance such unlikely profferings.

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My brother Ian joined us as one of the lucky occupants of the messenger video boxes. The tiled format of the e-meeting appeared to initially distract our kid, who kept looking upwards as though his rivals actually were above him. This idiosyncratic display giving the view my younger sibling was acting out some half-assed Brady Bunch title sequence.

Even more baffling was, despite having a phone conversation with our Ian a couple of hours before quiz lift off, which concluded with us both positing “See you later!“, our kid didn’t even register I was taking part in proceedings until three questions in. God only knows who he thought the enigmatic chap was in the top right screen.

Knowing most of the lads partaking in general knowledge anarchy for many decades, Ian’s and my mum entered the kitchen to say hello to the assembled party. As I was in the dining room, I’m unsure why; the dozy mare.

As she greeted her sons quiz rivals, unnerved by technology, the septuagenerian kept a safe distance from the camera. Maggie posited her ‘catch all’ phrase of ‘It’s marvellous what they can do these days!” when faced by technological developments, before retiring back in the living room with her Maltesers Easter egg.

After mum had left the room, our kid asked me “Did mum have a Maltesers Easter egg in her hands there, Gaz?

It was the only bloody question I answered correctly all night.