It was three and a half hours of exacting engagement. An evening the sextet of participants will never forget….. Well, until midday today anyhow. Via the conduit of a Zoom video session, the protagonists gave their all (which wasn’t much, admittedly) to prevail as quiz king, along with trying to tap the obscenely rich Tony for a few quid until payday.

As usual it was a mixed bag of topics that lay upon this clambake’s smorgasbord of entertainment. Amongst them rounds containing enquiries relating to Italy, Shrewsbury, 1970’s TV show The Banana Splits, and my perennial absurd ‘True or False’ round.

Also incorporated in the evening’s festivities, a round written in 1985 by Tim in an old Heathfield Senior High School exercise book. A notorious hoarder, the Gateshead lad finding the 35 year old questions in his loft under a 1982 Hustler magazine and what he believes was once a piece of toast.

As you’d expect from a man as capable as Tim, the three decade and five year catechisms, interspersed into the jotters pages with ‘O’ level English homework, stood the test of time well. Although, the spangles and frozen Findus Crispy Pancake enquiries tested the powers of recall somewhat.

Scott’s Italy influenced round was amongst the most challenging of the evening. A university professor, who lectures on Punctuality & Pasta Recipes, the Northamptonshire based don likes to challenge his audience with thought provoking queries. Aiming to educate, in addition to seeking a person’s current knowledge landscape.

Running his section of the evening with old school zero tolerance, during Scott’s round, laughter, conferring and eating marmite flavoured humus are frowned upon. Other flavours of humus are available and tolerated.

An accomplished musician, Scott’s instrumental wherewithal has evolved significantly, since his boyhood in 1970’s Gateshead. An era when, on introduction to the guitar, he initially attempted to attain a tune by blowing into it.

Toddy, or Mick, as people who call him Mick know him, unusually didn’t perform a series questions to contribute to the esprit of the evening.. An amiable lad, Michael drives taxis for a living. In fact, I’d go as far as suggesting Toddy is probably the nicest taxi driver I’ve ever met. Sadly for him, though, he better at acquiring points on his driving licence than during quiz rounds.

Jeff, the brains of our collective quizzers, ordinarily prevails in these contests. Bearing the intellectual capacity of a member of TV’s Eggheads quiz champions, you can actually hear Patter’s (as no one calls him) brain clunking into action when he’s asked a question…… Either that, or his central heating system has an airlock.

Tony turned up late to last nights clambake. Apparently, yesterday’s final guided tour of his vastly stacked wallet had overrun. A lover of film noir, cafe noir and humour noir, it’s fair to say he loves all things dark….. An accusation backed by the fact he never has a flaming light on; consequently we can barely see his face during these Zoom contests….. Although, in his defence, I’d guess he didn’t get that rich from utilising electricity unnecessarily.

Anyhow, to close, I attach below the intentionally absurd catechisms which, at some juncture of the evening, escaped my ever capricious mind:-

  1. True or False – Hamlet was lying when he said he knew Yorick well? – True …. They’d never met.
  2. True or False – Late actor Edward G Robinson’s middle name was Greenhouse? – False
  3. True or False – When Noah built his ark, God was particularly scathed about his shoddy dovetail joints and lacklustre tongue and groove workmanship? – True
  4. True or False – No one in the UK has a f*****g clue what the current lockdown restrictions are? – True
  5. True or False – For superstitious reasons, Amish communities in Pennsylvanian will only use toilet roll manufactured in the Netherlands – False
  6. True or False – The disparaging expression “Not fit to wipe my arse!” was originally coined in Pennsylvanian Amish communities – False
  7. True or False – Actress Dame Helen Mirren has never lost a game of ‘Paper, Scissors & Stone’ – True
  8. True or False – As a boy in Germany, Albert Einstein was flabbergasted to find a stone he’d rolled downhill did actually gather moss! – False
  9. True or False – In Ancient Rome they used spaghetti as laces for their sandals? – True
  10. True or False – When the now defunct aircraft Concorde hit speeds of Mach II passenger voices mysteriously changed to pan pipe music – False