surinenglish

Facts machine

In the twenty-one years that I've been presenting pub quizzes in Malaga, I've picked up a few interesting facts. Only last night we learned that an adult male horse typically has forty teeth. Knowing this gem may not mean that you're suddenly invited to a swathe of parties (unless you count equine dental conferences, of course), but it does mean that you can usually come up with some distracting snippet of information if people start talking about house prices or something equally dull.

"Is yours a fixed rate or variable mortgage, Dave?"

"Oh, fixed rate all the way, Clive. What with Brexit and ev.."

You're compelled to interject at this point.

"Anyway! Anyone know what colour Yogi Bear's tie is? Clive?"

"Er, blue, I think. Dave?"

"Yeah, light blue. I remember watching it with my dad who extolled the virtues of fixed rates. That's why..."

"Wrong! Green! And to the nearest day, how long did it take Armstrong to get to the moon from take-off in Apollo... er, and while we're at it what number Apollo was it? And another question - whose round is it? And another - can't you belt up about housing costs, for heaven's sake?"

I find that this passive aggressive scattergun approach works perfectly. Hammer them with three or four zingers on the volley and they'll soon lose interest in, er, well, interest rates.

The down side to presenting quizzes is that lots of people genuinely think you know loads of stuff. It's true that a few bits and bobs stick to the old grey matter from time to time but when I present a quiz I'm not delving into a rich seam of general knowledge stored away in my head, rather reading it all from a bit of paper. Many's the time someone's approached me in a bar or even on the street with a query.

"Excuse me, you do the pub quizzes don't you?"

"Er, hi - yes. Yes I do but..."

"Well then, will you please tell my halfwit of a husband that Audrey Hepburn was over sixty when she died? Daft oaf, thinks she was eternally young."

"Well, I don't kn..."

"See! See! The quiz man agrees with me. Told you. Sixty odd. You didn't believe me, you silly old fool. That'll teach you. Thanks, quiz man."

"Er, that's ok - bye."

Oh, four and eleven by the way. Four days getting to the moon on Apollo 11 - you might need those facts next time you're at a boring dinner party.