Heather's Monthly Articles

Pub Quizzes, at home

May 2020

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And the answer is...

Pubs and quizzes. Two of my favorite things. I just never thought I’d get to enjoy both, while sitting on my couch staring at my family across the Atlantic on my laptop.

Like so many, I’ve spent the last couple of months holed up at home. That is, of course, if we actually had an April this year. One minute it was St. Paddy’s Day and then suddenly my calendar reminded me it was May. Must have pricked my finger on a spindle. Regardless, every Saturday for the last however many weeks, I’ve been enjoying a home made Pub Quiz, via Zoom, with family in the U.K. And while we might be squished into little boxes on a screen, instead of squished around tiny circular wooden pub tables, it’s been every bit as enjoyable.

Pub quizzes are usually held to bring the punters into the pubs when business might usually be slow. Traditionally Sundays through Thursdays. They’re also used as fundraisers for charitable organizations. Although there was nothing charitable about the questions posed by my daughter’s partner the other week. Those were definitely geared towards the millennial generation, which was not ok with this boomer. Seeing as said partner is the one with the Zoom account though, I can’t very well bar the landlord from his own pub. But a boomer never forgets. Revenge will be sweet and it will probably arrive in the form of a round on the history of 17th century Flemish economists.

Traditional pub quizzes are presided over by a “Quizmaster” who comes up with rounds of questions for teams to answer. For the purpose of our parlor room pub quizzes though, each team comes up with a category of questions equating to ten points. That’s not necessarily ten questions, as some questions might have bonus points.

The categories of questions are all important to the success of the quiz. They can’t, for instance, be so narrow that only the quizzer would know the answers – for instance, what’s the real name of the musical artist Flume and the titles of his albums and how many awards he’s received, etc., might prove that the quizzer is hipper than most, but it won’t win him any popularity points from his bemused co-contestants.

The questions also can’t be so easy that the competitive element of the quiz gets lost. And gearing your questions to a specific member of a team whom you worry will embarrass you with a zero score unless you throw them a few questions that you know only they can answer, is also a no, no. (Mummy’s smarter than you think, dear daughter of mine. But the Partridge Family questions did bring back fond memories.)

Once armed with your chosen category and questions, pour yourself a drink, pop on your device and your ready to pub quiz virtual style. And in case you were wondering - Harley Streten has released four albums, fourteen singles and won four Australian Grammys. He’s also known as Flume.

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