Diary

Thousands of Tiny Perforations

11 September 2019 | Diary

To a pub quiz with our usual team but in a different pub. We’ve been wanting a change of scene–but not so big a change that would see us doing anything together other than answering general knowledge questions. That way madness lies.

Neil arrives a little flustered. He’s been trapped in a stairwell. He tells us how the emergency exits were all locked and how various alarm buttons did nothing. He was even shouting “Help!” through a tiny window. It’s a thrilling and hilarious tale that ends with our brave friend somehow escaping into a car park and climbing over a locked gate to the street.

If that had been me, it’s safe to say that my wife would now be going back and forth on whether Futura is a good font for a MISSING poster.

Tonight’s quiz is run by a softly-spoken Canadian and the questions are just right. A good quiz question is ideally a catalyst for conversation, more like a riddle to be chewed over together than just something a person will immediately know.

This said, we’re happy to advance a few places in the table when Samara correctly answers nine out of ten questions in a round about murder and death. Who have I married?

I remember that we have in fact quizzed in this pub before. It was about four years ago and we were asked “which product was invented by Richard Gatling?” We began to discuss whether, it being such an obvious answer, “the Gatling gun” could be a red herring and that something like “semi-automatic weapon” would be more strictly correct. Laura, however, was very insistent that Richard Gatling invented the teabag.

“What?”

“The teabag. Honestly. I know this.”

“Are you sure?”

“YES,” she’d said, “I. Am. Positive.”

She was so adamant that Richard Gatling had invented the teabag that we played this as our answer, leading to various jokes about thousands of tiny perforations.

Since then, of course, we’ve all had a Gatling Moment. Mine was to insist with religious fervour on a belief-based-on-nothing that a Scottish boy had once sold the world’s most expensive egg to the queen (rather than, more reasonably, a stamp). And Fergus once insisted with much thumping of the table and resisting all attempts by our negotiators to talk him down from his bell tower, that a tennis ball is bigger than than a baseball.



4 responses to “Thousands of Tiny Perforations”

  1. Laura says:

    I will never live that down. Please write it on my epitaph or my missing poster, whichever comes first.

    • Robert Wringham says:

      I’m never sure if people read the comments (though I hope they do), so I’ve lined up a “postbag” entry for (probably) tomorrow which can finish with a link to your stairwell thread.

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