Our rocky relationship with school quizzes began many years ago with the following question:
“What is the alternative emergency number to 999?”
On that night all heads turned to my husband Dougie who, being a doctor, was obviously The Man Who Will Know This. He announced with great conviction….
No idea where he got this from but we all bowed to his superior knowledge. He was wrong. The actual number was “112”.
Dougie was ribbed mercilessly for years after. Friends would pretend to put 888 into their mobiles as Dougie’s special number and he was teased about the fact that no wonder you can’t get hold of GPs if they have private emergency numbers unknown to anyone else. Coincidently 888 is the number for online poker.
We have been successful on a few occasions, and runner up even more frequently. We have come home and consulted encyclopaedias because we didn’t believe the stupid answers that were given. We were robbed with the question:
“Which country has the longest coastline?”
Confident in our knowledge that it would be Canada because of all the tiny inlets, we were astounded at the answer “Russia” and were proved right when we got home and Dougie looked it up. He still mentions it today…
Since our son has moved up to the local Grammar School, the quiz nights there allow students to participate. Rory is showing all the signs of being just like his father. This was particularly true this weekend when he was desperate to beat the PE teachers who seem to win most years (not always, we have had the exquisite pleasure twice now). One round was about the solar system and I sat back in the glow of parental pride as he took over the answer sheet and scribbled away with authority. Then we came to the question:
“What is the angle of the earth’s tilt?”
Rory wrote down 23.5 degrees but was questioned by myself and another adult who thought that seemed quite high. This made the poor lad waver so he reduced it to 17.5, whereupon someone laughed and said, “Isn’t that VAT?” so he eventually wrote down 8.5. You can guess already that the answer proved to be 23.5 after all and Rory’s other answers were all correct. He was, quite rightly, livid. I can’t tell you how much I apologised.
Mind you, he said there were 47 countries in Africa and there were 53. Bloody useless child!
We came third. The PE teachers won again, not helped by a sports round in which one question on its own had 13 points available for naming the European football teams in this year’s World Cup, plus 5 bonus points if you got them all correct. A gift for them. Not that we’re bitter of course….