How thick I am

All the best things come free in the Sunday Papers.


Actually, that isn't true. Peace, Love and Paned Gymraig aren't provided with my weekly foray into what is going on in the world beyond my own head but for things which will cause you to waste the hours of your day that would otherwise have been spent constructively, the Sunday Paper's freebies are quite good.

A couple of weeks ago I got a free copy of Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition for my PC. I'm assured it will give me hours of first-rate fun.


As a child, we only had three board games in my family. Monopoly, which everybody refused to play because I always won (which, as Strider will point out, mysteriously coincided with my always being the banker); Scrabble, which I refused to play because I couldn't spell so tended to loose quite badly (until I discovered how to play it mathematically that is); and Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition.


We sucked at Trivial Pursuit. Really. We did. Our average score was about two segments. The most I ever got was four. We had to start implementing rules whereby you lost a cheese if you called it a pie just to try and even to scores up a little. Granted we were only 7 and 10 years old and have a father who I refer to as He Who Knows Everything for a reason but even so… it hurt.


So, now that I am 20 years older and have had the benefit of a University education, I should be rather good at it, right? Wrong. I still suck.

The categories for the Genus edition run as follows: Geography, Entertainment, History, Arts and Literature, Science and Nature, and Sport and Leisure. From these I assumed I would be rather good at Arts and Literature, History and Geography based on the fact that I have a degree in one of them, know a lot about the second and was usually good at the third one when I was small.


Being a computer program, it helpfully compiles statistics. My rating after three games is 48%. "Better than guessing". My best subject is Entertainment with 62%. It would have been higher but I've never seen Columbo. My second best is Science and Nature with 58%.


Now, if there is one person who should never be let near anything Scientific, it is me. If you take me to a lab, my first question will be "Which button do I press to breed the unholy super creature then?" I also lack the ability to grow exciting facial hair. How did I get all those questions right?


My worst subject is Geography with 32%. That is slightly worse than if I had guessed. I blame politics. I used to be able to draw a map of Europe perfectly. Then they started moving things around. I have to watch the Eurovision song contest just to keep up with which country is which and where their allegiances lie.


Who knows who observed "Two people kissing always look like fish"? Apparently it was Andy Warhol. I didn't know that. I guessed Salvador Dali (I was fairly confident it wasn't Alfred Hitchcock). Did you know that Dr Green invented Suntan lotion in 1944 for stranded pilots? Or that Iraq's most used missile in the 1991 gulf war was the Scud? (That one I did get right but only because the other options were Pershing and Polaris. Since when was 1991 history anyway?) Or that the Turkish town of Magnesia gave its name to two elements? (I did!) I could go on and on. Maybe I will.


Still. At least all these stupid questions will turn me into a pub quiz genius. If only it was something more useful.

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