Squeal like a pig

March 7, 2011 in Quizzes

My near-addiction to taking part in quizzes is, mostly speaking, a good thing.  Well, a harmless thing anyway.  Alas, this wasn’t the case on Friday night when I had a most annoying evening’s quizzing.

A listing in a local paper, which caught Ger’s eye last week, took us to the small Mayo village of Ballyglass, and into a pub with a brilliant name: The Squealing Pig.  The omens weren’t good for yours truly when I was struck down with an ear ache just as we set off for the quiz venue.   Things got so bad for me during the interminable wait for the quiz to start that, on an other night, I’d have simply wished my team the best of luck and drove home. Typically, this had to occur on the one night we figured car pooling was a good idea so, not wanting to be the cause of the entire team’s departure, I stuck it out.

Blessings be upon her, my team-mate Marie used some girl-girl sympathy to acquire a couple of paracetamol tablets from one of the ladies behind the bar.  After a few minutes the tabs kicked in and, for the second half of the quiz, I was a new man.

However, this only made the quiz slightly more enjoyable.  Why so? Well, here are a few of the reasons:

  • The quiz was a victim of its own success.  Ballyglass isn’t a big place but, by the time the quiz eventually kicked off, there were 30 tables packed into the back room of The Squealing Pig.  Trust me, it isn’t a very big room.  We ended up sitting beside the sandwiches, all laid out for the interval.  I now know that I never want to sit that close to egg sandwiches.
  • The organisers had hired an amp with way too much power. The volume this created, combined with the quizmaster, a gentleman in his 60s, having a voice which tended towards the higher end of the pitch scale, shot pain through my overly sensitive ear on regular occasions.  Such as when he said “Sshhhh!” about four words into every question.
  • The questions were, on the whole, very easy.  Except for question #2 of each round, which was the really hard one. Why question #2?
  • There were 118 questions.
  • Before it was over, the ubiquitous raffle took place.  I don’t mind that normally; we had our share of tickets laid out on our table.  However, it turned out that many of the tickets had been sold to customers of the front bar and, as luck would have it, several of these got pulled out of the hat.  Cue at least three occasions where no-one turned up to claim their prize and the quiz master (with the voice) proceeded to announce the number at least five times, each time sounding more and more like a cross between an auctioneer and Ferris Bueller’s economics teacher.
  • When it was all over, we headed out to our car to find that someone had blocked us in.  After a further five minutes of waiting, one of the ladies who had doled out the egg sandwiches at half-time came out and, slowly, moved her car.

I won’t be going back to Ballyglass any time soon.

Here are the questions we missed:

  1. What was the name of the world’s first test-tube baby?
  2. What was the name of the world’s first movie with sound?
  3. In the child’s nursery rhyme, who killed Cock Robin?
  4. Who is the president of the Labour Party?
  5. Which Mayo GAA club recently opened its new ground, Davitt Park?
  6. Which lady, who died in 2009, was known as the ‘Uncrowned queen of Castlebar’?
  7. What birthday did Eithne Kenny, the mother of Enda, celebrate last month?
  8. How many years has the Mayo Mental Health Association been in existence?
  9. Which Ballyglass native is the president of the Mayo Association in Dublin?
  10. Which Mayo town did RTÉ’s John Murray host a show from in the run up to the election?

Picture round #1, dingbats:

Picture round #2:

To sum up how little enjoyment I gained from my night in Ballyglass, consider this: we won the quiz.

I’ll say no more.

Update: answers here.

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