Our Lady of Perpetual Controversy

July 17, 2012 in Quizzes

The Blessed Sinéad O’Connor?

Last Friday night, the same team who were in action the previous Tuesday turned up in Brickens, Co Mayo, for a quiz which turned into a most unintentionally entertaining evening.

For a start, the night was in aid of the local grotto.  Now, as quizzers, we’ve been around and seen a few things but this cause was a first for all of us.  Apparently, the local parish have just constructed a grotto in the grounds of their church.  This quiz was presumably to raise funds to repay the (surely not very large) costs of its construction.

The quiz was true to its principals, featuring several questions on the bible and one phrased thusly:

“Which lady has had more statues contructed in her honour that any other?”

We scored a point on that one, in spite of the fact that our answer, Mary, wasn’t technically the same as the one the quiz master called out: “The Blessed Virgin”!

Speaking of the quiz master, he struggled all night with the power of the microphone.  Most of the time you couldn’t hear him very clearly but at least you could figure out what he was saying.  On two occasions though, the microphone failed entirely and a substitute piece of equipment had to be found! To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, once was unfortunate, twice… you can fill in the rest yourself.

The quiz featured eight rounds of 10 questions and a picture round of 12.  When the final scores were announced we were surprised to find ourselves out of the places on 77 points, eight behind the winners.  This didn’t seem right to us but we weren’t sure, the poor sound quality during the night leading to a situation where at least four answers hadn’t been heard by anyone on our table.  Still, we thought we were somewhere in the mid-80s.

So, up I ventured, wondering if I could have a look at the score sheet.  I quickly added up our scores and found that we had actually scored 87 points.  The scorekeeper had simply failed to carry the ten somewhere.

Ah well.  They were very gracious about it when the error was confirmed and a game of musical chairs involving the various prizes, which had already been handed out, then ensued.

Now, this leads me on to a big point which I haven’t openly discussed on the blog before: prize money.  Last Tuesday night, we received the first prize of €100 plus four bottles of wine.  We discussed what we were going to do and then returned the money to the organisers. Why? Well, for one thing, the Irish Cancer Society is a very worthy cause.  Secondly, the quiz organisers had given us four bottles of wine so, even after we’d handed back the money, we had still ‘won’ something for, you know, winning the quiz.

On Friday night, after the prizes had eventually arrived at their rightful winners, we ended up with €80 cash.  We didn’t give it back.  Even when it was announced that the teams who’d come second and third had done so, we still didn’t.  If you analyse the previous paragraph, you’ll figure out why we made this decision.  Breda was the one who almost cracked but Ger assumed a husband’s privilege and quickly stuck her €20 note into his wallet. 🙂

At quiz after quiz, the pressure is always there to return your monetary winnings.  No matter what the cause and no matter how big or small the prize is.  No-one seems to care that the same cash prize may have featured prominently on the posters for the quiz and, on many occasions, may even have been sponsored by an outside company.

It needn’t be thus.  Last Autumn, Ger and I were on a team which won a quiz in Ballina.  First prize that night was four €25 vouchers for a local restaurant.  The organiser of the quiz came over to congratulate us and, while there, told us how she’d deliberately picked such a prize so that the winning team could actually bring a prize home, without any guilt attached.

Friday night’s raffle featured some great prizes, including €100 worth of home heating oil.  No-one ever tries to compel the winners of raffle prizes to return them to the fund.  Yet, the raffle winners haven’t done anything to earn that prize, except buying a ticket.

Ok, that’s my spiel over.  We only missed four questions so I don’t think it’s worth posting them.  However, here is the picture round:

Update: answers now posted as a comment below.

5 responses to Our Lady of Perpetual Controversy

  1. You don’t want to post the questions you got wrong up? Are we embarrassed by them John? HEH?

    • Truth be told, I only have two of them! The other two were lost in the “what was that he said?” confusion created by the sound quality.

  2. Here here on the quiz prize front! A regular problem we encounter too. Another thing that gets me is when the prizes for the raffle are much better than for winning the quiz, which is nearly always the case.

  3. *That should, of course, have read “Hear hear”. Oops.

  4. Answers to picture round:

    1. Adam Clayton
    2. Muhammad Ali
    3. Simon Cowell
    4. Alan Shatter
    5. Sinead O’Connor
    6. Colleen Rooney
    7. Angela Merkel
    8. Aidan O’Brien
    9. Liam O’Neill
    10. Gary Lineker
    11. Larry Hagman
    12. Tom Cruise

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