The quiz peeps and I were left bereft when our regular venue cancelled quizzing for always.  (Maybe we weren’t regular enough.)  So now we are on a quest to find a new place where the quiz ends in time for us to get back to our far-flung homes and where we have a chance of winning sometime.

This week we tried The Punch on Fleet Street.  Conveniently located, with a start time of 6:30, and dinner specials – it looked promising.  What we ended up with is probably the single most stressful evening out I’ve had this year.  The joint was brimming with 26 teams and every single table was taken.  That’s fine but to only have table service between a couple waitresses meant that I spent my first 40 minutes there wishing I had a drink.  We ordered food too, which was eventually delivered by the harassed staff.

When the quiz finally started, to combat the big crowd, the quizmaster first asked the questions in the back room and then came up to ask in the front room.  In theory that works except that he flew through the list so quickly that we barely had time to discuss the first answer before we were trying to catch up to the end of the second question.  The combination of heat, dizzy question speed, beerlessness, and muttering waitress led us to act like snapping turtles out of water (beer).

The rounds themselves were pretty manageable with interesting questions, easy ones, and a spate of real humdingers.  Of that part I totally approve.

And then it was all over and we tried to get our bill.  This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, the feeling of being trapped at a dinner table while trying to signal someone for 20 minutes.  A table on the other side of the room wanted to split up the bill into a myriad of individual credit card purchases.  An action which tipped the already stressed out waitress over the edge.  ‘That’s it, I’m leaving’ she called.  Bundling herself into her coat she waved frantically at the crowd as she legged it.  Of course she came back ten minutes later with someone’s scarf, but that’s neither here nor there.

35 minutes after the quiz ended we got the scores.  Much to our delight we came in joint-4th, and got our entry fee money back.  Almost made us want to go back.  After a good night’s sleep and drinking double vodka red bulls out of a flask maybe…


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