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How clever are you?
by Asa Butcher
2007-07-04 10:50:34
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Many of us are obsessed by testing our intelligence by filling in crosswords, solving Sudoku puzzles or attending monthly pub quizzes, but why do we exert so much energy on these seemingly pointless exercises? There is no grand prize for successfully completing most puzzles, yet we spend countless hours in the pursuit of solutions that will bring nothing other than self-satisfaction.

On Wednesday September 6th is the monthly IESAF Helsinki Pub Quiz and I will be in attendance once again, along with many other regulars, as we plunge into our memories trying to recall obscure general knowledge about a variety of subjects. Why? Aside from the fact that it is a great excuse to escape the house and go for a beer, it is gratifying to know the answer, especially if nobody else does. Is this merely ego or reassurance that your faculties are in tip-top condition?

Quizzes are the mental equivalent of having a kick around; scores don't matter, but they are kept anyway. How many of us have played a game of Trivial Pursuit with friends only to have them storm off home in a sulk because you refused their answer 'Bible' when 'The Bible' was printed on the back of the card? The game brings out the worst in the most saintly and perhaps could make the Pope blaspheme, so why do we play it again instead of incinerating the box, the board and little plastic cheeses?

"It's just a game!" does not cut it with the pedantic fascist quizmasters - usually your best friend and Best Man - because it is a matter of principle. The same arguments are heard at pub quizzes around the world because the power rushes to the quizmaster's head, which is something I have experienced first-hand as the man in charge. "Can we have half-a-point for just his surname?" No! "Is so-and-so allowed?" Thanks for asking, but NO!

Crosswords and Sudoku puzzles are safer, they are self-contained and you play against yourself, so the danger of a full-blown, friendship ruining argument is unlikely. However, the first time I ever attempted a Sudoku puzzle was on a flight back home and I was happily filling in the squares, brimming with confidence, when a fellow passenger leaned over and said, "That's wrong because of that…" Thankfully, the feeling of air rage subsided and I returned to the quick crossword. Bastard!

The IESAF Pub Quiz is an event I enjoy, particularly because I am usually in one of the top three teams, but it also allows me to access parts of my memory untouched since I finished school, such as recalling who sang 'The NeverEnding Story'! If you are in the neighbourhood on Wednesday night, why don't you join us and give the Ovi Bad Boys and Porn Stars a run for their money!

Time: First Wednesday every month, from 19.00 till approximately 22.00
Next date: Wednesday 4th July
Place: Angelterre Pub (exact address: Fredrikinkatu 47) close to Kamppi Metro Station but walking distance from Stockmann
Price: €10,- per team
Team: 5 (max) people, less is allowed but price remains the same.

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Frank2006-09-06 10:35:51
Best things about pubquizes is the fact that by the time you should be sulking about loosing, you'll have had enough beers to be happy about it :D

well, at least, in my humble opinion

Asa2006-09-06 11:10:43
One too many beers and you are shouting out the answers, which isn't really a problem except that you are the quizmaster.

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