There was a bit of an awkward silence and looking at his shoes, before he admitted that whilst his committee thought I was "very good" they had considered asking me again but had decided they wanted someone with a bit more "star quality".
"Oh, that's OK", I said, through gritted teeth. I knew that Tom Tugendhat or Dame Kelly Holmes would attract a far bigger crowd than the agent who irritates everyone by sending out grumpy emails demanding they all work harder. But inside, deep inside, it hurt! I knew how an actor must feel to be turned down at audition for a fresher face.
A month went by and I saw no evidence of activity or a flyer promoting the event. "How's your quiz going?" I asked, genuinely interested. "Have you started selling tickets yet?" "Oh Yes", said JB. "I've been meaning to mention it to you. Tom Tugendhat's probably away and no-one else we asked wanted to do it, so we were wondering if you would mind stepping in again?" Inside my head the words, "bugger off, you didn't want me originally so don't come running now you're stuck" formed. But by the time they reached my mouth they had changed to, "yes, OK then, if you're stuck." Secretly I was quite pleased, though I wasn't going to let them see that!
|With my lovely assistant and score keeper, Jenny Cooper|
So last night was the big event. There were one or two surreal moments, like asking a room full of 70 year old Tories "in which American city did grunge originate?" followed by the "pot luck" round, which included a question on "netball teams" prompting the Association Chairman to start audibly reminiscing about the ladies' netball team who once practised outside his university window. Things then went from bad to worse when the very next question was about "lead in the pencil" followed by "which free moving organ of the body is attached by a muscle at just one end?" The few of us in the hall with smutty minds enjoyed the moment immensely.
Anyway - well done to Jon Botten and his team for raising over £500.
And if you need a quiz master next year, I am sure I will be available!