Saturday, August 25, 2012

Quiz on the Taieri Gorge

My darling idiot friends are insisting I write a blog on this quiz we entered on the Taieri Gorge historic train, which is a bit stupid, because really the above picture of Pierre wearing a custom-sized Taieri Gorge Railway T-shirt says it all. 

During Round One we thought we had it made. Lemuel (pictured in the historic rail-something-something cap, NOT a southern/ confederate hat as many mistakenly assume) is the archivist for Natural History New Zealand and an extreme geek besides that. He complains on a daily basis: "Lei, I was doing so well, but then I spent $120 on these two original menu cards from a Naval ship from 1886." 
Round One was NZ History and 'we' (:Lemuel) nailed it. 

During subsequent rounds things didn't go so well. Quinn knew about national parks and mountains, Ellie about the royal family (to worryingly extreme detail) and I knew that the Vatican City is the smallest country. But we didn't know much else. What is the name for a baby weasel? Perhaps 'Brian' we hazard. I draw stars and hearts on our answer sheets, our team is 'E' and I give a different 'E' word each sheet (eloquent, excellent, exasperated) and for one answer I write "you have beautiful eyes" to the marker. 

Part way through these shenanigans, including much jarring from our enemy team (who had changed cabins to be near us/ rile us up), the staff come down the foyer with their arms laden with treats. A bear wearing a t-shirt, a bottle of Rosé, books about the Taieri Gorge, free tickets, a novelty spoon, ladida on and on. "Is all of that for US?" I arrogantly assume. Yes, yes it is. The woman smiles and says the quiz master wanted to thank us for "consistently entertaining and creative" answer cards. Well. We were chuffed. 

My beautiful badge pictured above. 

Our rival team was not as chuffed and kept trying to remind us that on the official points chart we were below them. Quinn's response to this was simple: 
"How many spoons have you won motherfucker?!" 

On a creepier/ more hilarious note, the quiz master would read out the questions/ answers/ names of teams and results on the crackly intercom system (dating back to 1885 I would guess). He always read in a monotone, careful not to give anything away (or maybe he was just a Southern New Zealander). He called out names of teams: 'Trolleyed', 'Snakes on a Train' (our rivals), 'Murder on the Mosgiel Express' (us) and about twenty others, including, - expressed in the same dreary monotone - 'I'm going to kill everyone.' 

When you're stuck on a stationary train for over an hour in the middle of nowhere, that sentence, coming from some anonymous person on the train, has a great deal of weight. 

Soundtrack to this post: 

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