Six friends, one charity pub quiz, many discoveries of specialist subjects.
In the UK, there’s a tv show called Mastermind (I don’t know if they have it in other countries but it def started here). Each contestant has to sit in the Big Black Chair of Knowledge (it is actually just a normal chair, I’ve made it sound more dramatic than it actually is) and answer questions in two rounds; General Knowledge and their chosen Specialist Subject. They can pick literally ANYTHING in the WHOLE, ENTIRE WORLD OF THINGS to answer questions on.
I’ve often wondered, in that way you do when you’re trying to avoid doing anything remotely useful, what my specialist subject would be. What would give me the competitive edge in a test of the mind. Aside from minor historical episodes I’ve researched for dissertations and therefore know inside-out, back-to-front and from every possible angle, there are only a few things I think I know well enough to choose for my specialist subject. These things mainly revolve around the many obsessions I have: Elvis songs, Disney movies, Benedict Cumberbatch, the tv show QI or Miss Marple.
At the pub quiz on Saturday night our team of six graduates with various careers and interests represented a lot of specialist subjects. A primary school teacher knew about some French scientist and his experiments with gravity or something. A geography graduate with a ridiculous penchant for pop music knew about the Italian version of the tour de France. A fellow history geek who studies witches knew about the beginning of genetics. And what, I hear you ask, did I bring to the team?
Well, in true crazyinpink style, my personal strengths lay in Disney-related trivia.
Except for one or two questions about local history I also knew. (It would have been extremely embarrassing if I didn’t since I’m studying the history of the city we were actually in.) But here are the ways in which my Disney-saturated mind came into its own.
1. Recognising a black and white photo of Walt Disney in the picture round.
2. Being able to recall the name of an obscure Greek god by replaying scenes from the Disney movie Hercules in my head.
3. In a name that year question, the quizmaster showed a range of things that happened in one particular year. Some famous people died, somebody else won the Nobel prize. Nothing rang any bells. Until… Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End was released this year. I instantly whispered ‘2007’ to our designated scribe. Greeted by blank looks, I proceeded to explain exactly when every Pirates of the Caribbean movie was released.
So, I think I’ve inadvertently discovered my specialist subject. What would yours be?