Dom Joly: School quiz night? I'd rather climb a volcano

Share
Related Topics

I have rashly agreed to go to yet another of my kids' school functions. This time it's a quiz night, and Stacey asked me so long ago that I said yes, and then forgot to make an excuse for not being able to go.

All these events, from Burns Night dinners to Race Night are thinly disguised ways of raising money for the school. Race Night, by the way, is not an evening where everyone turns up amusingly dressed as another race – it's where they bring in DVDs of old horse races and you bet on them. Personally, I'd far prefer that they just give you an option on the school fees where you tick a box agreeing to pay an extra 5 per cent as long as you're never invited to any functions.

Stacey has been desperately trying to think of a name for our team. This consists of Stacey, Parker, Jackson and me. I suggested The Four Short Planks, which I was really pleased with. It was met with bemused looks from my family. Then I tried The Joly Big Brains, despite knowing that this could be really embarrassing if we came last. Again I was met with withering looks. So I gave up and started to plan how to smuggle in some decent wine so that I could actually have something palatable to drink without paying for anything.

Secretly, I love the idea of a quiz night as, deep down, I'm always sure that I'm going to win. I never do.

I have really good general knowledge and am an avid abuser of trivia so it should really be my bag. Sadly, there's always a couple of tables with people whose heads actually expand and contract under the pressure of their knowledge. They are normally called things like Grand Architects of Dionysian Mystery, and you know that they came straight to the venue from the Dungeons and Dragons club without passing Go.

It's like Trivial Pursuit. I love that game and I'm dynamite on the history and geography. The problem is that the pink "cheese" (it's cheese in our house) is Entertainment, but not as I know it. It's all 1950s movie questions and musicals. I'm rubbish, and endlessly circle the board as my camper friends head for the middle.

Jackson, my three-year-old, thinks we should be called The Candy-Canes, which actually isn't that bad. I try, once again to be amusing and suggest The Jackson Four, only to be rewarded by another withering look. I watched Derren Brown the other night, and he taught some bloke to win at a huge pub quiz after ingesting vast amounts of information simply by scanning his fingers down page after page of thousands of books. This took the poor schmuck about a week, but he came second and did seem to have gained some remarkable learning abilities.

I tried the same technique myself, but only got as far as page nine of an encyclopedia before I got bored and went to the pub.

I shouldn't be worrying about any of this: I'm off to film in Nicaragua in three weeks and I've got to climb a volcano. I don't know why I have to climb it – it's just one of those TV achievement things. I am determined that they won't get what they want – me crying and vomiting and refusing to go on. I've hired a personal trainer and felt really good until I checked into the Groucho last week and felt out of breath after reaching my room on the top floor. Maybe they'll ask us the capital of Nicaragua tonight? It's Managua, and it's famous for not having any street names.

Dom Joly's 'The Complainers' is at 10pm on Mondays, on Five

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour and the Liberal Democrats would both end winter fuel allowances for pensioners with enough income to pay the 40p tax rate  

Politicians court the grey vote because pensioners, unlike the young, vote

Andrew Grice
US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have a drink after agreeing a deal on carbon emissions  

Beijing must face down the perils of being big and powerful – or boom may turn to bust

Peter Popham
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable