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Listeners' Fantasies

Jim's Quiz
by typewright

question markAn alternative version - although just as frustrating for the competitors - from the Fantasy Archers topic of The Archers message board.

It's quiz night at the Bull with your jovial host - Jiiiiiiiim Lloyd! The bar's crowded, the younger and slimmer punters are wearing We Love The Bull t-shirts, Fallon is smiling and joking with customers and the happy sound of chat and clinking glasses almost drowns out the sound of the Prof's voice attempting to announce round one.

"Quoiet, please!" calls Bert, "Oi can ardly 'ear meself think an' moi Freda's almost lost 'er voice yellin' out the orders from the kitchen! Oi'm 'avin' ter shout 'em out for 'er."

"Yes, shh, everyone!" adds Harry, thumping a pewter tankard on the bar. "Over to you, Jim!"

"It won't be as good as Sid's quiz," mutters Joe into his pint.

"Nothin's as good as when Sid was 'ere, Dad," agrees Eddie. "But hush!"

"The first round is General Knowledge, so we're starting with the easy ones," Jim says. "Question one: what do we usually call the number approximately equal to 3.14159265?"

There is much muttering and sucking of teeth and pencils as Freda shouts something inaudible. "'Oo ordered poi?" Bert calls out. "Moi Freda says poi."

"Pi is the correct answer," Jim replies. "But she shouldn't shout out the answers, you're supposed to write them down."

"Er - can I have my pie, please?" Alan is sounding slightly anxious.

"Now question two," continues Jim. "Of which Shakespeare play -" (there is a muffled groan from several people and a happy smile from Lynda) "did TS Eliot say that the play itself, rather than the eponymous hero -" ("Eh?" mutters Roy) "is the subject?"

Over the general confused hubbub Freda can be seen trying to say something, but to no avail. "Whaaaat?" asks Will. "Oi think Freda said Aaaaaaaamlet."

"Ham omelette, over here," calls Kathy. But Jim, ignoring her, raises his voice. "'Hamlet' is the answer. But don't shout it out. Right. Question three. Here's one with an agricultural touch."

Several Archers cheer and Fallon, who has been looking increasingly miserable, manages a weak smile.

"Written in the 14th century, this allegorical poem by William Langland is known as the Vision of... whom?"

"Ooh, I think I know!" Jennifer twitters to Brian, but elsewhere there is increasing grumbling and moaning. Freda is gesticulating and trying to make herself heard over it.

"I'll give you a clue. Piers… Oh, come on. Bert, you of all people should know."

"Oi don't know nothin', and Oi ain't peerin' at nobody's answers, neither," growls Bert, affronted. "Moi Freda's just troyin' to say ploughman's."

"Piers Ploughman is correct, but you shouldn't tell other people. Now, look, I'm just going to have to disallow any more shouted answers. Sorry, Bert."

"Serves Bert Froy roight," mutters Joe. "Onions, indeed. Toid up, indeed."

A general tutting and grumbling ensues, until Jim goes on: "Now, question four. An integrated circuit is a miniaturized electronic circuit that has been manufactured in the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material. By what name is it more commonly known?"

Robert's face lights up and he whispers urgently to Lynda, inevitably his team's leader.

"Shush, everyone, Oi can't 'ear what moi Freda's sayin'!" complains Bert. "What's that? Chips? She says chips!" Alan waves eagerly.

Jim sighs. "Technically, the answer is a chip, or microchip. But I warned you before about shouting out the answers."

"Freda ain't even on a team!" growls Joe. "'Tain't fair, Jim Lloyd."

"A taste of your own medicine, Joe? Do 'fair' and 'onions' ring a bell?" snarls Jim, but he recovers his composure. "So let's just call that whole round a trial run and move on to sport."

Loud cheers fill the room and Fallon, who has been looking more like her mum than ever, smiles again.

"Cycling first." Harry seems pleased at this.

"The first bicycle race is popularly thought to have been a 1,200 metre race held on the 31st of May, 1868, at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris. Who won it?"

Fallon helps herself to a treble gin, or 'Lilian special', and buries her face in her hands.

"You were roight, Dad," sighs Eddie. "This ain't as good as Sid's quizzes."

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