Catboy the quizmaster
“Let’s start a pub quiz!”
That was my wife. Two years ago. Then, like the cyclical nature of the planets, the tides, the seasons and X-Factor, she has prodded me about it monthly ever since.
My answer has always been a resolute, “No!” Don’t get me wrong. I love quizzes. I believe I’m what’s known as a “buff”. People hate playing board games with me because my head is full of useless, factual morsels. My day job on the radio often entails creating compelling trivia and competitions to intrigue and beguile those unfortunate souls stuck in the car between home and the school gates or, heaven forbid, on the drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. So I know a thing or two about quizzing.
But I also know the pitfalls of the pub quiz.
First of all, the preparation. Even the most basic of quizzes is 40 questions of varying difficulty. You’ve got to write them, check them, double-check them, then you need the stationery, the answer sheets, the microphones, the PA system and the Excel spreadsheet for the scoring. Any extra effort you put in multiplies the required preparation exponentially.
Lorra and Catboy – the quiz maestros – take their work very seriously
The venue can be a headache, dependent on the type of crowd you’re after. If you’re lucky, you’ll get somewhere with a relatively passive but fun crowd. Personally the thought of a heavy-duty bunch, heckling every other question then blasting you to repeat everything they’ve not heard, sends shivers down my spine. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of the old banter, but when the odd quip becomes a catcall cacophony, I just want to drop the mic, pack up and leave.
Keeping it fresh can be a big concern. There are some quiz hosts who just dial it in, downloading pre-written quiz sets from the internet, turning up and going through the motions. They still pull a crowd and still get paid, but knowing the kind of people we are, I knew we wouldn’t be able to work that way.
So, a couple of months ago, my daughter’s nursery asked us if we’d host a quiz night for them. It seemed like a good testing ground. We did. We put way too much effort into it and it went really well. That’s when Lorra, my wife, had me cornered. We both enjoyed it, so why not do more?
Since then, we’ve spent every spare moment penning questions, devising quirky competitions, designing graphics, studying the art of the quiz, arguing a lot (there’ll probably be another about me writing that!) and trying to find a balance between all the elements people love about these unusual evenings out.
We booked-up a venue that is way better than we were expecting and now we’re running every Monday at 7pm inside The Westin Mina Seyahi, and it’s the best quiz in Dubai by far…
…or at least that’s what we hope. You see, our first quiz is tomorrow. It’s all planned, it’s all in the bag, we’ve got the social media nailed down and now we’re just waiting to do it. So from past me to future you… If you came, we hope you liked it!
– Catboy’s quiz will run from 7pm to 10pm every Monday night at Industrial Avenue in The Westin Mina Seyahi. Dhs125 with buffet dinner and soft drinks, Dhs195 with buffet dinner and three selected drinks. Teams of four to six are welcome, book your table to make sure you’ve got a spot. More info on Facebook.
Catboy hosts the Dubai 92 breakfast show with Aylissa, Sunday to Thursday 6am to 10am, with What’s On setting up your weekend on Fridays from 11am. dubai92.com