This evening I went to a quiz night at an Australian pub in Robinson Quay. Without volunteering, I’d been elected as the science specialist, which was a bit intimidating for me. Pub quiz science usually revolves around the kind of ephemera I don’t know, rather than anything sufficiently abtruse for me to add value. Luckily, tonight there were some easy(ish) ones: the technical name for a black eye, which my PE teacher taught me when I was twelve (thanks, Mr Thompson), the atomic weight of neon (it’s a noble gas, so work those valency groups and hope), and the number of days in April. Like Rain Man, I’d written 720 on the answer sheet before the question was even complete for that one, to the shock and acclaim of my team mates.

To my surprise, we won, beating eighteen other teams. As the first pub quiz I’d been to in about twenty years, this was a special moment to savour, yet very confusing. Did we now dance around the pub, jeering at the other clientele? Why did we only get our bar tab picked up until the point we won the quiz, rather than thereafter? How come a random Italian woman had attached herself to our table, just after the results were announced?

I haven’t been out for a drunken night in a long time. We abandoned Felicity to the babysitter when we went to Neko Case, but that was a concert, not five hours of necking pints and jeering at people. Honestly, I didn’t know what to do. Do you have a valedictory pint then go to bed, or, after winning a pub quiz, should everything black out until you’re snorting coke off a mirror in a two-star Bangkok hotel room a week later? It’s not like life comes with an instruction manual to handle this sort of thing.

In the end, I got a taxi home, once again driven by a man who didn’t know where Chinatown was, but was too proud to turn on his GPS, but not smart enough to look before pulling out onto a busy road. Suffice it to say that the journey home would have been terrifying if I hadn’t been sozzled. Driven to drink by driving, indeed.

Back home, wife was passed out on the sofa, baby asleep in her cot. In the last day or so she’s suddenly started to use consonants (well, she’s said "dah dah" and "lah lah", not exactly groundbreaking verbosity but as parents we have to act as though everything is incredible) and the extra mental overload means she’s exhausted by the evening, so at least I wasn’t deserting my wife to a bellicose baby when I went to the pub. I get the feeling I’ve used up my stock of going out vouchers for the week though.

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