The First Quiz

The neighbours turn out for a table quiz at the Gold Coast Golf Hotel.

The neighbours turn out for a table quiz at the Gold Coast Golf Hotel.

The very first quiz featured a husband and wife team. The prize was a paradisiacal home and so much wealth that they’d never have to work a day in their lives. The format adopted for this precedent setting event was for the Quizmaster to tempt the wife with something she really wanted, the veritable apple of her eye. Even though she had been specifically warned her not to go for the obvious answer, in her excitement, the woman chose incorrectly.

Ashamed, the husband rushed offstage and hid behind a tree. The furious Producer wandered around looking for either contestant, and finding them, banished the pair from the show, telling them in no uncertain terms that they’d blown it and would have to work by the sweat of their brows from that day forward.

So Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden and tortured themselves ever after with the thought that they almost gave the right answer.

The next key date in Irish Quiz history came in the 1980′s, about the time that tea bags first became an acceptable substitute for the genuine article. It was during that decade, which also witnessed the Emerald Isle’s introduction to music videos and wine, that the first table quiz came to Ireland. Before too long there were semi-professional foursomes competing for the cash prizes.

Brendan O'Brien, Dungarvan's Table Quiz Maestro, at the Gold Coast Golf Hotel.

Brendan O'Brien, Dungarvan's Table Quiz Maestro, at the Gold Coast Golf Hotel.

The latter half of the 1990′s  witnessed the final apotheosis of the table quiz format. For it was then that Brendan (Bob) O’Brien began hosting local contests. The man runs dozens of table quizzes a year for local groups and is himself responsible for raising well over a million euro for good causes.

Brendan is a table quiz genius! Not only are his quizzes really fun, but there are homilies laced through the proceedings. Take this stumper: “What is greater than God, worse than the devil, and you will die if you eat it?”

Brendan’s latest masterpiece of quiztory was organised in aid of the Munster Fleadh, the great traditional music festival, which will arrive in Dungarvan in mid-July 2012. Participants gathered at the Gold Coast Golf Hotel which furnished the excellent venue.  Fits of laughter and rambunctious sing-alongs were evidence of the good time had by all.

Full disclosure requires me to note that the writer of this essay was part of the team whose brilliance garnered third place in the quiz. To honour our quick wit, the Gold Coast Golf  Hotel graciously awarded ‘Table 19′ a free lunch at the Hotel’s excellent restaurant. I can truly say from the bottom of my gut that this well deserved prize tickled our celebratory taste buds.

Thanks Brendan! Thanks Gold Coast. Go Fleadh!

The answer: Nothing is greater than God, Nothing is worse than the devil and you will die if you eat Nothing.

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