One of the positives we can take away from these coronavirus days is that we have spent more time connecting with loved ones here and overseas. Zoom has been a godsend, although trying to keep any of my family conversations below 40 minutes is an exercise in futility.
Attempting to keep the ol’ brain ticking over has also become a priority. Just like exercise is good for the body, so quizzes and puzzles are good for the mind. To that end, a number of local charities and organisations have hosted quizzes via Zoom or other online means to help people socialise while preventing their grey matter from turning to mush.
The Cayman Drama Society, unfortunately celebrating the majority of its 50th anniversary in lockdown, has been coming up with new and inventive ways to entertain audiences. Kirsty O’Sullivan, education and operations officer for the society, took on the task of personally hosting a Zoom quiz on films, musicals and plays in the early days of lockdown.
It proved to be a big-enough success that other initiatives have followed, including the first attempt at ‘Quaraoke’ (quarantine karaoke), staring at 7:30pm on Saturday. You can visit www.facebook.com/CayDrama for more information.
Salty’s Sports Bar in Grand Harbour hosts a virtual quiz every Tuesday and Thursday night, starting at 8pm. Fans of the bar’s live quiz are finding this helps bridge the gap until they can return for the ‘real thing’. The chance of winning prizes from Blackbeard’s doesn’t hurt either. Interested in signing up? Visit www.facebook.com/SaltysSportsBar to get further details.
A quiz that has worked well for our particularly hectic schedule, ahem, is the One Dog at a Time brainteaser every Saturday at 8pm, that clocks in at a sporty 30 minutes. The animal charity has joined forces with an online automated quiz site that offers a wide range of themes with multiple choice answers. Each household pays $10 to play and all funds go to support One Dog’s great work.
Each week, we gather via video chats from four different locations to do battle. My housemate Lynne and I team up with her niece Sharon and boyfriend Andy in Toronto, against my brother Dominic and his friend Adam. It pains me to admit it, but the latter team has beaten us every time, and has twice taken first prize. Yes, there are prizes.
The first week’s theme was the hit show ‘Friends’. Despite feeling pretty confident going in, we starting second-guessing our knowledge as soon as it began. It’s amazing how flustered one can become once the timer starts.
As you get extra points for the speed with which you respond, we quickly fell behind. Lightning reflexes are key. We came nearly last with the team name of VickiLynne. Since then, we have adopted pseudonyms to contain the embarrassment.
A couple of weeks later (we skipped ‘Game of Thrones’ after the ‘Friends’ walloping), it was ‘Star Wars’. “You’re goin’ down,” was the boast from the Dominic/Adam camp. Ha! They were dreaming. Lynne was a born Padawan.
Our team was The Jedis and the guys’ team was Sith Happens.
Well, Sith Happens wiped the floor with us. George Lucas would have wept. So much for our storyline. They took first place overall.
The week after that, Homer Simpson and his crew were the theme. I won’t go into the details, but suffice it to say that we, the Mur-diddly-er-dlers, had to bow to the might of Ducky. They didn’t win the first prize this time, but they still got more points than we did. I really thought I knew Springfield better than that.
Last week, it was Marvel time. OK, surely we would emerge triumphant from that one. I grew up on the comics and we had watched all the films. We were going to go with Thanos as our name, but finally settled on Hulk Smash! I suggested that Adam and Dominic call themselves Big Losers, as it was inevitable. They rejected my idea and chose Trash Pandas.
On the night, not only did we see them sailing past us on the leaderboard, but we also watched, mouths agape, as they moved into the top spot by about question 42. At the end, they were crowned victorious with a 40-point difference between them and second place.
This Saturday, it is ‘general knowledge’. Will this be the time we finally beat them? You can join in the fun by visiting www.facebook.com/onedogatatime13 and finding out how to sign up. Just be warned, we’re comin’ for ya!