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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Star PrizeIt's not every day you win a charity quiz, get recognised from your photo on the Argus website, find yourself being mistaken for the editor of Queer Corner, and end up chatting to the man who holds the world record for synchronised wobble-boarding. And people say Friday the 13th is unlucky. But sure enough, I'm now the proud owner of a photo frame. It was almost worth the £2.50 entry fee. And £3 bus fare.

Anyhoo, in a last-minute change of plan, Lisa decided to cancel her arrangements for last night and come with me to the quiz, presumably worried that I might meet a Lois Lane lookalike and run off to work on the Daily Planet. We arrived early (which is not like us), only to find that we were the first ones there, and the owners of the Sussex Arts Club didn't want to let us in. But we passed the time chatting to Pete Sanders and Steve Myers, two of hospital radio's campest DJs, who told me they'd just written their first article for The Kemptown Rag, about a recent trip they've made to Krakow. Presumably in search of a plumber.

With his tongue a good four or five inches into his cheek (I think), Pete then claimed to have been mortally offended by the Naked Bike Ride article, after which I told him that I wrote it, he said I should be ashamed of myself, and we parted company.

Anyhoo, to cut a dull story short, there ended up being fourteen of us from the Kemptown Rag, eight of whom I never did identify. But I did get a taste of my new-found celebrity status when I was spotted across the room by someone who's read my Argus blog. Unfortunately she's only read it because she writes one too, but even so, it was a proud moment.

We decided to split into two teams of seven, which would have worked out fine had two members of our team not left "to get a bite to eat" the moment the quiz started, and never returned. I hope it wasn't something we said.

Keith BarronOur team of five consisted of me, Lisa, a young couple whose answers I couldn't quite hear, and a bloke who looked like Keith Barron. Admittedly it doesn't sound like a winning combination, but appearances can be deceptive.

The first half was mostly uneventful, but things picked up at half-time when I went to the bar and got chatting to a drunken Rag colleague who, it turned out, thought I was the editor of Queer Corner. Lisa says it's my mannerisms. I have no idea what she's talking about.

I then headed back and got chatting to Keith, who's either a very interesting chap, or a complete fantasist loon. I still can't make my mind up. He informed me that he's just come back from Manchester (I think) where he was hosting a conference to do with Airmiles (or something), and had arranged a team-building exercise which involved breaking the world record for the most people playing the wobble board in unison. He claimed it had been personally verified by a representative from Guiness, and he was in all the morning's papers.

Naturally I believed every word, but funnily enough I can't find a single mention of it on the internet today.

Keith then added that he's planning to be the first person to travel around the world in a tuk-tuk, before adding "What is The Kemptown Rag?". I thought it was a philosophical question at first, but oh no. It turned out that the bloke I'd been chatting to for the past hour wasn't in fact a fellow Ragamuffin, but had merely been dragged along by his neighbours... who'd then buggered off "to get a bite to eat" and left him on his own. Possibly to avoid hearing about wobble boards for the hundredth time. He'd never even heard of The Kemptown Rag, and had no idea who we were.

But on the plus side, he knew quite a lot of the answers, and that combined with the fact that I was one of only two people in the whole place that knew who Marni Nixon was...

Marni Nixon
... meant that we came away winners. With a photo frame. To share between five of us.

Although the fact that I know a lot about musicals, doesn't make me gay.