Joining in With Cheating Britain at the Broughton Quiz
Posted on March 20, 2012
Wherever I have looked in the last week or so there has been cheating going on, whether it is in politics, sport or in social benefits, it is everywhere you look. Just as common are the holier than thou individuals who lambaste cheats when they are doing the same or far worse in fact. The amount of people I hear tearing in to “benefit scroungers” whilst they are themselves, doing cash in the hand weekend jobs or paying builders in twenty pound notes to avoid VAT is unbelievable, in reality they are nicking more off the state than some tramp claiming £8.00 a week to feed a mongrel dog. Meanwhile the politicians, city traders and big businesses are hiving money offshore and the people at the bottom of the rung are the scapegoats. Call me a socialist, but it doesn’t really seem fair does it? The truth is, cheating, fraud and evasion is in rampant in our society from top to bottom in business, politics, journalism, law and sport.
In football, many of us have witnessed the cretinous antics of Didier Drogba (Chelsea) and Louis Suarez (Liverpool) in the last week as they shamelessly dived around the pitch in a bid to gain advantage over the opposition. The FA don’t help the situation, they should either come out and say that play acting in a pantomime villain manner is an acceptable act as football is live theatre, or they should start retrospectively banning players caught on camera. However, as always the FA do nothing apart from spending trips abroad promoting our national game by claiming that Jonny Foreigner stole it from us (Google Dave Richards FA). As for Drogba and Suarez it wouldn’t surprise me if after the near tragic events at White Hart Lane on Saturday, they started feigning heart attacks as the opposition were about to score. I wouldn’t put it past either of them.
Is there anyone out there who doesn’t cheat at something? Personally speaking, I can’t claim to be innocent, I can remember diving for a penalty playing for Sporting Baughurst against arch rivals White Hart many years ago. However, this resulted in the chap taking the penalty (for arguments sake let’s call him Mark Cunningham) missing, so I never bothered trying it again, naively thinking that justice would be served every time, which obviously I know now, is not always the case. I have also improved my “lie” when playing golf by flattening out a divot or kicking a ball to flatter point, though I will try to justify myself here by saying I have seen a lot worse behaviour on the course, including miraculous discoveries of lost balls and scorecards that have been created out of total fantasy. I also failed to give my son out LBW first ball in a cricket match a few years ago, but it was the day after his mother and I had announced we were splitting up and I just couldn’t do it to him. He made me feel worse by going on to score a match winning 28……divorce doesn’t bother kids as much as you might think.
After a few years of middle aged decency, I hit another low point this weekend at the Broughton annual quiz when temptation once again stared me in the face. The Broughton quiz is specifically designed to make people of high intelligence look ordinary and people of moderate intelligence look stupid. Those of below average intelligence are taken to the village stocks and pelted with apples and rotten eggs before having a permanent D branded on their forehead by the local sheep farmer. Our team was made up with a high to moderate intelligence group (if you can accept I am moderately intelligent) and we were, to put it in layman’s terms, struggling like fuck. In one round we got one question right and to make it worse, it was our joker round, so disaster beckoned. However, when we arrived at the music round I was quietly confident I would haul us back to respectability as this was a subject that I had told my team mates I would thrive in. Then the twenty second song intro’s began…………..impossible!
Two or three questions in, I was in despair, then I looked down at my phone. There was an application on there called Sound Hound that Harry had put it on it and though I had never used it, I was pretty much certain it was something to do with music. As yet another obscure track came on I pressed the button, a little circle whirred round then suddenly up it came……..”Greensleeves” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I told my team mates and they marvelled at my excellence…all except Ed, who had four Lynyrd Skynrd albums and had never heard of it (it turns out that it is little heard song off some Christmas album that sold about six copies). Like a bank robber doing “just one more job” I gave it another go. Next up “Green River” by the Credence Clearwater Revival. My team mates gave me that “how the fuck does he know that?” look and I must confess it was getting more addictive. Next up, the Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine by Simon and Garfunkel. This was getting out of hand, but it was great fun all the same.
When my team started cheering when the quiz master bellowed out my correct answers, such was my embarrassment I had to feign desperation for a pee and I hid in the toilet where I could hear in the distance the guy saying “The big green pleasure machine” followed by a big cheer from my team mates. As I went up to claim the £500.00 first prize I must admit to feeling a bit guilty…………no I didn’t really, because the truth is this, I am not that bad. If we had been in contention to win I wouldn’t have done it, it was just my own little personal dig back at the frankly ridiculous questions that no-one had a prayer at getting right. If I had wanted to I could have cheated on every one and got away with it, but I didn’t and I actually did get songs by Elvis Costello, Booker T & the MG’s and Joni Mitchell correct without the aid of this incredible little gadget that picks up and identifies the faintest of background music. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I have never won anything in my life and my little bit of cheating is out of cheek rather than a will to win at all costs. Despite my flaws I would never cheat someone out of a prize or money, I have never even exaggerated an insurance claim, I just can’t be bothered with the hassle of it all.
So the moral of the last week is that everyone cheats to some extent and I accept that is part of society and part of the flaws in my own make up. I just can’t stand it when people jump up on their high horse and offer damnation and cursory glances to others less fortunate whilst they are in the business of taking backhanders, filling out fraudulent expense claims and stacking their fortunes in the Cayman Islands. They really ought to keep their mouths shut and not get so stressed up by someone who gets a few packets of Superkings a week courtesy of tax payer. 90% of the cost of a packet of fags goes straight back to the treasury anyway.
Show me a multi-millionaire and I will show you a revenue cheat every time……I know someone else who cheated at the quiz as well…..but that will remain a secret.