Sunday, August 21, 2011

Battle Of The Brains

My employer is one of the principal sponsors of Daffodil Day, New Zealand’s Cancer Society’s annual fund-raising day. One of the main events the bank holds is Battle Of The Brains, a quiz competition for all Wellington-based staff. Quiz, you say? With my reputation? ;-) Yes, I joined a team of eight organised in our department.

One of the features of the competition is that all the teams dress up in fancy dress. There is, naturally, a competition for this as well. Some teams (clearly those with more money than sense, and far too much time on their hands – yes, Marketing, I’m looking at *you*) go overboard and do fully themed team costumes, make-up, wigs etc. whereas most teams go for a more “home-made” approach. We threw a few ideas around when the competition was first announced, and finally decided that we would go for something that would be fairly easily put together with a few props and a couple of face masks: under the team name “Yes We Can!” we went as Barack and Michelle Obama, together with their secret service security detail – i.e. the remaining six of us dressed up in dark suits, white shirts, dark glasses, and the finishing touch – those curly-wired earpieces that go down the back of your collar.

"Yes We Can!" - indistinguishable from the real thing

The gig was being held at the Amora Hotel on Wakefield street, so we walked down there from the office in full cosutume, and in character: “Step away from the President, Sir!” and similar badinage. Joke of the evening – supplied by yours truly and applied to just about anything or anyone deemed a threat to the president:

“Agent Collins, there’s a goat in the corner of the room”
“Roger that”
(Cue hilarious laughter)

The quiz followed the usual format – 10 rounds, two jokers, various audio-visual aids for the music round and others. We scored well at the beginning and after two rounds were in the lead. Unfortunately we shared that lead with 5 other teams! We gradually slid down the leader board as we made some glaring errors (Azerbaijan won the Eurovision Song Contest? Who knew? Er, some of the others, apparently) and eventually finished at 15th out of 55 teams, and only eight points off the winning score, so not a bad effort overall.

Along the way there were various auctions for other prizes, a dancing competition, and the aforementioned “best-dressed team” competition. The winners were the Scary Scarecrows, who’d gone for full make-up effects as well. I think we were robbed, however, as we were all in suits and ties and therefore clearly the best-dressed team. The judges seem to have misinterpreted this as meaning “most original costume” or something. Humph.

Freddie & Elvis were there, too (Dead Pop Stars team)

Anyway, we all had a thoroughly good time, and some of the teams then headed into town for further “refreshment”. I went along to Molly Malone’s for a couple of beers – a slightly bizarre sight as people in the pub watched a bunch of American gangsters enter, followed by secret service agents and Wonderwoman. But they took it in their stride – just another night out in Wellington.

1 comment:

  1. Rory,

    Clearly you are having too much fun. Am envious.

    Back to the grind (the coffee grind, boom boom).

    Ma & Pa's 2nd party for their Golden Weeding Anni today (first was a rehearsal with friends - today's mostly church folk - rock on).

    Must scrub up. BTW have you had a chance (ahem) to acknowledge said milestone ? I'll sing (surely not) a card on your behalf today. I'm kind like that.

    Your sister at the vicarage,

    Esmeralda x