Friday, August 17, 2012

Battle Of The Brains

...or should I title this post "déjà  vu"? Discerning readers of Wellington Boots may well remember this event from last year, when I was but a rookie at the ANZ National Bank. The event is to raise money for the Cancer Society. National Bank has a history of supporting their annual fundraising campaign, Daffodil Day, and this is the 21st Annual Battle Of The Brains competition.

The organisation of the competition had changed slightly since last year. Our team captain had put in an early bid for a table, and we were accepted. Unfortunately, due to events entirely beyond his control, he was forced to go skiing in Wanaka for the week in which the event would be held. Casting around for a deputy, yours truly was selected. Not that there's much to be done once the table has been allocated, but someone has to organise and take a lead.

We had, over a lunch consisting of beer and pizza at Lovelocks Bar, decided on a theme for our costume, which was Grexit - the possibility of Greece exiting the Euro and European Monetary Union, which at the time (a month or so ago) seemed highly likely. We therefore contacted a retailer of fancy goods who was able to supply us with 16 Greek flags at the princely cost of $6 each, and printed off pictures of a cracked Euro coin and a green exit sign, cunningly manipulated to say GREXIT. We assembled these into a low-cost costume consisting of two Greek flags stitched together, and wore the grexit signs around our heads, whilst the Euro medallions swung around our necks on lanyards, in the style of gangsta rappers or Olympic medal winners.

Thus adorned, we headed down to the Amora Hotel on foot, accompanied by a bunch of Muammar Gaddafis and a team of reindeer pulling the Snow Queen (from Narnia).

Sorry about the blurriness - cameraphone!

The quiz followed a familiar format of 10 rounds with 2 jokers; there were also auctions and raffle prizes to be won. After the first four rounds, the leader board was shown, and Team Grexit was in first place! Admittedly we had played both our jokers, but we had selected those rounds from those available early on, and we had come good on them. I was particularly proud of our performance on the Science round, because I can do science, me.

As the quiz progressed (and after a particularly parlous Geography and History round) we found that at the next update, after 8 rounds, we were down to third. But we finished strongly on what we thought would be our two worst subjects (entertainment and famous faces) thanks to the help of our token young person, and also a ringer-in from Auckland who was visiting the Wellington office and who we had recruited at the last minute; we scored a 10 and a 9 in the final two rounds.

As the judges counted and recounted the points, we waited with bated breath. We strongly suspected we were in a top 5 position, (we were 15th last year) but were elated and delighted to be announced as 3rd equal, out of 50+ teams in total. Our prize is a $100 voucher at The General Practitioner, which I think we can put to good use, particularly as I rated their burger so highly not a few days ago!

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