Q. FORMERLY KNOWN AS A COMLECH, WHAT NAME DERIVED FROM
THE CELTIC IS USED FOR A NEOLITHIC MONUMENT COMPRISED OF
TWO OR MORE LARGE UPRIGHT STONES, TOPPED BY A SINGLE
We’re not a completely stupid bunch here, despite all evidence that suggests otherwise. We have proper jobs and can read maps, work out the tip in a restaurant (£80 plus 0% tip = £80!) and other stuff. We even vaguely remember trigonometry.
TV quiz shows aren’t beyond our reach: We’ve screamed at the criminally dense on Wheel of Fortune, almost broken a TV over a terrible Weakest Linker and despaired at the numpties that struggle when faced with the Eggheads.
Perversely though, our favourite quiz show is the one that makes us feel the most stupid.
These kids are younger than us – far younger, in some cases – yet have a width and breadth of knowledge that is as scary as it is absolutely useless.
Like you, we were forced to study Shakespeare at school, and also like you, the extent of our extra-curricular activities has been limited to watching that weird Romeo and Juliet remake with Leo Di Caprio, before he got fat.
These kids though, they’re familiar with the most obscure characters from the most obscure plays. And for what reason? To try and, albeit briefly, impress Paxman with their pronunciation of an old Italian name.
And while this should all be so hateful; two rows of smug faces queuing up to buzz in and say “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” with a smile, it isn’t.
It’s bloody charming.
Because yes, these are the nerds. They have speech impediments and greasy hair. Their clothes don’t quite work and they say their name awkwardly, like it’s the first time they’ve ever heard it and they’re reading it aloud, unsure of the pronunciation.
They’re harmless, spending their evenings reciting the winners of the Best Picture Oscar to each other, rather than getting wasted and putting their foot through a travel agent’s window. They don’t know about Pound a Pint night in the Student Union, and have never indulged in 25p shots of the nastiest vodka known to man in a grotty provincial nightclub.
We’ll answer a couple of questions correctly, but the nerds are relentless, marching on and on with their obscure knowledge. Racking up the points, arguing with Paxman over a technicality. All the things we wish we could do. Instead, we sit slackjawed, in awe as Carruthers, Edinburgh, jumps to attention and recites University Challenge in Morse Code.
University nerds, we salute you.