Posts Tagged ‘The Oracle’

Anglophiles United at our "local" pub quiz Image Credit Laurie Frashure

Anglophiles United at our “local” pub quiz
Image Credit Laurie Frashure

As you may know I occasionally report on the activities of my Anglophile group, cleverly named Anglophiles United. This week a large contingent of our membership hit the road in hopes of experiencing an authentic British pub quiz. This outing was educational in scope and the fact that alcohol was freely available had nothing to do with our healthy turnout…

We gathered at an establishment with a name designed to avoid any confusion about its purpose or mission, The Pub. This American franchise concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast is to the the public house what mock Tudor housing developments are to historical stately homes. The serving staff wear kilt-ish uniforms, in addition to ales and whiskey they serve American cocktails like martinis and Manhattans, and they are located in an upscale shopping mall complex. To be fair they don’t claim that they’re the genuine article. Their slogan is “British-inspired, American-crafted” after all.

After keeping our tartan-clad wait staff (yes, we had three) busy with orders of shepherd’s pie, scotch eggs and lots of beer and wine, the quiz began. We broke into three teams -ours chose the name Jiggle Me Timbers because my son thought it would be amusing if the quiz mistress had to announce it over the PA system. There was no vetting process or pre-quiz selection though I can’t blame Inspector Fowler for trying to weed out the dimmest of the dim on his team.



The quiz itself consisted of twenty general knowledge questions, a speed round which required participants to order an actors’ films from oldest to newest, and the final round which tested our musical knowledge. Apparently technical difficulties are common as we had a similar experience to the members of the Phoenix Club – just without the record player.



None of our trio of teams won the big prize; however, luck was with us as each participant was given a ticket for door prizes and our entourage won all three drawings!  Each team left with bar glasses and gift certificates and no animosity towards the Hot Moms who apparently beat us by two lousy points. Nor was there any shoe throwing out in the parking lot after…



And as far as I know, there were no diva pub quiz champions in the crowd that night. At least no one threw a hissy fit like the Oracle did in Benidorm. It’s all just a bit of fun, mate!



All in all, I’d have to say our pub experience was a fun night out.  However if British TV shows accurately depict the UK pub quiz experience, ours did not approach the same level of competitiveness or nor was anyone’s ego or reputation at risk if they lost. Well, perhaps my son had higher aspirations for our side. That being said, he did win the speed round for us and the indeed the Jiggle Me Timbers team had their name announced throughout The Pub for all to hear.




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Update: Sympathies go out to the family of Kenny Ireland and the cast of Benidorm. Mr. Ireland, who played aging swinger Donald Stewart, passed away after a battle with cancer on July 31, 2014.

As Winter Storm Hercules pummels the eastern regions of the US, it seems to be the perfect time to ponder a warm weather getaway, right? I normally eschew beachy vacations; I don’t like to be sweaty, I’m not a strong swimmer and I find lounging in the sun to be mind-numbingly dull.  That’s what makes telly so great – I can watch other people having a disastrous holiday and I don’t even have to don a bathing suit – another thing I avoid at all costs.

So over the past few days I chose to take the less sandy option and started watching series one of a long running ITV sitcom called Benidorm. The show follows a strange mix of tourists from around the UK who return year after year to the same Spanish holiday resort.


ITV's Benidorm Series 1 cast

ITV’s Benidorm Series 1 cast


What keeps these vacationers coming back? As far as I can tell  the biggest selling point is being a good value for money (that’s English-speak for cheap, by the way).

Here are a couple of the things I learned by visiting Benidorm, via YouTube of course.

1. That Benidorm is an actual place:

Spanish coastal town and tourist resort on the Mediterranean Sea

Spanish coastal town and tourist resort on the Mediterranean Sea


Located in Eastern Spain on the Costa Blanca, Benidorm became a preferred vacation destination for Western Europeans. Popular for its affordable package holiday schemes, Benidorm’s visitors gained a reputation for being binge drinking ruffians in the 80’s; however, it transformed into a more family friendly leisure spot in the subsequent decades.


2. The British desperately seek out the sun, some to an unhealthy degree:



I sort of knew this already since many of my expat friends choose tropical climes whenever they go on holiday.  Regardless of the exact location, I always seem to hear stories involving Germans who attempt to reserve deck chairs with their beach towels or some such breach of sunbathing etiquette.  After Benidorm, it all becomes a tad clearer though no one I know personally is as “dedicated” to the rays as old Madge (Sheila Reid).


3. They aren’t very adventurous travellers. It’s as if the Brits really just want to go somewhere warm and rain-free and for everything else to be just like home – the fry-ups, the accents, the karaoke and pub quizzes.  And they take their trivia very seriously in the UK I can tell you.  Just meet The Oracle (Johnny Vegas) if you don’t believe me.



At the Solana resort your holiday expenses (food, drink and activities) are all-inclusive, as long as you stay on the property which consists of a pool, a swim up bar, a cheesy nightspot called the Neptune Bar and the most basic of hotel accommodations.



You’re not going to spend that much time in your room anyhow, right? Not when you’re on your holidays.


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