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Torfaen Tales

Quiz Night

Part 14 of the K-Nine Tales

It had certainly been an interesting and eventful weekend for K-Nine. He had met up with some friends on Friday evening at the local watering hole known as the Bush, discovered a powerful source of Relaxon energy in the fireplace, got well oiled on WD40 and Crow Valley and then helped a policeman catch a wayward biker who was causing a nuisance on the mountain.

On Saturday he had discovered that not everyone in this cosy Welsh town enjoyed a drink (in moderation, of course) and that some were quite fanatical in their preaching of alcoholic abstinence. More significantly, from a universal point of view, he had encountered an alien sheep called O-Vine, a fascinating creature who he was sure he would meet up with again.

It was now late Sunday afternoon and K-Nine had just returned from Cwmbran town centre after having his lunch in Wetherforks. They didn’t sell WD40 there so he had tried a couple of bottles of WKD blue instead which looked rather like Copper Sulphate and tasted just as bad !

He was now feeling rather tired after having walked (well, rolled) up the hill to where his TARDIS was parked. He trundled slowly inside, made his way to the workshop and then plugged himself into the mains charger for thirty minutes to rejuvenate his almost exhausted power cells.

Although he was now electrolytically re-fuelled, K-Nine was still feeling rather ‘fuzzy’ in the mental processing unit and so wanted to rest for a while before deciding what to do that evening. He couldn’t find his alarm anywhere (having forgotten he had destroyed it at the beginning of Chapter 12), so he instructed the ship’s computer to wake him at seven o’clock.

“Affirmative,” replied the computer, in an almost mocking tone. K-Nine just let out a quiet growl and then nodded off to sleep …

“Bing ! Bing ! Bing !” went the computer. It then realised that this may be somewhat ill-advised following the events of Chapter 12, and rapidly changed the alarm tone to something more subtle and less irritating.

K-Nine awoke from his slumbers and focused his eyes on the wall clock. It was just after seven. He wandered into the corridor and ordered a tea, Baron Grey, hot from the vending machine.

“Ah … that’s much better” thought K-Nine, as he sipped the tea. Suitably awake and refreshed he then made his way to the console room. He logged onto the TARDIS computer and checked out the Bush Inn website.

“Hmm … looks like it’s been updated recently,” he said. He checked out the various sections on the site and then clicked on the ‘What’s On’ link at the bottom of the Home page …

  • Monday: Free Pool
  • Tuesday: Bingo with Bryn ‘Bring Back The Balls’ Davidson
  • Wednesday: Pool Night
  • Thursday: Ladies Darts Night
  • Friday: Chart Hits and more with Steve the Clothes Maker
  • Saturday: Five Decades of Music with the other Steve
  • Sunday: General Knowledge Quiz, Open the Box plus Tunes

“How very interesting,” thought K-Nine. “I shall have to visit the Bush on some different nights.” He wasn’t so sure about Saturdays though, discos were not really his thing, and five decades of music seemed somewhat limited to a tin dog who had travelled through time and space.

Sundays however looked more exciting to K-nine. He enjoyed quizzes, was curious to know what ‘Open the Box’ was all about, but he had no idea where the cherry menthol or honey flavoured cough sweets figured in the evening’s entertainment !

Suddenly it dawned on him … which considering it was early in the evening was somewhat anachronistic … it was Sunday !

K-Nine checked the various surveillance and security devices were switched on, opened the main door and left the TARDIS. He gave a short ultrasonic whistle to set the acoustic lock on the door and then proceeded down the lane towards the Bush, in very much the same way as he had done a couple of days earlier in Chapter 10.

As he approached the pub he noticed that the door to the lower bar was open and a few of the customers were outside smoking what appeared to be some sort of dried leaves wrapped in thin paper. They politely moved out of the way to let him enter the lower bar.

As K-Nine made his way to the bar he spotted Dirk Powers, his father Kevin and two others sat at the table in the corner.

“Hey, K-Nine why don’t you come over and join us,” suggested Dirk.

“Thank you,” replied K-Nine, “I’ll just go and get a drink first.”

“I’ll get that,” said Kevin. “What would you like ?”

“A pint of Crow please,” replied K-Nine.

Kevin went to the bar to order the drink and K-Nine made his way over to the table where Dirk and his friends were sitting.

Dirk introduced the other two people at the table to K-Nine. “These are my friends Nathaniel Parsons and Rhiannon Buckingham – Nicks.”

“What interesting names,” thought K-Nine. “I wonder if their respective parents were fans of War of the Worlds and Fleetwood Mac.”

Kevin returned from the bar and placed the pint of Crow on the table in front of K-Nine, who nodded appreciatively.

“Are you going to join us for the quiz ?” asked Dirk.

“Certainly,” replied K-Nine. “I have travelled quite extensively in time and space you know.”

“You should come in handy for the history and science questions then,” suggested Rhiannon.

“If they have any,” commented Dirk. “Last week they seemed to be somewhat biased towards football.”

“Hmm … I don’t know too much about football … I always preferred frisbee golf myself,” said K-Nine.

“I doubt if Steve the Quiz has even heard of frisbee golf,” said Dirk. “Come to think of it, I’m not too sure what it is myself.”

“I’ll explain later,” said K-Nine.

Shortly afterwards Josie came down and started handing out answer sheets and picture quizzes to the various teams who had now gathered in the lower bar. As she collected the money from each group she noted down the team names … The Upper Cwmbran Moderation League, Persian Delight, The Bush Babes (who K-Nine assumed must be the barmaids) and last, but not least the Bad Sheep.

“I see the Bad Sheep have a new member this week,” said Josie.

“Affirmative,” replied K-Nine.

“Well best of luck everyone and don’t forget that Open the Box is worth two hundred pounds this week.”

K-Nine look puzzled. “What’s Open the Box ?” he asked.

Josie then explained to him that you buy some raffle tickets for two pounds and if you win the raffle you pick a numbered ball from a bag. The ball corresponds to one of the remaining boxes, one of which contains the jackpot and the others contain booby prizes. K-Nine considered asking Josie what a ‘booby prize’ was but decided he would ask Dirk or one of the others later.

“There are only five boxes left so you have a twenty percent chance of winning the money,” said Josie.

K-Nine weighed up the possibilities, probabilities and odds of winning the money and decided he would have a go. Josie sold him a strip of tickets and then went back to the upper bar to chat with Steve the Quiz.

Dirk and the Bad Sheep were studying the picture quiz. This week they were all famous sci-fi characters from TV, film and literature. Dirk quickly wrote down the answers to about half of them and then passed the sheet round the table for K-Nine to have a look.

“That tall chap with the big grin, floppy hat and long multi-coloured scarf looks rather familiar,” said K-Nine.

“Who’s that ?” asked Kevin.

“That’s Who,” replied K-Nine “or rather the Doctor as he prefers to be called these days.”

“Of course,” said Dirk writing the answer below the picture.

K-Nine took another look at the pictures. They had already identified some of the characters as Captain Kirk, R2D2, Flash Gordon and Marvin the Paranoid Android. By sheer coincidence Marvin the local brewer was standing by the bar looking rather depressed and muttering into his pint …

“Beer … huh … don’t talk to me about beer.”

“Oh do cheer up, Marvin. We’ll be getting some more pickled eggs in tomorrow,” said Teeza the barmaid, trying to lighten the mood.

“Tomorrow is another day,” said Marvin glumly.

“Now you sound like that chap from Gone with the Wind,” said Teeza, “which is rather appropriate if you have been eating pickled eggs.” The barmaid laughed. Marvin just sighed and continued sipping his pint.

It wasn’t long before half past nine came around and the voice of Steve the Quiz interrupted the music that had been playing in the background.

“Right folks, here we go with question number one … if feline relates to cats and canine to dogs, what does ovine relate to ?”

Dirk and the others were unusually silent and looked towards K-Nine for an answer.

“Sheep,” said K-Nine confidently. “If they are all as easy as that we should win this quiz.” They weren’t all as easy as that and a few too many obsure sports questions dented their confidence somewhat.

After thirty minutes or so they had completed the twenty questions and Josie came round to collect the answer sheets from the teams. Shortly afterwards Steve’s voice came over the speakers with the results …

“In fourth place we have the Bush Babes with sixteen points, third were Persian Delight with twenty one, in second place the UCML with twenty two and this week’s winners are the Bad Sheep with twenty three.”

“Marvellous,” said Dirk, a big grin spreading across his face. He then thanked K-Nine for his help before going off to the bar to buy a round of drinks to celebrate their victory.

Meanwhile Josie had got one of the customers in the upper bar to draw the raffle ticket for Open the Box and Steve announced the winning number …

“For the chance to open the box and win two hundred pounds is blue ticket number twenty three.”

K-Nine looked at the strip of tickets on the table before him … he had numbers twenty one to twenty five.

“It looks like twenty three is your lucky number tonight,” said Kevin.

“Indeed,” replied K-Nine as he started to make his way to the upper bar. Suddenly he stopped and noticed the steps that joined the two rooms.

“Oh boll… !” said K-Nine, somewhat louder than he intended.

“Accessibility difficulties ?” asked Teeza.

“Affirmative, mistress” replied K-Nine.

Marvin once again noticed K-Nine’s unfortunate predicament. He put down his drink, picked up K-Nine, carried him up the small flight of steps and placed him gently on the floor by the pool table.

“Thank you very much,” said K-Nine.

“No worries,” replied Marvin returning to the lower bar and his pint.

K-Nine moved forward a few feet and looked at the wall of boxes in front of him. Josie approached him with a bag containing five numbered balls. K-Nine asked one of the customers in the upper bar to pick out one of the balls for him. It was ball number four.

Josie returned the ball to the bag and then Steve said “K-Nine, you can now open the box.”

K-Nine moved a little closer to the boxes, took aim and then fired a quick blast from his laser at box number four. He was obviously a bit nearer than he realised as both boxes four and five exploded, showering the pool table and surrounding area with tiny fragments of wood.

“You’re not supposed to blow the bloody doors off !” exclaimed Steve.

“Ah … sorry,” apologised K-Nine. “By the way, did I win ?” he added rather sheepishly.

“Well actually, the money was in box four, so I guess you have,” replied Steve, still appearing somewhat shaken from the blast. He handed over the two hundred pounds. K-Nine was still feeling a bit guilty so he returned twenty pounds to Steve saying, “Here, take this … I think you may need a couple of new boxes.”

K-Nine then returned to the rest of the Bad Sheep in the lower bar, and offered to buy them a drink or two with his winnings.

“Well that was all quite exciting,” said Rhiannon. “The Sunday night quiz doesn’t normally end with a bang.”

“Indeed,” agreed Dirk.

K-Nine and the rest of the Bad Sheep then spent the rest of the evening chatting away quite happily with Marvin and the barmaids and partaking of the local ales until around midnight when Chris the landlord told them it was time to flock off … in the nicest possible way, of course.

by Nigel Daft

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