Friday 28 September 2012 8.45am
Tom Pepper wrote:
Channel surfing this evening I landed on a classic Who Wants To Be A Millionaire episode from I guess around 2008-2009.
The guy in the chair was a 32 y.o. headmaster.
I thought, okay, he's young, but as a headmaster, he should be pretty good.
His first question was: In which pantomime does Wishee-Washee appear?
I forget all the options, but I knew that it was Aladdin, so it was a reasonable assumption that he'd know it, but he asked the audience.
Okay, maybe nerves.
Second question: The Mendip Hills are in which area of the UK, N.E., N.W., S.E., or S.W.?
I knew that they were in the Somerset area, but he had no idea, "Can I phone a friend?"
Phoned his father-in-law, who knew that the answer was S.W.
Third question: What is another word for Tortilla?
Welsh Rarebit, Spanish Omelette, French Toast, or German Sausage?
He dithered for a long time, saying "The Spanish and French languages are very similar!?!?", (in which universe?), but eventually went out on a limb and plumped correctly for Spanish Omelette.
Fourth question: The Italian word Primavera refers to which season?
He said "Pri, (not pre), means before, so if vera means Winter then it's Autumn, but if vera means Summer, then it's Spring."
Eventually he went 50-50 and as vera sounded more summery, (he said), took a shot on the correct answer, Spring.
His next question was, in which Dickens book was Inspector Bucket?
I didn't know, and neither did he, so he took the £5000.
I thought, "Jeez, if my kids were at his school, I'd be gutted."
p.s. Maybe pri means before in Italian, I don't know, but then I'm not a headmaster!
I'm very shocked as all these years I've been labouring under the misapprehension that there no question could stump a licensed London taxi driver!! ;-)
Very astute marcus, and thanks for the "big-up."
All jokes aside, a lot of people would be quite surprised at the range of intelligence that permeates London's finest.
In my particular case though, my intelligence is in marked opposition to my abysmally low amount of common sense.
Inspector Bucket I learn via Google featured in Bleak House.
I'm afraid Mr. Dickens was rather low down the scale of my "must read" authors.
I knew from an early age that if I was to maintain the high conversational standard
set by licensed taxi drivers who did "The Knowledge" before me, then I must devour the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, Carl Jung, and Jean-Paul Sartre.
The possession of an analytical brain akin to that of Sigmund Freud was also a distinct advantage when dealing with some of the a**holes who have graced the back seat of my cab.
When René Descartes said, "Je pens, donc je suis," he could have added, "un chauffeur de taxi en Londres!"