The Lord Timotheus did call upon all Sibfordians, from both Ferris & Gower and the Burdroppers and even the distant Colonists, to select teams of six erudite personages, be they elders, middlers or even youngers, to participate in a Grand Contest of Quizzicality, to be held upon the feast of St George in the Hall of the Villagers.
Upon said day, the ten teams of chosen champions, together with many of their followers, did crowd into the Hall and did gaze & harken in awe and wonderment at His Lordshipness, seated in sombre splendour upon the dais, beneath the likeness of Her Queenshipness and surrounded by mysterious black boxes of Oriental cunning, by means of which he did, at will, cast his voice at great volume to the four corners of the Hall – and back again. Murmurs of “He thinketh we have ears of cloth!” were overheard by the Noble Hiques, who stealthily turned the wick down a couple of notches,to the immediate & grateful satisfaction of the multitude.
Timotheus was assisted by Commandatore Basebio, purser to the Hall and to the Torus faction, who ably combined the posts of victualler & tally-keeper, and by young Thomas de Manthorpius, who performed his daunting tasks of courier & cup-bearer with unflagging cheerfulness.
After much jocular jostling and bawdy banter, the assemblage had at last settled at their allotted benches – only to erupt from their seats with joy when Basebio did proclaim that, in accordance with Torus policy, the wine would be provided ‘free at the point of service’; however, their joy did melt away, like unto snow on a hot tin roof, when they were told of the small print, which did promulgate a new pot tax of 80d a noggin for each use of a goblet.
Order was again restored by Timotheus with the aid of his Nipponese microphonium, and thus, with the ancient battle-cry of ‘Eyes Down for a Full House‘, did the Contest at last commence.
After four exciting rotundi, His Lordshipness, with lips parched from lack of wine (O yeah?), did declare ‘demi-tempus’. The clicking of Basebio’s abacus did continue unabated as he did tot up the scores of each team, whilst the ravenous horde did descend upon the platters loaded with nibbly-bits, so beautifully assembled by Commandatora Basebia and the Ladies Scouse & Shields.
There were mumblings amongst some of the teams that the questions in the tri-part mini-marathon were biassed in favour of soccer-mad Christian Torii, and they did send forth eavesdroppers to rectify their disadvantage. Many of the answers obtained by these nefarious means were genuine A1 duff gen, especially those naming the Books of the Novus Testamentum, as indicated by an exclusive leaked extract from one team’s response, which be revealed below, verbatim et sine commentum:
“We think the Books be divided into sets of three. First come Matthew, Mark & Luke, then John, Paul & George. Next be Acts I, II & III with short intervals between. After these come three Epistles of the Appalling Apostle – to Friends, Romans & Countrymen, written for the Quakers, the Catholics & the Archers, respectfully. Next, for the sportsmen, be Corinthians, Barbarians & Harlequins. Then be three more – to the Dalmatians, the Alsatians & the Pomeranians, all written in dog Latin. There also be a singular obscure composition, called A Jude, which was actually written by John of Lemnon. We think that is all – any more would truly be a revelation unto us.”
When the contestants were satiated with wine & nibbly-bits, Timotheus did proceed with four more rotundi of questions, complaining the while of a continuing thirst, up with which even Thomas, the fleet-footed cup-bearer, could hardly keep. Basebio’s abacus did click away like demented maracas until the final results were conveyed to His Lordshipness. for proclamation to the excited multitude.
The Numero Uno of Quizzicality by a good nine points, and winners of The Silver Goblet, were that learned sextet of Christian Torii soccer fans – the Burdroppers. There were only three points between each of the next three teams – the Lamb Feeders, the Surgery & The Fielding Day Carers.
After congratulating the winners and presenting The Silver Goblet, the Lord Timotheus did close the tournament by thanking all the Contestants and their supporters, and also his assistants and the Ladies of the Kitchen, for making the evening a great success and he did declare.that the Grand Contest of Quizzicality be recorded in the annals of the Scaena Sibfordia as a Jolly Good Thing.
The benches were put away, the torches round the Hall extinguished and the villagers went merrily homeward – though some were heard to mutter “Just you wait till next year – we‘ll show those ovum-bonces from Burdrop”. Perhaps.