26 May 2013


I went to a charity event Quiz Night yesterday. It was at the Post Bar in the Fullarton Hotel which is a very nice venue. The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore is a five star establishment. It is very colonial British and it is architecturally splendid and grandiose. The Fullerton is one of my favorite buildings on the Island.

The Building was constructed in 1928 and it then housed Singapore's main municipal and social organizations. The General Post Office for Singapore was located in the Fullerton Building as was the Stock Exchange, the Chamber of Commerce and the prestigious Singapore Club. It is probably the Island's most historically significant building. The Singaporeans have ripped down most of the other beautiful old buildings in the city and have replaced them with modern sky scrapers. They are nowhere near as attractive as the old colonial buildings - in my most humble opinion.

The Fullerton Building was converted into a four hundred room luxury hotel that was officially opened on January 1, 2001. It is rumored to have cost more than $400 million to renovate. I have never stayed at the Fullerton hotel.

Why would I?

I have my own little apartment to sleep in.

Here is a picture of the Fullerton hotel:

The building was named after a Scotsman called Robert Fullerton who was the first 'Governor' of a little known entity called the "United Settlements". The 'Settlements' were countries that the English had invaded and occupied and they included Singapore, Malaysia and India.

Fullerton served in his position of 'Governor' from 1827 to 1830. These 'Governors' were actually just the Chief Executive Officers for the English East India Company. This organisation controlled trade to Europe from their Singapore base and they dealt in all manner of goods and raw materials that came mostly from India and China. The bulk of the vast fortune of the English East India Company was made from tea and opium but particularly opium.

They were drug dealers on a massive scale.

There are quite a few very nice restaurants and bars in the Fullerton hotel - including the Post Bar which was where I attended the charity Quiz event last night.

I accepted the invitation to the Quiz night a month or so ago and gathered together a team of friends and colleagues. We didn't win but we didn't mind though. It was good fun and the event was organised to raise money for a very good cause.

The origin of the word 'quiz' is an interesting one and it has only been around for a couple of hundred years. It was supposedly coined by an Irishman. The story behind it's origin is that a bloke named Richard Daly made a wager with some of his mates that he could make up a nonsense word that would spread throughout the entire city within two days. Daly was the manager of the Theater Royal in Dublin and this was in 1791. He apparently sent all of his employees out into the city to write the word "QUIZ' in capital letters on every wall, door and window that they could find.

They did graffiti.

The appearance of this word became the talk of the town and Daly won his bet.

Quite a few scholars have questioned this story even though there are historical documents that suggest that this event actually occurred. Most of the Irish I know tend to be very gobby and speak a fair bit of shit so I have my doubts as well. My spell check doesn't like the word 'gobby' and is changing it to 'hobby'. I have to manually change it back.

Gobby is an Australian slang word that refers to someone who talks a lot and often grossly exaggerates the truth. We Australians are rarely gobby but the Irish are. This is especially the case when they drink.

Particularly when they drink.

A more likely origin of the word 'quiz' is that it is a derivation of the word 'inquisitive' - which of course means enquiring or asking or seeking answers. We all know what a quiz is anyway so I am waffling on a bit here.

I would have liked to win the Quiz though but I have only myself to blame. It was poor team selection on my part and there were too many English on my side. They are good people and fun company but none of them are particularly bright.  In my team of nine there were four English, two Australians, a Scot, a Kiwi and a Frenchman.

I should have gone all Australian and we would have romped it in.

The word 'romp' is a nice one. I like words that end in "omp". My accursed auto spell check on my Mac doesn't like it though and it just changed it to "mop".

I like the words stomp, chomp and clomp but I don't know why.

People like things for different reasons.

In the context that I have used the word "romped" it means to have won easily. Romp has other meanings as well as quite a few words do. The English language can be complex at times. Romp can also mean to play boisterously and loudly and it also has sexual connotations - as in having a romp. This is kissing and cuddling and fooling around.

I normally like to seek out the origins of words and their etymology but I simply couldn't be bothered with the word romp though.

It is a rainy Sunday here in Singapore and I have much housework and cleaning to do. I have to mop my floors and iron my shirts in readiness for the work week that starts tomorrow.

Bugger. I changed the settings on my spellcheck to accept the word-that-is-not-a-word 'omp' and it just changed 'mop' to 'omp'. I am going to have to learn how to use this function a bit better as it is beginning to piss me off.

We were at a bit of a disadvantage in the quiz last night for the rules stipulated that if there were more than eight people on a team then one point was to be deducted in each round of questions. I didn't know this when I picked my team as I rarely read the small print on most documents.

I know I should.

Scoring at the Quiz was undertaken by swapping the answer sheets with the team that were sitting at the table closest to your own. The table that we were adjacent to only had five people on their team and when they scored our sheet they gave us the total of questions that were correct and then they subtracted a point with a note saying "you have more than eight people on your team so we have subtracted one point". They did this on every answer sheet that we completed and after a few rounds of questions we found it very annoying.

The guy who was checking and scoring our sheet on the adjacent table was a little bald English guy. He was wearing a shirt with "England" printed on the front and back and that alone annoyed me. His team took the Quiz night very seriously. They had named their team the "Lucky Snakes" and our team thought that this name was quite appropriate.

They were slippery fuckers.

The fact the we had a point deducted every round didn't concern us too much but the repetitive note written on our answer sheets by the little bald English guy irritated us. We also knew that quite a few tables in the bar also had more than eight people on their teams and they were not getting any points deducted. The Organizers of the event said they didn't mind about the extra person on our table and the point deduction rule didn't apply. When we explained this in a light-hearted fashion to the little bald English guy who was marking our sheets he told us in a most pompous fashion that, "rules are rules".

In an act of vengeance when we marked the 'Lucky Snakes" answer sheets in the latter rounds of the Quiz we became sticklers. If their team mis-spelled an answer or failed to use a capital letter on a proper noun we marked their answers as being incorrect. The little bald Englishman got very upset and he complained to the Organizers. The Organizers thought that this was very funny - as did we - and they told him to chill out. They emphasized that this was just a fun night out and the event was all about raising money for a worthy cause.

The word "Sticklers" originated in mediaeval England. Sticklers in those days were mediators or umpires engaged to resolve disputes in games and competitions. They interpreted and applied rules and regulations and paid great attention to detail.

The little bald English guy did not take up his complaints about us being sticklers with our team. He whinged and moaned direct to the Organizers of the event. I think the reason he didn't whinge and moan direct to us is that two of the not-so-bright English men on my team are both about six feet seven inches tall. They are very big units who I suspect that the little baldy was afraid of. Despite their enormous height both of the English boys are pussy cats and they wouldn't harm anyone.

There is another quiz night being arranged by the same group for the same charity sometime in August and it will again be held at the Post Bar in the Fullerton hotel. I will again attend but this time with a hand-picked all Australian team.

We will have eight people on my team and will not be subject to the point deduction rule. 

We will romp it in.

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