Richard Lutz sifts through the charred remains of another week
Short Elizabeth with a French edge…
Unusual red kitten eats yoghurt….
Treasure box with almonds say…
Gawd, it’s time for the dratted Christmas quizzes. I think I got three out of fifty on the one that passed my desk this week, although I bumped into folks who whizzed through the mysteries of the double entendres, the twisted meanings and the crazed anagrams in under ten minutes. What kind of manic brains do these people have? Do they dream in double acrostic?
I mean, whatever happened to questions like: “What’s the capital of Bulgaria?” or “What was Winston Churchill’s middle name?” Unfortunately, there is one of the bigtime brainjunkets threatened this weekend for the family Christmas meal. It’s enough to gag on question number 31 (“Cause murder to lose the German”) or choke on question number 38 (“Belgian city shoots up…”).
If there is one way to avoid these quizzes, I have to tell you, simply head for jury service. I did. Or rather I was summoned by a Scottish sheriff court. As the clerk told us as we waited to be picked: “Forget your watches or looking at a clock. We live in court time here”. And then he erupted with a sepulchral laugh and left us alone to rot for an unknown duration.
We waited two days before being selected for the 15 member jury. Sixty of us sat uncomfortably whiling our way through the mire of court time until our allotted ID numbers (mine was 189) were selected. Or not. I was not and got out to breathe fresh air for the first time in 48 hours as my duly appointed jury colleagues sat down for a knife fight case.
Of course, you could have a book or newspaper to read. But not many did. Most fiddled with their mobiles to check and re-check old texts and messages that they just read and re-read a few moments before. They did this endlessly. I went for the book route.
I had no choice. I had picked up a detective novel from a charity shop near the court house. It was written by Lisa Lutz – yes, she shared my last name. Maybe a distant third cousin twice removed or something. But as I ploughed through its 360 pages, I realised dear old Lisa had written a rambling, turgid, sloppy story.
I guess help was needed to have shaved off half the words to create a lean little tale. But nothing like that happened. Cousin Lutz needed a good editor at the end of the day. Though its cute premise – a family of gumshoes including a twelve year old girl who live in San Francisco – had its moments.
Anyway, it got me through the throes of waiting for jury service. And I got through thru the familial duty of finishing a mediocre novel. And with that I have only Quiz Question Number Fifty to leave you with and that’s: “What Noddy Holder says each year” (5,9 9). Good luck.