I was on the radio last week.
At 8.35, Friday morning I entered a short quiz on the radio where I tried to answer ten questions before a fictional toaster popped out some fictional toast. The quiz is called ‘Beat the Toaster.’
I am not a fan of quizzes, because I am appalling at them; ask anyone I have been in a pub quiz with, I shout out an answer with extreme confidence and enthusiasm, convince everyone I am right and then face searing disappointment when I am revealed to be an idiot at the end. In addition, while I have the face for radio my voice sounds unfamiliar and grates on my last nerve.
So why did I do it?
I’ll tell you why.
I did it for the children…
Everyday en route to school my kids jump in the car at 8.33, strap in their seatbelts, turn the radio on and eagerly await the familiar theme tune to ‘Beat The Toaster’, they whoop with delight when every morning I shout out the correct answer at least 80% of the time and they groan when the fools that enter get it wrong as it is soooo easy.
Every morning when the short quiz ends the same question bounces round the car, ‘Mummy, will you go on, Mummy puhlesase.’
So I did – for my children.
The quiz is pre recorded, presumably so people don’t swear like soldiers when they get sent to ‘Loserville’, so I did it in secret without my trio knowing; then I waited eagerly until 8.35 and my time to shine arrived.
I watched my son’s face as the radio announced his mother onto the show, his jaw went slack, his eyes gleams and he mouthed ‘is it you?’
I nodded and both the elder pair beamed in unison; BB continued to sing ‘Beat the Toaster’ in the back, oblivious that I was about to become famous.
The quiz began and I heard myself shout out the answers I had recorded shortly before.
Then came the first stinger;
“What word is phonetic for W?”
“Whiskey” screamed my kids in the car, whilst on the radio I heard myself start to stutter, “water? wine?” I ranted whilst the presenters tried to steer me in the right direction. Twin Boy stared at me in the car, ‘didn’t you know mummy?’ he asked incredulous.
I stuttered and stammered through the next few questions, each one worse than the previous, quite simply, I lost my nerve.
The show came to an abrupt halt when I was sent to Loser Street and a song began to play in place of my voice.
Leaning forward Twin Boy reached forward and snapped off the radio.
Silence filled the car.
“Well” I grinned, “what a surprise eh, mum went on beat the toaster.”
The heavy silence lingered, like an unwanted fart.
“I am so embarrassed” said a voice from the back and I twisted my neck to see twin Girl holding her head in shame.
“Mum, you were rubbish”, yelled Twin Boy “you were supposed to win, how can we go to school after this?”
As I said, I did it for the children….
I am doing sod all for them ever again.
I have yet to face the playground!