Being a bloke, I’m pre-programmed to take sides. I’ll take sides over almost anything. Football matches which feature two teams that I don’t support; Which make of guitar is the best; Two people running for a bus; picking sides in quiz shows. Now, taking sides doesn’t merely mean favouring one side, but either really really really rooting or actively despising a side. Last night, watching University Challenge (BBC Two, Monday, 1 December, 8pm), in a face-off between Edinburgh University and Corpus Christi of one of those posh colleges from Cambridge or Oxford (who actually cares which one, apart from those that attended?), I became completely enveloped by my hatred for the captain of Corpus Christi. She was called Trimble and she smugged one off all over me.
When you’re watching University Challenge, it’s nigh on impossible not to be impressed by the sheer volume of knowledge that these little chumps have. A lot of them look like keyboard players from progressive rock bands, others look like they haven’t had enough sunlight and others look like they’ve never had the nerve to so much look at their own genitalia. Sometimes, you get one so brain-rupturingly irritating and smug that you actively will science to invent a screen that you can reach through and punch those inside.
Not for some time have I been so angry at a complete stranger as I was with this Trimble character. Each answer was met with a smug-grin or a cocky smirk. My normally placid girlfriend ended half-poetically seething “Not a friend did she own at school” before physically turning her back on the screen so she didn’t have to bear this odious little smug-specimen. Now for those of you who think that this is sour graped jealousy on my part, think again. I love seeing these spods having a rare moment in the sun. God knows they got bullied enough at school. They probably still are. Their prowess in the exam room is their only way to flex a muscle. Being one for the underdog, you encourage these social-retards on from your remote position.
However, when you’re dealing with a Trimble, you just know that they’ve sneered at thick people… and by ‘thick’, I mean people who don’t know as much as her, which is virtually everyone, her own team included. Trimble even had the gall to dribble a patronising “Oh well done!” to one of her team-mates when they got a question right. She’s the library dwelling intellectual equivalent of a stroppy flair footballer.
She will, of course, end up in a job that sees her earning a million times what I’ll ever earn in my life… however… would I ever want a pint with her? Nope. I’d be in the long queue trying to get away. She could easily win University Challenge on her own, but I get the feeling she may well celebrate alone as well. I want to lose this baggage of hating just about every single Oxbridge student ever, but when faced with one who more than lives up to the worst kind of stereotype, I take a million steps backward and regress to some snotty nosed braying urchin. I’d better stop there or I’ll start feeling guilty about this article and that wouldn’t do for a thicko like me.