Interview with SOTHC

Posted by: Pagiedamon

Interview with SOTHC - Thu Apr 12 2012 09:26 PM

What's the story behind your screen name?

It was in the days when Funtrivia allowed you to have umpteen screen names. I started off as Senior Moments and Friar Tuck (because of a love of spoonerisms) and I became Son of iM when I was replying to another regular named iM’s messages. I had always thought of iM as male and was surprised to find out she wasn’t, so she became my Funtrivia mum. When she mentioned that she liked men in uniform, I jokingly added that it was any men in uniform and Son of iM’s father might be anyone in the forces. National pride made me pick the Household Cavalry so son of iM became SOTHC or Son of the Household Cavalry. We still keep in touch and you would be amazed if you knew the screen name that iM was better known as. I have been sworn to secrecy so my lips are sealed.

Given your screen name, I've often wondered if you (or any member of your family) have served in the Household Cavalry, and if so when and do you have any interesting tales to tell?

My only time in uniform was when I was in the Boys Brigade during junior school and the ATC (Air Training Corp) at grammar school. My mother was a sergeant in the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women’s branch of the British army) and my dad was a sergeant in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders training soldiers during the Second World War. He never got to go overseas as he was run over, on manoeuvres, by a runaway 25 pounder field gun (the sort they use for the 21 gun salutes for royalty and the like).

Have you ever lived or considered living anywhere other than England?

Every time a big bill comes through the letterbox. I have been lucky to have travelled to quite a few locations in the US, Canada, Africa and India and have liked them all, but nowhere beats home, especially when the boss, a.k.a. wife, says that she would never live anywhere else.

I often visit England with my grandchildren. Where are some less well-known places you would recommend that might be interesting to teenagers but are off the beaten path?

That would depend on the teenager. My experience of those troubled beasts are that they can only survive for ten minutes without being glued to their I phones, PSPs and alike and they would be unaware of their location, wherever you took them, and they would only become animated and agitated when they couldn’t pick up a signal.
One place that I have always found interesting to all ages is the historic dockyard at Portsmouth. There you can see the remains of the famous Henry VII’s Mary Rose that sank in the Solent in 1545 and was raised in 1982, Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory and HMS Warrior which was the most powerful ship of its day.

How did you get so smart? (Seriously--by smart I mean knowledgeable. By formal study or hobby study? Or by some mentor in your youth or childhood? Etc.)

Thanks for the compliment. I have never thought of myself as being knowledgeable. I seem to know a little about a lot, which sometimes comes in handy at quiz nights. I am a bit like a Jack of all trades and master of none. I pick up odd bits of knowledge whilst looking for answers for something quite unrelated. Ask me a straightforward general knowledge question and I would probably get it wrong.

Similar to queproblema's question, I've often wondered how you twist your brain around some of the posers in the "Huh? Say What?" chain and where you trained yourself in lateral thinking and other brain twisting skills.

I get my sense of humour from my mum and my lateral thinking from my dad. I remember, when I was still in short trousers, trying to help him do the cryptic crosswords in the newspaper and I followed in his footsteps and those cryptic crosswords twisted my brain but in a nice way.

Seeing as how you are a moderator in the Chain Games, please sell the merits of them to those reading this interview who may have never played or are unfamiliar with them. Start your sales pitch now ...

I never was a very good salesman and I am probably the worst person to ask to do this. I only do a few of the chains as I steer clear of those which require relying on Google and little personal input. I prefer those chains where you have to exercise the old grey cells. Unfortunately the ones I like are not played enough by others and tend to fall by the wayside such as “Let’s go on a cruise” and “Uxbridge English Dictionary”. “Huh? Say What?” is just hanging on and only survives because of last minute reprieves. I think that the time taken, for the thought process required, in these types of chains means that people shy away from them. They may like reading them, which is evident by the number of views they record, but they do not add any replies. You may get thousands of ‘views’ but only three or four people adding responses. If there are no additions, the plug has to be pulled. So I would implore people to add comments to those chains they like reading. Relevant additions would be preferable but in the absence of those, compliments or criticisms would help keep the plug in place.

How did you get interested in trivia and do you play quizzes as well as post on Forums?

That’s a tough one as I have no recollection of where the interest started. I do a monthly postal quiz as part of a small team which keeps me occupied as the 120 questions are cleverly worded and the answers take some finding and are definitely not what you would call ‘General Knowledge’. I have managed to get the Joliettes, my Funtrivia team, doing it, but as I am with another team, I have been have been turned into a long legged flightless bird or ostracised and they won’t help me with any of my answers.

You have a very quick wit - what are some of your favourite forums?

I am embarrassed to say that I frequent only the Chains and The Joliettes Forum. I occasionally do a quick dip into others but none of them has grabbed me and pulled me in yet.

Do you sometimes miss the old forums that challenged (ahem!) our "creative" writing and rhyming abilities?

Sometimes would be an understatement. It was sad day when our boat sank without trace.

Other than Fun Trivia, what are your favourite leisure time activities?

I am a fair weather gardener and love travelling to places that are linked with all kinds of wildlife. Our next trip that we would like to do is go to somewhere like Churchill and see the polar bears. The remaining leisure time has to be taken in short bursts, due to other commitments, and Funtrivia and Facebook suit those short bursts.

Do you play any kind of sport or game? (Bowling, rummy, etc.)

I have a crushed vertebra which limits the kinds of sport I can do but strangely enough ten pin bowling does my back no apparent harm. Unfortunately my visits to the bowling alley coincide with having the grandkids along which means in having the alley guides in place. This does take the fun out of it but they like it. I like numerous card games and was quite good at bridge until my partner and I were accused of cheating at a bridge match for using an illegal bidding system. It was only illegal as it had not had its licence renewed when a new bidding system took its place. We had taken ages learning it and couldn’t face going back to square one.

I know that you like cats (and, as such, I'm sure your cats absolutely love you - they tend to reciprocate nicely). I'm curious to know what you've named your pets (both past and present) - and wondering what about those names you selected made the label the perfect fit.

The first pet I ever had after leaving home was a beautiful long haired moggy. I mentioned to our neighbour’s daughter that we had just got a kitten and she replied in lazy English, her version of “Did you? From that day the cat was named Didger (pronounced Did’jer). Unfortunately Didger’s liking for heavy traffic used up all his nine lives and he was replaced by two kittens, we called Digit (male) & Fidget (female). Nature took its course and they begat Bodget. Another kitten we had, born at home was a tiger striped tabby moggy which the kids called Tigger and he survived for 22 years with us and we were so sad when we had to have him put down due to kidney failure. Due to the increase in local traffic and the loss of many cats through it, we decided not to have any more free range cats and go for house cats. Maine Coons were ideal for this and many of the UK breeders contractually insist on them being just that. We opted for two male Maine Coon kittens. My wife and I couldn’t agree on any names so we just went for Bill and Ben (from the children’s TV programme The Flower Pot Men) so their pedigree names are Atticus William (the silver tabby) & Kittitas Benjamin (the brown tabby). For my wife’s 60th birthday I got her another one that had already been named Helios Kagoza. He was a red tabby and was promptly called Fred (Fur red).
The odd thing about our three Maine Coons is that they each have different temperaments which closely match that of our three sons. We are not sure if this is just a coincidence or that the choice of each of the kittens was pre determined by our own experiences of family life.

What can you tell us specifically about the cat that you use for your avatar, as well as any other pets?

I have used all three Maine Coons as avatars but I haven’t changed the current avatar for a while. The one being used, at the moment, is Ben. He is the smallest of the three but the one that eats the most. He is a retriever cat and loves to play fetch with certain items. His favourite is a piece of plastic coated wire which is about nine inches long and scrunched up. Unfortunately his favourite time for this game is three o’clock in the morning. You are awoken by having this screwed up bit of wire shoved down your neck and Ben tapping your ear. He will not leave you alone until you have thrown his ‘toy’ for him to fetch. We have managed to perfect a ricochet shot, through the bedroom door that then hits the wall and sends the offending article down stairs with Ben in hot pursuit. This has to be repeated a few times until we manage to fool him with a decoy throw that sends him downstairs looking for the toy which is now safely under the pillow. He will not come back up until after a search of the entire downstairs and we can then safely drift back off to sleep. This sleep unfortunately only lasts until about 4.30am when Fred (who weighs in at 22lbs) decides he is hungry and gets your attention by sitting on your chest and kneading you until you wake up. When it first happened I thought I was having a heart attack.
Bill then joins in by lying alongside you doing the kneading with all four paws. This four foot shuffle is accompanied by a perverted twitchy hip movement, which makes further sleep impossible.

Andy, let's pretend some wealthy Brit has handed you all the money you'll need to open your very own pub! Congratulations, yes? My question, though, is what would you name the place? And why that name?

It would have to be called the Huh? Say What? All the drinks and food served would have to have suitably worded versions such as:-
“Untruth bronze masticated the woman” = Lie tanned bit her
“Rear resilient soft cheese knight” = Back hardy brie sir
“Fraudulent ache” = Sham pain
“Remain tinned means Australian toilet” = Stay canned key dunny
“Atom smashing bird noises” = Fission cheeps
“Health resort, J Paul steer leg joints” = Spa Getty bullock knees

I do not think that it would make any money though as people would walk out confused, hungry and thirsty.

Were you to be called upon to be a publicist for one of the Royal Family, which of them would you like to work for? And, of course, why?

I am on the fence when it comes to Monarchy, but with a definite leaning towards them. I wouldn’t like to see the end of them, but I am not really keen on many of them as individuals. I think that they are victims of their own upbringing and I would have to choose the oddball member Prince Phillip who always manages to surprise people with his comments. I would have to hide his shotguns though as I believe that his connections with the World Wildlife Fund are a bit hypercritical.

Why would you or would you not care to travel to the moon?

There are still too many places on Earth that I would want to see but, assuming the spacesuit fits, the weightlessness would mean that in space nobody knows you are fat.

Who is your favourite comic, either living or dead?

I would find it impossible to pick just one as so many have had me in tears with laughter. If given the time I could come up with my top 100, but I would find it impossible to put it in order of preference. I was brought up on the Goons so Spike Milligan would be on the list as would Dave Allen, Kenneth Williams, Jasper Carrott and Billy Connolly.

What can you tell us about your oft-mentioned, but never seen or heard from, wife?

I have had two unhappy marriages; the first wife left me, the second one won't.

It’s an old joke which I have often used, but only in jest to which Beth would answer that we once had something wonderful between us but I spent it all.

My second wife Beth has put up with me for nearly 33 years and the marriage is going from strength to strength. It may be because she is also my best friend or the fact that I cannot afford a divorce and she has trained me so well that she knows that I wouldn’t be able to, or want to, cope on my own.

Thanks to all who participated.
Posted by: queproblema

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Fri Apr 13 2012 11:44 AM

Thanks, SOTHC, and Pagiedamon and everyone! Very interesting.

So, at SOTHC's pub I could wash down steak and kidney [pie], fish and chips, or spaghetti bolognese with light and bitter, Bacardi Breezer, or champagne.

You really should meet Baloo55th if you don't know him! You seem to have a lot in common.
Posted by: Pagiedamon

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Fri Apr 13 2012 12:17 PM

Wasn't this just such a fantastic interview? I never knew much about SOTHC until now. smile
Posted by: SOTHC

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Fri Apr 13 2012 04:03 PM

Baloo55th! Now that is a name from the past
Posted by: queproblema

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Fri Apr 13 2012 05:47 PM

He's alive and well over at Ask Fun Trivia. Not so active as before. (But then, how would I know? I'm not, either!)
Posted by: MadMartha

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Fri Apr 13 2012 10:21 PM

Your interview was fun to read
On your intelligence we are all agreed
Though your quick wit is hard to equal
Maybe someday there will be a sequel
To some of the games that called for rhyme
But in the meantime
It's nice to have friends from around the world! smile
Posted by: StarfishTwo

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Fri Apr 13 2012 11:53 PM

Things I Learned From Andy's Interview
by Starfish Two

1. My cats are lazy.
2. I am lazy, as Andy surmised correctly that the reason I didn't play some of those lost games he's lamenting is that they were too time-consuming.
3. I am not wrong to avoid playing "Huh? Say What?" as it took me forever to figure out some of the offerings at Andy's pub ~ meaning I would be one of the ones starving to death.
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Sat Apr 14 2012 08:29 PM

I had to laugh out loud; what a great interview! I love your sense of humor.
Posted by: Jakeroo

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Fri Jun 08 2012 05:44 PM

From the photography thread, I knew "SOTHC" was kind, amusing and interesting - but honestly, until I checked out the other threads mentioned (which I hadn't been to before), I didn't realise just HOW funny/clever the man is. Lovely interview. Was as charmed by that as by the initial written contact.
Posted by: satguru

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Fri Jun 08 2012 08:29 PM

I have to admit that having read the cavalry story long ago it was plausible enough to be true. And you were Friar Tuck as well? Also news to me, so between you and Hamlet (plus all his associated names) the two of you provided about half the answers on Ask when I first arrived there. Fascinating to hear the details behind well over a decade of local history. I wasn't me back then either so wouldn't have been recognised directly.
Posted by: shuehorn

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Wed Jul 04 2012 09:43 AM

I loved this interview and wish that my two jobs didn't make it so that I don't have time for the chain games. Hopefully I will have only one job soon, and some more free time.
Posted by: SOTHC

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Sun Aug 26 2012 01:41 AM

This morning, I awoke to find Bill, the silver one, sitting on the floor next to me, looking rather pleased with himself. I looked down and, without my glasses, saw a shape on the floor. Being only half awake, I went to touch it and found it soft and slimy. My immediate thought was that he had given up using the cat tray but that thought disappeared when the shape decided to try and jump onto the bed. Now we have three 'house cats' and their only available outside area has been carefully designed to prevent ingress of such creatures as, years ago this was a regular occurrence.
I am now awaiting for the police to come around to arrest me for indecent exposure as I had to deal with the unwanted visitor before I could put on my glasses and some suitable clothing as the frog was hopping about the floor and I didn't want to lose sight of it. I managed to pick it up in one hand and then had to go and unlock the back door and then the gate to the sealed patio so that I could release the poor thing down the end of the garden. I am just hoping that none of my neighbours were looking out of their windows at the same time. If the police come round, I will know that they were.
I shall spend my waiting time looking for the the breach in my defences so that this episode isn't repeated.
Posted by: satguru

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Sun Aug 26 2012 04:00 PM

I heard a flapping sound in my bedroom about 3am once and found Lucy had brought in a huge goldfish. It went in the bath and the next day I asked the neighbours and found it came from the pond two doors away and was returned with only a few scratches.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Sun Sep 16 2012 08:24 AM

Originally Posted By: ClaraSue
I had to laugh out loud; what a great interview! I love your sense of humor.

Couldn't say it any better.
Posted by: SOTHC

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Thu Sep 20 2012 04:18 PM

It is time to change my Avatar and this one is Kagoza Helios but we call him Fred
Posted by: MadMartha

Re: Interview with SOTHC - Sat Sep 22 2012 10:02 PM

Fred looks like he's thinking, "I ain't too happy 'bout this!"

He's a pretty cat though.