Answers for December 1997

Our WINNER this month is, appropriately, a very busy firefighter from WA –

Steve Hodges

Steve, perhaps you should have spent more time putting out fires and less time on trivia quizzes… Dr Bob went to Perth on Nov 24-26 and reports there is no traffic in the evenings, so you can step into the street without looking for cars.

Question 1

A famous French folk song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” commemorates the great bridge over the Rhone, built in 1188. What happens if you cross it?


Half the bridge fell down years ago, so you fall into the river

Alternative answers:

  • If you cross it, it gets really angry
  • You get to the other side, but since the bridge is partially collapsed, crossing it would require more than the usual skill needed to traverse such a structure.
  • You wait at the toll gates for 20 minutes and then discover you don’t have any spare change.
  • Who cares? You will be one bridge further away from the rest of the French!
  • Nothing will happen, as long as you pay the troll that lives under it.
  • A French person comes over and curtly says, “Get off of this bridge you evil (your background here, American, Australian, British, etc.) swine – I unclog my nose in your direction ….”

Question 2

How many people were killed by the Great Fire of London in 1666?


3 (Other reports say 6, 8, or 16)

Alternative answers:

  • Not too many, but little did they know the great four day smog was coming!!!
  • None – since none of the people killed would have agreed that it was such a great fire.
  • 16, but since the fire appears to have stopped the plague, how many lives did it save?
  • None – everyone knows that the Great Fire of London was a conspiracy perpetrated by the head of the Royal Bureau of Investigation (RBI) J Edgar Pepys, to cover up the fact that certain citizens of London had been abducted aboard spaceships from the Pleiades.
  • All of the dead ones.
  • None of the survivors.

Question 3

What is the principal threat to the survival of tigers?


Traditional Chinese Medicine, which drives the economics of poaching them for their penises and other body parts.

Alternative answers:

  • Principles
  • Lack of tigers.
  • Death.
  • Poofter tigers.
  • AFL national expansion plan which requires there to be fewer footy teams in Melbourne [what a good idea – zero would be an adequate quantity]
  • They are hunted for use as medicine, for example, their brains are said to cure laziness, although I would have thought their presence would have been equally effective
  • Their penises and their brains – they must be the only creatures that are wanted for both.

Question 4

How many people were killed by the 4-day smog over London in 1952?


About 4,000 above the normal death rate – nobody noticed until the coffin & flower shops began to run out of stock

Alternative answers:

  • No-one really cares, as they were all English anyway…
  • What, the smog went away?

Question 5

(em>How, or on what occasion, did Attila the Hun die?


Probably a heart attack during the breakfast after his wedding night in 453AD – would you believe, he ate too much. (He was a dwarf). There is an alternative version, succinctly described here by Ian Boehm – “With a skinful of piss he toddled off to bed to consummate his latest marriage. His missus thumped him on the nose to prevent premature ejaculation (or so the story goes) and he choked on his own blood”. There was also a suspicion that she poisoned him.

Alternative answers:

  • He isn’t dead. I’ve seen him with Elvis in my local supermarket.
  • How Not To Die: The Dumbest Deaths in Recorded History: #47: A.T.Hun
  • On what occasion? On the zeroth anniversary of Attila the Hun’s death, of course!
  • He was bored to death by a creationist lecture. [More likely to die from either apoplexy or despair]
  • Fell off a bridge, or choked in smog, or died in a fire, or had aphrodisiacal genitals? [Well I suppose they would be, wouldn’t they]
  • He died on his wedding night, from a stroke after going to bed drunk. I wonder how long it was before his wife realised!
  • Please explain? (to be said in a nasal tone)