QUIZ. There's a pub round the corner from the Department we sometimes go to after work. It used to be called the Three Feathers but, in deference to the community that makes up 90 per cent of its clientele, it's been rebadged the Three Educations. The sign shows a youthful Tony Blair. He looks like he's struggling with an internal moral dilemma, or indigestion. A month to go before our think tank appears on Eggheads and we have to start training. It's Quiz Night.
QUESTION 1. OK, says the MC, let's start with an easy one. What's the name of the new schools minister? Oh, says Max, hang on, I know this, sounds like somewhere in Devon. Max has a flash of inspiration. Burton Bradstock? Exactly, we all say, that's him. It's the wrong answer but who CARES what his name is, he looks like a bouncer on a Guildford pub scrubbed up for the magistrates.
QUESTION 2. What is "Train To Gain"? I have a feeling it's a track by The Clash. Caz is adamant it's a poem by Philip Larkin, in which he takes a train to the village of Gain in Suffolk, where Benjamin Britten is "doing a Psalm, or something". In the end we go with Owen's idea, that Train To Gain is a banned steroid drink. We get it wrong again but then almost certainly so does everyone else. A table round the other side of the bar seems very jolly.
QUESTION 3. What Special Power will be given to poor parents in New Britain, according to "The Gove"? God, they must think we're stupid. It's a trick question, affirms Sandra. They want us to believe it's Michael Gove, but the Special Power bit means it must have something to do with the TV programme Heroes. Why? Because I've done this before, she says. "Trust me, they always slip in a trick question referencing Heroes. The Gove is just probably some power-giving ... entity ... ". Unfortunately none of us has ever seen Heroes, but Sandra's sister has. On that basis - and on that basis alone - we conclude that The Gove is some superhero personal trainer in Heroes and that the Special Power poor parents will be given is invisibility.
RESULT. So it goes on. We come nowhere, everyone's depressed and quite anxious about Eggheads now. Sandra reminds us we got the answer to the one about the Larkin poem right, it's not total humiliation. And the winner is ... Blue Sky Nemesis, the Tory think tank. Apparently one of them was ill, so they got our assessor Scary Paula to stand in. She glances over and playfully mimes aiming a gun and shooting us. Inchworm.