OUR Sunday afternoon catch-up with the girls ended with one very red-faced female and more than a few belly laughs.

We'd started chatting about what we had recently been watching on TV when I asked: "Did anyone see the programme called Child Genius of the Year?"

Everyone shook their heads as they had no clue what I was talking about.

"Well," I explained. "It was a competition for brainy kids aged between seven and 12 who hope to be crowned Child Genius of the Year …"

That was when the mocking began.

"Weren't you in the Child Genius finals one year Christine?" teased Yvonne.

"Very funny," retorted Christine. "For your information I'm sure I would have been in with a shout if I had applied."

"Anyway," I continued. "The first part of the competition was memory recall. The kids had to memorise 104 playing cards, all in the correct sequence."

"104?"said Yvonne. "Janice, you can only remember three drinks at a time when it's your turn to go to the bar."

Ignoring her insult I continued with my story: "Most of the kids could memorise 10 cards on average. But one of them, an 8 year old boy called Tudor, remembered 72 cards.

It was amazing," I enthused.

"That really was incredible for an eight year old," gasped Christine.

"When I was about eight my mum would send me on my bike to the shop for messages. One day she sent me for a plain loaf and a tin of corned beef."

"Two items?, Yvonne laughed sarcastically. "Hardly very difficult that."

"I know," agreed Christine before continuing, "and my mum was less than happy when I came home with a pan loaf and a tin of spam. At 8, I couldn't even remember two items never mind 72!"

Everyone laughed as we secretly knew we had all been there at some point.

I returned to my story.

"So some kids were eliminated after that round but Tudor, the child genius went on to the next round which was all about logic and reasoning. And, although he was a bit slower to answer, he still got most of them correct".

LOGIC and reasoning?" said Christine. "I'm not even sure I know what that even means."

I turned to the group to explain.

"Part of the questioning was around problem solving."

"Well, I solve problems every day," interrupted Mae.

We looked at her a little puzzled by her claim as Mae works as a barber.

"You see," she continued unperturbed by our looks, "A lot of my customers have troubles and difficulties of one type or another … and I'm always there to give good advice."

"I'm not sure it was that type of problem solving," I started to explain before giving up as I somehow knew there was little point.

So changing the tone I suggested: "Wouldn't it be great to have one of those child geniuses on your quiz team?"

But sticking with stories of her expertise Mae piped in again: "Oh yes. I just love quizzes."

"Really?" I asked, genuinely puzzled and surprised. "No offence but I didn't think you would have had a lot of interest in quizzes Mae."

"Oh aye," she replied, "I usually know most of the answers but, just like wee Tudor (we couldn't quite believe that Mae had likened herself to Tudor the child genius), I'm probably not as quick with the answers as I could be."

Christine, who had accompanied Mae on a recent quiz night butted in.

"I don't think speed was necessarily the problem, she smirked.

"Oh, give her a break," I pleaded as I saw Mae's cheesy grin disappear.

"Oh but, you weren't there for the final humiliation Janice,". Christine replied.

So the pub was packed. Mae and I were right at the front when the quizmaster shouted through the microphone 'The first person between the two remaining teams to call out the correct answer wins tonight's quiz'.

"The place was silent as we waited on the all-important deciding question.

"'Name a famous gladiator slave who led a revolt against the Romans?' he asked.

" Mae jumped up right away excitedly waving her arms at the quizmaster and roared 'ASPARAGUS'.

"Child Genius of the Year? Don't think so!!!"