Health Warning

It is very easy to get out of shape playing quiz machines. The smoky atmosphere of a pub and the constant temptation to drink are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Some people play better after one pint of beer. My own experience suggests that the brain performs best without any alcohol. The one thing you must watch out for, however, is the sort of landlord who might get difficult if you order tomato juices all night.

The legend of F.E.Y. lives on in pubs around Britain, even though the man himself has now retired from playing. Simon from Brighton first came across the initials F.E.Y. in 1990 in the Lake District, traditionally a happy hunting-ground for professional players. The pubs are small, the tourists provide good cover and the machines are always well stocked with money.

'It was the days when you could leave your initials on the machine if you got a high score,' says Simon. 'I was working in a team with three others. Wherever we went, we found his initials at the top of the all-time highest scores.'

One day Simon walked into a pub in Beverley, Lincolnshire, and to his amazement he saw the initials F.E.Y. at the top of the highest score of the day. He looked around, wondering whether, after two years, he had finally caught up with this legendary player.

'I sat in the corner having a pint and waited to see if anyone would play the machine. After twenty minutes, a man camc forward and started to play. I knew immediately it was him.'

Simon got chatting with F.E.Y. and compared notes. He was in his early thirties and was about to purchase his £75,000 house. Outside in the car park, F.E.Y. showed him his large van, which he lived in as he travelled the country. He was always on the move.

'It had a shower and I remember noticing all these bulging filofaxes stuffed full of routes, pub names, and questions. He was a graduate, quiet, and like the best players, had a good general knowlege before he got into the game.'

There aren't many people like F.E.Y., and not many people will want to live his sort of life, but it shows what can be done with a trained memory.

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