Today’s show is sponsored by Terry Wogan’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. [Wogan voice] ‘Open your eyes. Look up to the skies and see!’ [Laughter]
[Music] This is the Technical Difficulties.
We’re playing Citation Needed. In front of me I have an almost-randomly selected Wikipedia article from everybody’s favourite reliable source of knowledge, and these folks can’t see it. Every fact they get right is a point and a ding [DING] and there’s a special prize for particularly good answers, which is: Good Lord. — Good grief!
— [Grunts] So today we are talking about the Counts of Andechs. [Laughter]
The what, sorry? The cow — — The Counts of Andechs.
— *Counts* of Andechs. Oh, is that how they determine how many, er, sheets there are on a roll of bog roll? — Yes!
— That’s the Count of Andrex. Oh, okay. Of course, the Andrex Company was started by a Count Andrex of Bohemia. [Sesame Street ‘Count’ voice]
‘Ha ha ha! One! Ha ha ha!’ [Sesame Street ‘Count’ voice]
‘One sheet not enough! Two, not enough!’ ‘Three, getting there. But we’ll go for four! Just in case.’ You have to check in with him before you enter the toilet and gamble on how much you’re going to need. Yeah. He’s stood outside, sliding them under the door, sheet by sheet. [Laughs] ‘What is sheet five worth to you?’ ‘Ha, ha, ha, ha!’ ‘I have insatiable thirst for human blood!’ [Laughter] It’s the thought of the Count actually submitted to his baser, non-counting instincts one night… ‘Ha ha! Try to find virgin on Sesame Street. Impossible!’ [Laughter and groans] ‘Bert and Ernie… no hope there!’
[Laughter] ‘I go to their house, thinking two-for-one deal…’ ‘No! Things I see cannot be unseen.’ ‘One night, three-for-one! Big Bird very small.’ [Laughter] There was a lovely quote from the creators of Sesame Street when they were tired of commenting on the Bert and Ernie rumours, which was: ‘They’re puppets. They don’t exist below the waist.’ No, but they’ve got a man’s fist up their arse, ain’t they? [Laughter and groans] Somewhere back in that rant, you did mention Bohemia. Does anyone know what Bohemia actually was? — Er, Germany…
— An area of Germany, yeah. — What is now Germany.
— Or Austria, or… One of the many states that coalesced into Germany over the 19th century. It’s modern day Czech Republic. All: Oh! There you go. Prisoner of Zenda inspiration basically, Bohemia, wasn’t it? Prisoner of Zenda? Yes. Yes, the novel. Ruritanian, erm… I know the name but not much else, I’m afraid. Big castles and big pointy hats and large ‘taches and big swords and all that. — Are there large castles?
— Yup. ‘I love a lady with a flying buttress!’ [Laughter] ‘Gentlemen, I am crenellated.’ [Laughter] ‘Good Lord!’ ‘Repel all boarders!’ Sorry, I’m doing Terry Wogan’s Castle Defence there. ‘Repel all boarders…’ Terry Wogan’s castle defence of a *ship*, I think you’ll find, was ‘repel all boarders’. I think we’ve found the British version of Takeshi’s Castle. Well! Actually, no offence to T-Wogs himself, but… he is too low a level. Takeshi Kitano, am I right? Beat Takeshi. Massive, huge movie star of Japan. If you were doing it, it’d be Connery’s Castle. Ahh! That’s the level — or Moore’s Mansion or something like that, is what you would be looking at. Brosnan’s Bungalow! Dalton’s Dormer. Doesn’t quite work. I’ve got Brosnan’s Bungalow as just being an alternative Saturday morning kids’ show. Dick and Dom! ‘Now we’re going to look at some silly things outside.’ The thought of Roger Moore driving round in one of those little carts they have on Takeshi’s Castle, spraying people with water while laughing, in a military uniform. That’s what he does! Yeah, but he’d have a big cocktail in his left hand, wouldn’t he? [Suave Roger Moore voice]
‘Ah, ha ha ha ha!’ That’s the greatest impression of anybody I’ve ever seen! Roger Moore driving a car, shooting water while carrying… It was so good, I popped a button on me shirt, Gary. I was that stunned by it. I think the idea is not that you have to knock out the paper targets… By the way, if you haven’t watched Takeshi’s Castle, this whole section’s lost on you. Open a tab, just give it five minutes, come back. It’s not that you have shoot out the targets — it’s that you have to knock his drink out of his hand, or dilute it sufficiently… No, surely it is you have to hit something very close to the cocktail, but if you hit the cocktail that’s a death sentence. If you water it down, you get lightly maimed. Ah, but you just cheat by having a cocktail umbrella. So that’s what they’re for! The Counts of Andechs, then, if I can drag this back to where we were. Oh yeah, yeah. In northern Dalmatia. Was it a bit spotty? Now, I didn’t know Dalmatia was actually a region. I’ve only just put two and two together. Yes! Same way that Alsace is a region. — Yeah, Alsace I knew…
— Weimaraner — Weimar. — Really!
— Yeah! — Yeah.
— Ah! All these little places that came together to form Germany. Sausage dough… Well, Dalmatia… Sausage dough! [Laughs] Weirdly, it was a very short and fat region. Which is where the sausage dogs come from. I always said that fox-hunting… instead of trying to ban it, just make them — I think it was actually a Monster Raving Loony Party idea, but it works: make them replace beagles with sausage dogs. That’ll even it out. Well, sausage dogs are hunting dogs, just for burrowing animals. Yeah, that’s what I mean. A sausage dog chasing a fox… Also, what’s the proper name for a sausage dog? Dachshund. Dachshund! Of course it is. That’ll be from the Dach region… Yes! It means ‘sausage dough’. Dalmatia’s not actually in Germany, though. It’s the right area of Europe. Does anyone want to take a guess where that is now? [Arnold Schwarzenegger voice] Austria. We’re going a bit further east. We’re also on the Adriatic Sea. Is it Hungary? Not on the Adriatic Sea, it’s not. — We’ve had Croatia and it’s not that.
— Point! [DING] Oh really! Okay. We’ve had Czech Republic, not Croatia. Yeah. Absolutely right. So we are looking for some counts in northern Dalmatia. They actually went extinct shortly afterwards, so it was a complete — Extinct?! I’m sorry… Were they Neanderthals? They were shot and eaten for their meat by colonizers. Are we talking about dogs? No, we’re talking about the counts. They went ‘extinct in the direct male line in 1251’. Because they didn’t have any girls, basically, and they all married off, right? Other way round, that they didn’t have any sons. — And girls don’t matter in the West.
— Oh, right, that’s what I meant, sorry. Yeah. We’re in the 13th century. It’s declining just on the male line. That’s changed in the UK, in the last few years, just before the birth of Prince… — Prince George.
— Thank you, I was about to call him Prince Wossname, — Nice.
— Which is possibly treason. Prince George. Thing is, that is kings and queens of the country sorted until… After our lifetime. Yeah, the 22nd century. — Yes.
— Wow. Sort that out. That’s what you call longevity. That’s what you call a permanent institution. We’ve got — I don’t know if it will be Charles or not, I’ve heard different… And then you’ve got… obviously you’ve got William, and then you’ve got him. So it’s all blokes for the rest of our life now. Yeah. Unless we get a gun and — no, sorry. [Laughter]
That’s actually… It’s going to be a sausage-heavy monarchy, everybody.
[Laughter] It has been, throughout history, a fairly… Yeah, default setting there. So I’m looking through, and there is just an enormous amount of genealogy, and names, and intrigue in the court here. Does anyone want to take a guess at some proper sort of Bavarian names that could be in this? Hans! No Hans, strangely enough. — That’s weird. That’s probably why they died out.
— They were all maimed! Wahey!
[Laughter] Does that mean they were Hans-free? [Groans]
Yes! — Point!
— Thank you, thank you… — No, no, I can’t give you a point, it’s not a fact.
— Biscuits! I’ve just realized that whenever I hit that button, I do this kind of — thing with my lips, like… [Slaps button]
I’m not sure why! Can we just get a freeze-frame of that now, of you going: Ludwig! Yeah, Ludwig’s a good shout, actually. Nope. — Arnold.
— John! Arnold is exactly right. Point! [DING] — Ah!
— Arnold! The very first one: Arnold, Count of Dießen married to Gisela of Schweinfurt. Nice. Pigfurt? — Pretty much.
— Yes. If anyone wants to take what the ‘Furt’ in that is… ‘Schwein’ is definitely ‘swine’. Is it ‘river’? Not quite. You’re very close. Ford. Ford. Point over there. [DING] — ‘Pig crossing’.
— Literally ‘swine ford’. It’s where you put the pigs through the river. I love it. There’s a German footballer called Schweinsteiger. I always loved that: ‘Pig-farmer’. I love it when you do translate. My wife does that a little bit, you know, of translating foreign footballers’ names. ‘Huh huh! Pig farmer.’ And as soon as you’ve got that in your head… ‘Pig farmer.’ ‘He’s playing surprisingly well considering he’s been up since dawn.’ They don’t milk pigs, do they? So he doesn’t need to be up at dawn. No, we’ve missed the obvious one. We’ve missed ‘Otto’. Of course! There’s one of those. There’s also… Poppo. — Nice!
— Cool! He sounds like a children’s clown. Poppo the Second, Margrave of Carniola. — Yes! Yes!
— Ohhhh! Carniola! And thrice yes, please. And if he doesn’t introduce himself like that every time, there is something wrong. Probably doesn’t introduce himself very much at all any more. Well… if he didn’t at the time. ‘I am Margrave of Cariola.’ ‘I would like some petrol.’ I mean, we’re talking about someone who died more than 900 years ago. ‘I would like some hay.’ ‘I am Margrave of Cariola. Twix please!’ I’ve just got this idea of motorway service stations on medieval hay tracks now. Well, there would have been things like that. There would have been coaching… staging places. Yeah, it would have been a coaching inn. But I’m just having the idea that you pull off this slip road on this hay track, and there’s this utterly uninterested person trying to flog you fish and chips that have been sat there for ten hours. ‘You cannot get a frankfurter from these people.’ ‘For look at the prices they charge!’ ‘I shall go over to ye Manor of Ginster…’ ‘It is not warm. It is cold. These things should not be eaten in such a fashion!’ ‘But there be tax if we warm them.’ ‘But there be tax if we warm them, sir!’ ‘Yes, I know! I set the taxes!’ ‘Fine, fine. I shall eat it cold anyway. I am only on my way somewhere else.’ ‘I shall heat it on my horse’s exhaust.’ [Laughter]
Ohhh. I just realized that essentially, that pasty tax thing is like a medieval tax. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect King John to say in a Robin Hood story. Yes. A kids’ Robin Hood story, of course, that doesn’t involve death, but one that does involve taxing pasties. Yeah. Just a thought: ‘I wouldst have to pull over at a, at a staging-place; I have soiled my —’ Sorry, you’re dropping into Wogan again here. I can’t help it! ‘I have soiled my breeches and I must take a quick call.’ ‘These privies are cleaned twice a day. Please tell Management if you find a problem.’ There’s a little analog clock on the wall, going round, saying ‘Minutes since last…’ They’ve got one of those grabby machines! — Just on a string…
— Yeah. ‘You could never find a favour from these things!’ No, it’s just a peasant strung up by the feet. [Laughter] And you’ve only got so much rope to lower them down. — ‘I have a cunning plan!’
— ‘Get that one! Get that one!’ ‘His grip is not strong enough. They are rigged! They are rigged!’ ‘He has had some disease as a child!’ The bears are just massively weighted… No, they’re actual bears. ‘I do not even want this!’ I think we’re riffing a Maid Marion and Her Merry Men sketch here. — Right, okay. At the end of the show, Gary, congratulations, you win this one. YEEES! Oh, I’d forgotten that. I’d forgotten he does that every time, doesn’t he. You have won: Two hours racing around the coast, desperately trying to collect clams with a famous ballerina… in Darcy Bussell’s Mussel Hustle. So enjoy that! That’s been Matt Gray. That’s been Gary Brannan. That’s been Chris Joel. I’ve been Tom Scott, and we’ll see you next time! And that was our show! If you liked it, leave us a comment, or better yet, share it around to your friends. We’re trying not to be too needy, but… seriously, share it around! And there are more than thirty audio episodes of our reverse trivia podcast over at techdif.co.uk. [Translating these subtitles? Add your name here!]