Picture the scene. I'm in "Snooker City" on a Friday night, playing on the quiz machine. A gaggle of obese middle-aged women are playing skittles 10m away from me. Young lads in shellsuits stagger past to be sick in the toilet. I'm one question away from winning £5 when the following comes up on the screen: Q. Which of these countries does not border the North Sea? A. Germany B. Denmark C. Sweden I have 20 seconds on the clock. Immediately I think Germany does border the North Sea, Denmark does, and, er, Sweden does also. Hmmm. 10 seconds left. Ok, Germany definitely does, Sweden definitely does...maybe, just maybe, Denmark doesn't? I press Denmark. Incorrect answer. My final Try Again is gone. The machine is wrong I say to myself. This is a fix. I'm utterly convinced both Germany and Sweden border the North Sea. I picture a map of northern Europe in my mind's eye. Yes, they both border the North Sea. 100%. 5 seconds left. Well, as the machine is obviously cheating I'll go for the most obvious country that borders the North Sea. That way I may win. I press Germany. Game Over. I walk back home from the snooker parlour bemused. When I get home I immediately load up Google and check their maps section. This is what I get: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&...-8&sa=N&tab=wl As I thought...all three countries border the North Sea. Scumbag quiz machine. Maybe I'm missing something I think. I go to the North Sea Wikipedia entry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sea One line sticks out: "In the east, the North Sea connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively." The what? I zoom in on the Google map. And again. And again. Oh bollox, the straits of Skagerrak and Kattegat suround the west coast of Sweden. That means it's not touching the North Sea. Turns out the machine was right. Still, I console myself, no one in Britain would know that. I was effectively diddled. Half an hour later my Dad calls up. After some chitchat I relay the question to him. His immediate answer: "Sweden as it's blocked by Skagerrak and Kattegat. Yes, we learnt that at school." And that's the moral of the story. My private school education in the 1990s was poorer than my father's state-school education in the 1950s. Or more likely, he listened in school and I didn't.