10 Questions With Dom Allen

Tell us one thing about you that the audience won’t already know.

Oh gosh! I have no secrets. Honestly, I have no secrets left… Oh! I have a partially detached retina. Not many people know that. I think it’s the only thing that no one knows.

Tell us the most annoying habit you or any of your NRB teammates have. 

Oh… There are too many to choose. I don’t have any annoying habits, obviously (laughs). Actually, when I’ve had to edit myself I do get annoyed at myself saying “erm” all the time. But everyone does that. Okay, who annoys the hell out of me? Ugh, they all do. Sullivan’s got his annoying giggle… No one has any really really annoying habits. Teri’s got this really annoying accent. I think it’s French.

What’s been your favourite game to play on NRB and why?

That’s a hard one because there’s a few. Hit the Silk! I really enjoyed Hit the Silk as a game. It’s a great game. I just love the whole screwing each other over aspect. It’s a lot of fun. But you also have your work as a team, which is great. It’s always engineering so that someone is completely ostracised from the group, but then that can change all in the course of a 40 minute game. It’s great.

The other game I’ve been enjoying is King’s Dilemma on the Patreon. That’s really good too. I find it enjoyable because it feeds into my obsession with power play, megalomania, and not trusting anyone (laughs).  

If your personality were a board game, which one would it be and why?

It probably would be King’s Dilemma, for the reasons I gave before. Or The Thing – that’s about paranoia as well. Basically, any game about paranoia and power. 

Why did Cinderella’s shoe fall off, if it fit perfectly? Show your workings out.

Well… I think there is a good explanation for this. She initially puts it on in the comfort of her hovel, which would be quite small and probably quite humid. Her feet were probably a bit swollen, naturally. And then when she got to the palace, well, those big palaces are always cold and draughty, especially around midnight. So it gets to midnight, it’s getting colder, so her feet have shrunk and that’s why the slipper comes off. But of course, later on, when she’s back at home they swell up back to normal. See, I can explain that using science. What I can’t explain is why the horse and carriage and everything turn back into pumpkins and the like, but the glass slipper remains the same. What’s that about? Was that ever explained in the story? I don’t remember. It all sounds farfetched to me.

Have you ever considered cheating at a board game and if so, what was your self-justification? 

Oooh. I’ve definitely considered it. I’m trying to think which board games I’ve considered cheating in. I don’t think I’ve ever consciously cheated because I know from experience that if you cheat it’s not as satisfying as total victory. I can’t think of any time I’ve cheated on purpose but I have cheated accidentally before. If I was going to cheat at any game it would probably be Monopoly, just to get it over with quickly. Or Risk. I would probably cheat at Risk if it was getting really stressful.

What part of your personality do you most have in common with Joseph Stalin? 

I keep a cool head. Cool as a cucumber. That’s me. No one has ever seen me get flummoxed, flustered, or stressed, and I think the same can be said for Stalin. I’d say we’re pretty much the same in that regard. I’m a bit taller than him though.

If your NRB teammates were vegetables, what would they be and why?

Laurie would be a carrot because he’s ginger. Tilly would be some kind of sprout. Something that’d you’d be like, “I’m probably not going to use that in a dish because it looks like it needs help.” A radish! That’s what she’d be – a radish. Blair would be something very bright and unusual. She’d be one of those things that’s technically a fruit. She’d be like a slice of lemon in a vegetable medley. Teri,  because she’s French, would obviously be a classic French vegetable such as beef. Or maybe a clove of garlic. Sullivan would be a squash – basically useless. He’s pretty much there to add bulk to the dish. It would be weird if he wasn’t there but no one really loves the squash.

What’s your favourite joke of all time and why?

The poet Ted Hughes dies and goes to heaven. He gets to the Pearly Gates and St Peter asks, “Who are you?” Ted says, “I’m Ted Hughes. I’m a poet,” and St Peter replies, “Oh, I suppose you want to be with the poets in the poetry corner?” Ted does, and so St Peter walks him into this room, and it’s this beautiful sort of cabaret bar/lounge with a stage and all that stuff. Everyone’s in there – Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron, all the famous poets from history. They all turn and look at Ted as he enters and someone asks, “Who are you?” Ted replies that he is Ted Hughes and that he’s a poet. Someone replies, “Oh, you’re a poet, are you? Well, let’s hear some!” They get Ted up on the stage and ask him to perform something new off the top of his head. “Down by the Lake stood my mate Andy,” Ted begins. “I knew it were him because his legs were bandy.” The other poets mutter amongst themselves and then Wordsworth stands up and says, “No, no, my dear boy. You can do better than that.” He thinks for a moment, then says, “If I were to take your subject matter there, I think it should be more like; Down by lake a man stood alone, he had an odd gait because his legs were bowed.” There’s a smattering of polite applause. Someone stands up at the back of the room and everyone falls silent. It’s William Shakespeare. “I think I can do better,” he says. He walks to the front of the room and gets up onto the stage. “Forsooth my lord, what yonder man is this, whose balls hang in parenthesis?