DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been a member of a pub trivia team for several years. (The gist of the game is that the questions are read aloud to the room, each team is given 2 to 3 minutes to write down and submit an answer, the answer is announced, and points are assigned based on team response. Highest points at the end of the evening results in a nominal gift to that team.)
One of the other members has invited a new person, Ernie, to join our team. He is quite pleasant and fun. The only problem is that he cheats.
Mind you, I cannot prove he cheats, but when we are presented with a question to which we do not know the answer, he conveniently leaves to "answer a phone call" or "go to the restroom," and when he returns to the table, miraculously, he knows the answer. This bothers me to the extreme. No one else on the team seems to notice or care.
My response has been to simply become unavailable on game night. I am now getting calls and emails from the other team members saying my presence is missed and when will I be returning? I do miss playing, but sitting at the table with a suspected cheater makes me miserable.
GENTLE READER: Cheating, even at amateur games, is such a serious offense that accusing someone of cheating is apt to end in a duel. Miss Manners is not surprised that you want to escape before introducing violence into your friendly game.
What you can do instead is to suggest a new rule: that absence from any one round bars you from that round. Ernie is not going to want to call attention to himself by objecting.