Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Trivia: Nothin' To See Here, Folks

Usually, when my efforts at trivia are less than triumphant, I don't report them. But the outcome was so close to brilliance that it requires some reportage. Last night, it was Schultzy's, part 2. This time we had a bigger team, more drinks and everybody (except me) was eating salad and meat. If you'll recall, three of us ventured there in October and won the whole shebang. And, as tradition and practice dictated, we won nothing - not even the admiration of our peers. Yesterday evening, we were six and there was no reason for us not to win. We finished fourth - but we were only three points away from first place. I blame three things:

1. The way, way fucked up music portion of the quiz. It was a name-that-tune, finish-the-lyrics type deal all rolled into one. It was totally confusing. We did poorly.

2. The quizmasters who, for the musical instrument visual round, accepted the response of xylophone for vibraphone. The two are not interchangeable. Yes, they're both mallet instruments, but it's like calling a clarinet a saxophone. We chose correctly, but all those ahead of us identified it as a xylophone and were given credit for it. So it simply wasn't enough that we won a point; it was more important others should lose their points. That didn't happen.

3. Back in the old country, whenever anything goes bad on any sort of level - national, local or personal - my sturdy Ukrainian relatives always blame it on "Russian meddling." That's kind of what happened with one of the answers. The question was about whose quarterback got punched by a fan at the end of a game this weekend after leading his team to a mediocre 6-5 record. I hadn't heard of the incident, but I was strongly favoring Notre Dame. Teammate Yuri suggested UCLA. There was something I didn't like about it, but we went with it anyway. I should have insisted, but the Russian meddling had achieved its desired effort. The answer was indeed Notre Dame. But I would have Yuri on my team any day. He's a nice guy with a well-developed sense of irony. I just have to be aware of the meddling.

And because of those three things we didn't win. Drat.

But I'm really overjoyed that we ran two whole categories (movie lines and musical instruments). I'm also glad that Dr. Al remembered who formulated penicillin. It was a guy named Fleming. So yeah, in case something goes wrong with my throat, I'll go see Dr. Al about it, because he knows his medical pioneers. It was a little disappointing that we didn't know Canada's highest mountain, Mt. Logan. We said Mt. Yukon, because why not? I think I might be done with Schultzy's. It's a fun place and they have excellent pimento cheese fries, but I'm looking for some fiercer opponents and more competent quizmasters. Our outing at the Kangaroo & Kiwi was satisfying (except for all the cheating that the other teams were doing) and fun. There's also a Monday night quiz at Belltown Pizza. That's a possibility, too. I'll try to steer us in those directions in the future.

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