Successfully Defending Third Place

Well, while it looked a bit like the Blizzard of '78* yesterday morning, things cleared up in the afternoon. That didn't stop some people from staying home, though, so it was just me and my friend Brian at Pub Quiz. Our team name was "Just Visiting," in his honor — he and his wife are visiting family in the area, and he came out to the west side for a book crawl** and some trivia.

We didn't do so hot in the first half: 17 points (out of 30). That put us in a tie for seventh place out of about thirteen teams. Well, actually, now that I think about it, we did okay in Sports & Games (6 points) and Music (8 points). What killed us was getting only 3 points in the Movies category. In my defense, most of the questions were about movies I hadn't seen. Here, test yourself: What's the name of . . .

  • that girl who starred in Whale Rider?
  • that stupid Jack Nicholson movie where he drives a Winnebago to see his daughter?
  • the Stanley Kubrick film based on a 1926 novella by Arthur Schnitzler?
  • that sucky Meg Ryan movie where she plays a boxing promoter?
  • the horror movie shown at the orphanage in Cider House Rules?

We picked things up a bit in second half: a 6 in Hollywood Buzz, an 8 in Television, and a 7 in Useless Knowledge. As usual, there were a few times when we brainstormed the right answer, but discarded it for a wrong one. I hate when that happens. However, we managed to do well enough to finish in a three-way tie for third place. The other two teams did a tie-breaker question, and then we went against the winner in another tie-breaker question.

I told Brian our approach in last week's tie-breaker, and he said, "Oh yeah, that's basic Academic Challenge*** strategy." I also said that I hoped the question was history-related and that he would know it, and that's pretty much what happened. He rang in halfway through the question with the right answer (Rasputin), and we were officially in third place. Yay!**** Team 11 came in second (Ha-ha! /Nelson) and first place went to the sweater-vest wearers on the team Mike D dubbed Stabby McStaberson and the Knife Fight. (He claimed that every time he looked over there they made stabbing gestures and otherwise intimated that they were gonna cut him.) So . . . whatever. Let me tell you what we won: Miller Lite wristbands in Cleveland Browns colors, a bottle opener keychain touting Michael Shea's Irish Amber, and — get this! — a mini digital camera.*****

I think B was a little disappointed he didn't get an entry in the raffle for the trip to Ireland — that only goes to the first-place team — but he had a good time. So much so, in fact, that he said he's going to look around for an event like it when he gets back home. Ooh, a convert!

* O. M. G. I found this vintage news footage on YouTube: Ten minutes from a WJW-Channel 8 newscast in January 1978, complete with Dick Goddard and an old-school weather map at about 5:45. (He actually uses a magic marker to write on the weather map at the eight-minute mark!) The image quality isn't always so great, but it's still a hoot.

** Just as nerdy as it sounds! We started at the Barnes & Noble in Crocker Park, because he wanted to case the joint in case they move back to OH and he transfers there. Then we hit the Borders so I could blow my $50 gift card on a new book by James Lileks (Gastroanomalies: Questionable Culinary Creations from the Golden Age of American Cookery — Hilarious!) and some CDs I've had on my "Want" list at for a while (Alright, Still / Lily Allen and New Magnetic Wonder / Apples in Stereo). Then we trekked out to the two Half-Price Books in the area, taking a detour through the new Westgate Mall complex and marveling about the number of freestanding cell phone stores.

*** He went to high school across town from me, and we were both on our respective school's Academic Challenge team. I think we technically met sometime during senior year, because the district decided to do citywide Academic Challenge meets in addition to sending selected schools' teams to Cleveland to appear on the television show, but we didn't really meet until years later when another friend of mine worked with him.

**** Christine texted me later: Geez . . . Maybe if I stay away you'll overthrow Team 11!

***** Okay, it was super-tiny and didn't have a display screen, and the CD with the drivers was missing†, but the (poorly translated) instruction sheet claimed that it would take photos and transfer them to your computer via the enclosed USB cable. I let Brian take it — he seemed fascinated by it. We both already own digital cameras anyway, so if he never gets it to work it's probably no big deal.

† Mike D wanted to know if I was going to complain about this on my blog. I said I'd mention it, but not necessarily complain. So: Mission accomplished!


  1. You know how we wondered last week how we'd ever decide who would and wouldn't go to Ireland if we by some sort of miracle won, since there's only two tickets up for grabs and usually three (or more) of us? Seems to me the more often I pass my Tuesday nights on my couch watching HGTV, the more likely it is you two will be on a pub crawl in Dublin. Don't say I never did anything for you!

  2. Oh! I forgot to mention that I showed Brian the horse art on the ceiling. I think his mind boggled at bit at the number of off-color comments that could be made.

  3. I think the horse art is part of Claddaugh's strategy to pack in customers -- those customers that aren't already lured by the possibility of rubbing shoulders with Miked, that is. I gotta figure you'd get at least two hours of drunken raunchy conversation out of it.

    I'm talking about the horse thing. Not Miked.