We Are the Champions! (Of Third Place)

Pub Quiz 2008 is off to a great start! We won the coveted third-place prize pack by answering the tie-breaker question correctly. Yay, us!

Yesterday during lunch I was boring regaling Susan and Cathy with the tale of my external hard drive woes.* At one point I mentioned making a spreadsheet, and Susan said, That should be your team name: "Amy Made a Spreadsheet." She and Cathy laughed long and hard, and when I finally arrived at Claddagh** I discovered that Cathy took that idea and ran with it: Amy Made a Spreadsheet with Pivot Tables.***

We were seated near the horse art instead of in the room off to the side near the leper colony,**** and first three rounds (Television — 7, Fads — 6, and Hollywood Buzz — 9) were fairly uneventful. Some highlights:

  • Mike D refused to demonstrate his mad krumping skillz, no matter how much the crowd begged.
  • We learned that Doonesbury was the comic strip that, citing excessive casualties, withdrew all of its characters from Iraq in 2005 — and not, as Cathy suggested, Beetle Bailey.
  • "Mop" and "puppet" were not the words Jim Henson combined to form "muppet."
  • Those of us with minds in the gutter giggled plenty over this poorly worded question: What does Peter Falk have that Sandy Duncan does not, despite rumors to the contrary?

At halftime, we were in third place, ahead of Walk of Shame, Team Jacko, Dewey and the Decimals, Don't Tell Mom, and a few other teams. There Will Be Blood and Agent Orange (aka the leper colony) were tied for second, and the hated Team 11 was in first.

Ordinarily, this is when things would start going downhill fast. Round 5, Music, looked like the harbinger of our usual doom, because we only got 5 right. But the questions sucked. Who knows this junk?

  • What Oscar-winner warbled "Every Breath You Take" on Ally McBeal?
  • Tom Petty likened what music festival to 10,000 Ed Sullivan shows?
  • What songwriting legend surprised fans by teaming up with Michael Bolton on his hit "Steel Bars"?
  • What song did Donna Summer record while lying on the studio floor with the lights off?
  • What band spiced their post-2000 election album Hail to the Thief with songs like "2 + 2 = 5" and "Scatterbrain"?

We did know that the 76-year-old singer accompanied by Ben Folds on the album Has Been is William Shatner, but everybody knows that. And the Donna Summer song was on the tip of my tongue, but all I could come up with was "Love Hangover," and I know that's a Diana Ross song.

We had a brief uptick in the Movies category, scoring 7 in Round 5. (We didn't know who said he had as many Chins as a Chinese phone book, or which city was attacked at the end of Pearl Harbor.)

For Round 6, we had the choice of Sports & Games or Christmas Trivia. An apathetic crowd chose Christmas trivia, and it was inexplicably difficult. We were expected to know which band sings a song with the lyrics "Peace on earth to everyone and abundance to everyone you're with" as well as the last words to that stoopid Lennon/Ono "Happy Christmas" song. (Barf! I hate that song!) We wrote down Black Flag and "Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra" just for fun.

Christine bailed pretty much right after the score sheets were turned in, so when Mike D announced that we had to face off against There Will Be Blood for a tie-breaker question, it was just me and Cathy. After a quick strategy session, we chose to hang back and not ring in right away — if you ring in before he finishes the question and your answer is wrong, the other team gets to hear the entire question and have the first chance to answer.

This turned out to be an excellent decision: The other team played right into our hands. Since they had a Johnny-Jump-the-Gun on their team, they rang in with "India" before Mike D got to the part of the question that asked which continent tigers are native to. Cathy said Asia, so we won the third-place prize pack: two t-shirts, a bottle opener/key chain thing, and an insulated lunch bag, all emblazoned with the Corona logo. Neither of us even drink Corona, but who cares? We won!*****

*I ripped five thousand-plus songs to an external hard drive, and just before Christmas it suddenly died. I decided to get a new external hard drive and start over. I still have most of the original CDs, and I have about two thousand of the songs loaded on my iPod, but there are a few things I don't have on disc any more. I can still see the list in iTunes of what I used to have, so I exported that information to a spreadsheet and am in the process of cross-checking what I can copy from a CD and what I need to track down elsewhere.

**I wanted to be there at 6:30, but my sister called me on my landline at 6. I should have said, Let me call you back on my cell, because I need the landline to send a fax before I go to Pub Quiz. However, she was kind of wigging out over a computer problem (she thinks she broke her mouse) and stressing out about her broken wrist (slipped on the ice last week) and she just sent me a big box of totally awesome Christmas presents (including an official A Christmas Story leg lamp nite lite, hilarious Jeez-Its and Commandments Sticky Notes from the Unemployed Philosophers Guild, and a lovely hat and scarf set she knit with ribbon yarn) so I didn't have the heart to cut her off.

*** I've never actually made a Pivot Table. Are they going to revoke my Nerd License?

****Apparently the leper colony missed us — I went over to say hi before the final scores were announced, and they told me that we should come sit by them next week, share answers, and beat Team 11, who came in first again this week. It's a plan.

***** Third place


  1. I didn't say the pivot table part. But I'm sorely disappointed that you don't use them.