It’s Sunday evening, and my Stir Crazy trivia team must now participate in the second quarter of the two-day World Tavern Trivia Championships. The event, being held in Atlantic City, has gathered over forty different bar trivia championship teams to determine the best of the best. And right now, after one quarter of play, we are in a three-way tie for first place – a tie that includes one of the tournament’s prior champions.
Now for the “Amazing Trivia Race,” a six-round trivia pub crawl through various restaurants and bars in the casino. As we arrive at each bar, a costumed host gives us a question sheet. We fill out the answers on the sheet, hand in our results, and travel to the next bar.
Our first stop on the trivia pub crawl is at a Margaritaville bar. The costumed host – who is dressed like an anime girl – informs us that our questions for this round will be all about Japan. We do well for ourselves, scoring seven out of ten on questions like the height of Mount Everest (12,400 feet), the first Japanese animated film to receive an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (Spirited Away), and the current name of the Emperor of Japan (Akihito). We finished with a 7-out-of-10 mark.
At our next stop, the host hands our team a deck of cards. “The questions are inside the deck,” he said. And sure enough, there were ten cards that each contained a question on magic or magicians. Magic Johnson’s real first name? Earvin, natch. What brought Frosty the Snowman to life? That old silk hat. Who was the magician that was involved with actress Daryl Hannah? David Copperfield, I said. We felt confident about the round, and marked that as our double.
We hit another ten-for-ten further down the road, in a superhero round that really tested our mettle. We knew that Halle Berry’s character in the bomb Catwoman was NOT Selina Kyle; it was Patience Phillips. We knew the villain that killed Superman in the 1990 “Death of Superman” story (Doomsday), the actor who won an Oscar for playing a Batman villain (Heath Ledger), and the name of Superman’s first true love (Lana Lang). Perfect ten.
Our final round was at the Hard Rock Cafe adjacent to our hotel. This was an American History round, so we needed to put together our brain cells.
And the tenth question in the round was the one that nearly wrecked us.
“Which 20th century election produced the smallest margin of victory for a President?”
There was some talk about the 1976 Ford v Carter election, and some discussion about the three-way 1912 election. But I had a thought.
“I’m almost certain it’s the 1960 Kennedy v Nixon election,” I said. And we discussed the televised debates and whether Nixon carried this state or Kennedy won THAT state or whatever conspiracy theories came up. We crossed out 1976 Ford v Carter and scribbled in 1960 Kennedy v Nixon.
The rounds would not be officially tabulated and certified until later that night, and results would be announced at a party back at the Margaritaville restaurant. Nick and I arrived at the restaurant and ordered some food; Tim, Tom and William showed up later.
The trivia host read through the answers for five of the six rounds (a sixth round, where the answers had to be either “Star Trek” or “Star Wars”, would be announced later). He went through the magician round, and said that the magician that was involved with Daryl Hannah was actually David Blaine, not David Copperfield.
What? Holy crap, are you sure? I could swear it was Copperfield and Hannah…
I asked the host if he could confirm which magic David was correct. He showed me that David Copperfield was indeed involved with a blonde super-hottie… named Claudia Schiffer.
Damn it. And we used that category as our double round, so we only finished with 180 of a possible 200 points. That was on me. Despite that, we still had a couple of perfect rounds, including the question about the election (yes, it WAS Kennedy v Nixon). We still finished the second quarter with 610 points, which is extremely respectable… but if we let the door open for the Dumpster Babies or for the Walla Walla Weasels…
Still, we hung out for a while longer at the bar, and I later excused myself and went back to the hotel room for some sleep.
As I started to wind down for the night, I remembered that the host said that results from the second round of play would be posted on the company’s Facebook page. Okay, let’s “like” the page and see what’s going on…
Oh my. Let me say that in my best George Takei voice. Oh my……
After two quarters, the Stir Crazy team has a cumulative score of 1230 points. The Walla Walla Weasels have 1200, while the Dumpster Babies … have 1170, and a team called Mac ‘n Cheese have 1150.
We are in the lead… by thirty points.
I texted Tim, who was still at the Margaritaville bar. “We are in the lead by thirty points.”
His response? “Holy !!!!
So now, as we head into the third quarter of play…
We have to remain focused. We have to remain true.
And we have to remember that this is only a game. A game of competitive team trivia.
Then again… clear eyes … full hearts … can’t lose. 😀