Thursday, March 05, 2009

Who Is Pecos Bill, or How I Outsmarted Myself Yet Again

Tuesday, I took my second shot at Trivia Night at Jimmy's Old Town Tavern in Herndon.

As with last time, my tablemates were quite good in getting us past the written-answer qualifying round, where they could use their Internet-enabled cellphones to look up the answers (although I did my part in the tiebreakers), and then clammed up to the point of near-uselessness during the Jotteopardy portion, where it was my butt on the line onstage.

After a slow start, I worked my way into first place, cleaning up in the American folklore category (notably, I remembered that it was Pecos Bill who used a rattlesnake as a lasso).

And I discovered that my teammates' true role was not to help me, but rather, to hurt the other contestants, by yelling out incorrect and distracting answers ("Paul Bunyon! Paul Bunyon!", which was wrong even for the relevant question).

Going into the final round, I had a slight lead, though not enough to place a safe, boring bet. The category was "This Day in History/Magazines", so I felt pretty confident. However, the question was, "On this day [March 3] 1923, this magazine was the first weekly newsmagazine in the US."

At first, I thought Newsweek. Then I thought Time. Then I thought, "Aha! Time is far too obvious, it's got to be something more obscure... like, say, The Saturday Evening Post!" So I went with that.

Of course, the correct answer was Time. Or at least, the answer they were looking for, especially in the "This Day in History" bit of things. (One might be able to make a case for The Saturday Evening Post, though it wasn't exclusively a news magazine.)

Anyway, it was a good time. Smoky, though, which is par for the course -- we'll see how the smoking ban legislation changes things in December.

Oh, and I came up with a working name for our Spring kickball team: Package Stimulus. We'll see if it sticks.

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