Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,
Where I come from, almost nobody died in sledding accidents. East of the Appalachian Mountains, Washington DC is indeed a hilly place, but the hills are relatively smooth and almost welcoming, especially suited for winter sledding. As the smallest of youngsters, I remember often dragging my sled two and a half blocks from our home on Tunlaw Road to Guy Mason Park at the corner of Calvert Street and Wisconsin Avenue. There one could find a significant hill, perhaps the equivalent of two or three stories tall, about the height of our own Slide Hill in Davis. The height seemed daunting to us as five and six year-olds, but down we would descend, over and over, for much of a day until we would return in the afternoon, cold and wet and hungry, but relatively unscathed, despite all our fun.
By contrast, I went sledding this past week on a similarly-sized hill in a public park outside the town of Mount Shasta, and the entire experience seemed precarious right from the start. Unlike the gentle and well-hewn slopes of Guy Mason Park, at Mount Shasta we were confronted by sharp drops, unforeseeable divots of sod beneath the snow, shards of rock that were exposed by the last ice age, unwelcome platforms of ice that dislodged us from our sleds, and other sudden and increasingly painful obstacles. On one of my first runs down one of the less precarious looking sledding courses, my son and I started to tumble off the sled at the steepest drop-off. Like a good dad, I hurled my body beneath my seven year-old, such that his body, or his head, or the sled, came down hard on my shin. Had he been my older son, the leg bone would have broken, but instead, I limped away with an impressive hematoma. The doctor I was sledding with used colorful language to describe my injury: “I’ve seen asses smaller than that big-ass bruise.” Later we all agreed that my leg seemed to have grown a second calf. Your tectonic mountains here in the west, they seem to have it out for me, but my son Truman, he just yelled what every dad wants to hear: “That was so awesome!”
Speaking of awesome, tonight’s Pub Quiz at de Vere’s will feature questions on towels! We will also learn something about The Library of Congress, Twitter, Gallup polls, helmets, Heinrich Hertz, feminists, forts, Coruscant, the pronunciation of Worcestershire sauce, radio ranging, Moses, shoe salesmen, séances, American football, millionaires born in 1988, California sports, the elaborate symphonies of cell biology, actual shivs, little people, surprising sheriffs, martial nomenclature, Nebraska, coffee, Oscar-winners, Prince, people who darn in Yolo, American cities (multiple questions), the language of mathematics, weekend trips to Hawaii, cities that start with the letter C, famous queens, tragic senators, and Shakespeare.
A question to consider: how should Pub Quiz enthusiasts be rewarded for sharing their anticipatory enthusiasm on Facebook and Twitter? Remember that in the beginning of the year, for every team that goes on vacation, two or more teams stand ready to claim the extra table. I hope you will bring one such team this evening. See you tonight!
Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:
1. Internet Culture. Which of the following Gillian Flynn thriller novels was the most-reviewed book of 2012 on the website Goodreads.com? Dark Places, Gone Girl, Sharp Objects.
2. Girl Scouts. According to Michelle Tompkins of Girl Scouts of the United States of America, what percentage of US girls are girl scouts? Ages were not specified in this statistic. Is it 8, 18, 28, or 38%
3. New Year’s Eve in the Movies. In what 1989 film does one of the title characters say this on New Year’s Eve? “I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
4. Pop Culture – Music. 1. According to Pollstar, what 54 year-old performer from Bay City, Michigan had the highest grossing concert tour in 2012, raking in nearly $300 million?
5. Sports. Born in 1962, what 1985 Heisman Trophy winner was the first athlete to be named an All-Star in two major American sports?
P.S. Some of the question topics on the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz present themselves to me when I am helping my daughter with her homework. A frequent participant on one of our smartest teams teaches my daughter ninth-grade Shakespeare, and often helps her own ninth grader with his homework. Fair, or unfair? Are any of us smarter than a ninth grader?