Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,
One of my favorite Mae West quotations reads, “When women go wrong, men go right after them.” My friends in Berkeley might call that “heteronormative,” but it still makes me smile. As a teacher who relies heavily on improvisational techniques in the classroom, I actually appreciate it when things go “wrong” with my students. Unexpected “teachable moments” do not present themselves when everything (and everyone) works according to plan. Fortunately, spirited and creative people rarely follow plans or directives, and, as a result, they have a great deal to teach us, but only if we are receptive to their lessons.
A patron of de Vere’s Irish Pub in Davis seemed to be following the Mae West model of “going wrong” last Monday, for she had evidently consumed a number of drinks before inserting herself into the middle of a Pub Quiz team playing at the bar. What’s more, she had some firmly held assertions to share with all the new friends at the bar, and most of those opinions concerned her poor opinion of the Quizmaster. According to this seeming-inebriate, the Quizmaster (or “announcer,” as she called him) is loud, he announces the Quiz in a garish sing-song voice, and he lords his rules over everyone in the Pub, telling people, for instance, when they may and mayn’t use their cell phones. The complainer in question also couldn’t figure out why everyone on her team was “making such a big deal” about her criticisms, and why they were “all freaking out” about what she had to say. She might have made this point because most of her teammates were asking her to share more of her concerns about the Quizmaster, while one of her work friends – the guy who brought her to de Vere’s on a Monday evening – was suggesting that she tone down the disparagements that were so funny to the rest of her team. Most of us think that we are much more interesting after having had a drink or two, but in this case, such a belief was merited.
Evidently it was about halftime that I came upon this team at the bar, stood behind my texting denigrator, and announced a reminder of Rule Number Three, that no cell phones are to be used during the Pub Quiz. Evidently this was the last straw for this half-hearted participant, so she gathered up her things and stormed out. Everyone on the team was disappointed that their new friend had no chance to discover that the woman with whom she had shared all these unfriendly comments was actually my wife. No wonder there was so much laughter at that table that night, and between Kate and myself as we walked back to the car after the Quiz. For someone who appreciates minor disasters, I found this to be my favorite disaster story in a long time. I hope this patron returns on a Monday evening soon. Certainly there is merit to the concerns she was expressing.
As you may have already read on my Facebook page when I shared this information this morning, tonight at the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz you can expect questions on computer programs, old presidents, wages, space travel, retirees in the deep south, cones, markets, machines, pot, Alfred Hitchcock, World Series winners, reproduction, Greeks, unusual words that start with the letters B and H, dancers, antonyms, The Beatles, amortizing pink cattails, birds and more birds, happiness, chambers, Tolkien, countries of the world, languages of the world, trespassers, weights and measurements (disguised as a science question), Latinos, basketball, baseball, football, and Shakespeare.
We sold out last Monday, and John Lescroart’s team plans to join us this evening, so I recommend that you come early. The chime and garish announcing begin at 7.
Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:
1. Mottos and Slogans. Beginning in 2004, what company used the commercial slogan "so easy, a caveman could do it"?
2. Internet Culture. What is the last name of the Yahoo CEO who took only a week for maternity leave after giving birth to a boy in September? Hint: She shares this name with a meat company and a film studio.
3. Newspaper Headlines – Film. This past weekend the film Killing Them Softly had the worst live-action wide-release opening for what A-list actor who starred in it?
4. Four for Four. Of the 29 languages spoken natively by a million or more citizens of India, which two of the following are the most widely-spoken? Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu.
5. Lady Godiva. Lady Godiva was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to a legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in what century? Was it the 6th, 11th, 16th, or 20th?
P.S. Did you know that Dr. Andy also hosts a radio show?