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Friday, November 01, 2002  

Remember last month when I boasted at length about how my team placed third in the Kieran’s Pub Quiz?

Just imagine how tedious I would become if we placed second.

Actually, beginning with the next paragraph, you won’t have to imagine.

That’s right, the second-place team on Wednesday night was the one to which I belong. Again, we cleaned up on the music and movie rounds, getting a perfect score (and a free round of drinks) for the latter. We were even in the lead between the first and second rounds, which is something else we’ve never accomplished before, even briefly. We ended up five points behind the winning team, which means that we would have been in first if we hadn’t talked ourselves (and each other) out of several right answers.

See, that’s what nobody ever tells you about pub quizzes; the hardest part is to not outsmart yourself. But someone has to outsmart us, and we’re running out of other teams who are capable of it. So there you go.

Did I mention that one of the rounds was co-created by Trash?

Our friend Bitter is the scorekeeper/co-host of the Kieran’s Pub Quiz (and before you get all suspicious, I’m going to point out that she did us no good at all the time that a team consisting of her then-boyfriend, some random guy from Denver, and me came in second-to-last). Last month, the host decided to ask Bitter to put a round together. So she enlisted Trash’s help and that’s what she did. Specifically, they made up the movie round.

What? No, we didn’t get a perfect score that round because Trash knew the answers! I’ll have you know that not only did she sit out the entire round until we’d turned in our answer sheets, she wouldn’t even give me the slightest clue of what the round was about until after it was over. So there. It was a fun round, too; for each of the ten questions, the host would name three actors, and we had to name the one movie in which they all appeared together. Trash and Bitter were both happy with the results, specifically a good range of scores, and the rest of the players were as well. Everyone said they wanted a similar round next month, including the teams who crashed and burned. Success! That’s my wife for you; she can totally humiliate you and you’ll ask her to do it again.

I just wish I could commit to my long-term memory the name of the person who appeared on the cover of the first People magazine*. That question always comes up and I can never remember.

But we still got the second place prize, which was several bottles of what appears to be a rather nice cabernet sauvignon. It’s a trophy you can drink!

Plus it prevents the same teams from winning every month. Giving the smartest people a free tool for killing off brain cells keeps a nice churn going in the upper ranks.

* * *

Last night’s trick-or-treater turnout was better than last year, but not by much. Apparently terrorist threats are more likely to keep the anklebiters inside than twenty-some-degree weather. Not that that information will eve be of any practical use to me. I got about twenty kids, all told. That’s not counting the group I clearly heard coming up to the door trying to work up the nerve to actually ring or knock, because they failed. They punked out. They left their little cojones on the front stoop amongst the plastic bones and screaming welcome mat. For the rest of their lives, they’ll be looking at cowards in the mirror. I tested the courage of these little Francis Macombers and found it wanting.

I knew they were there. I was standing right on the other side of the front door, listening to them dare each other. Yes, I could have opened it without waiting for them to make the first step, but come on, honestly. They have to put in a little effort, okay? They have to initiate the transaction. I’m not even being a hard-ass about this. If a kid is struck speechless upon beholding a six-foot-plus figure in an executioner’s robe, I’m not going to stand there glaring at him while he works up enough moisture in his mouth to say “trih…trih…” Life’s too short. If the kid can manage to hold open his pillowcase he’ll get rewarded for it.

Of course, if he forgets to say “Thank you” then I’m reaching into the bag and I’m not going to be too discriminating about what comes back out. The kids have gotten a lot more appreciative over the past few years.

We still have a lot of candy left over, obviously. The formula of one fistful per kid, multiplied by twenty kids, subtracted from seven tons of candy, still leaves 6.999999999 tons of candy. But that’s what coworkers are for.

And I have a new reason to love Halloween. What other night of the year are you going to hear a suburban soccer mom on your front sidewalk mildly telling her sprog to “Put the skull down, honey”? You just can’t buy that kind of entertainment.

*It was Mia Farrow. Mia Farrow, dammit, Mia Freaking Farrow! God!

posted by M. Giant 3:24 PM 0 comments


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