M. Giant's
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Wednesday, March 12, 2003  

Spring into the Pub Quiz

I find myself thinking back to one of those long, lazy, dead-of-winter nights, the kind of uneventful Tuesday evening when I would drive through the falling snow after a long day at work, a day when all I wanted to do was go home, put on my flannel pajamas, and burrow under the covers with something to read and the woman I love. There’s just something about days like that. It’s mid-March now, but that day seems like yesterday.

That’s because it was. Jeez, is it ever going to be spring here?

Yes, I know, the forecast calls for temperatures in the forties tomorrow, the fifties Friday, and the sixties all weekend. That’s the only reason I didn’t bother blowing out the driveway last night; if the snow’s going to be gone in forty-eight hours anyway, I might as well save the gas. But I want it to be spring now. Nowww, consarnit!

Don’t worry. I’m sure I’ll be less whiny soon.

* * *

Tonight’s Pub Quiz night at Kieran’s. I haven’t really talked about the Pub Quiz for a few months. That’s probably because our team exploits have been less than auspicious.

After getting third place followed by two second-place prizes in a row, we figured victory was in our grasp. Unfortunately, we kind of lost our momentum. I think December’s Quiz got cancelled entirely. In January, our friend Bitter was out of town burying her grandfather, which wouldn’t have affected out participation except that she also handles the reservations at the Pub and none of the rest of us thought to get our team a table in her absence. Oops. Last month, we took a thumping due to a variety of factors. One was that we were rusty. Another was that not all of our team was there. Yet a third was the fact that it had been moved to a different bar, so our home-field advantage was shot (yes, I know everyone else’s home-field advantage was shot too; just go with me here). But our biggest disadvantage was that we were in an area of the bar behind a staircase, which meant that we couldn’t see the quizmaster and for the first couple of rounds the only PA speaker was pointed away from us. After every question, the tables in our section would repeat the bits they’d heard until we’d reconstructed the entire question, and in the process we’d miss all of his little clues that he can never help dropping.

There was one first-round question that I think cost us the whole ballgame: “How many pounds are in a gallon of water?” Now, I know a liter of water has a kilogram of mass, and I know that a kilogram is 2.2 pounds in Earth’s gravity, but I couldn’t think off the top of my head how many liters are in a gallon, although I thought it might be somewhere around four (it’s 3.7854). So I was doing all this math on my napkin, trying to convert from English to metric and back again, with one of the vital calculations pulled fully-formed out of my ass like a 4-shaped turd, and I ended up guessing 9 pounds or something, but now that I have the correct formulae in front of me, I can say that a gallon of water weighs 8.32788 pounds. That didn’t help me at the time, though. Because, among other things, the question had been “How many pints are in a gallon of water?”

Stupid inadequately amplified Irish brogue. Made me want to walk up to the podium and pint him.

I’m not saying that we would have won if we’d gotten that one right and still missed the other ones we missed. At best, we might have come in seventh instead of eighth. But I think that early obstacle triggered in us a crisis of confidence from which we never fully recovered, even when they brought in a second speaker and pointed it at our area. By then it was too late. We already felt like losers, and losers we became.

We’re more optimistic about tonight’s Quiz, though. It’ll be back on our home territory (shut up), we’ll be able to hear the questions, and we’ve had a Quiz to get back into the groove. Another one of us will be missing this time, but we have a replacement coming in. Things will go much better for us tonight, and tomorrow I’ll tell you exactly how much better.

Unless it isn’t better at all, in which case I will have a fresh crop of lame excuses for you.

posted by M. Giant 3:49 PM 0 comments


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