Clash of the Titans

March 28, 2008 by

There’s always a reason to celebrate at the Chieftain. This week it was more birthdays: Tracy’s and (coming soon) Mulan’s. Following what is becoming a pub quiz tradition of outside food, Tracy packed in her own celebration of cupcakes and the long-awaited Hires fry sauce. (No, the fry sauce does not go on the cupcakes.) Tracy also graciously submitted to a shot of Jameson’s (with Tanya’s help).

Adi, Scott, Hannah, Chris, Jeff [!], Troyer [!!], Kathleen [!!!] and I rounded out the celebrants. Spilling out of our corner booth onto an annexed table even as we discussed “Man With the Golden Gun”, we were, in Tracy’s mind and on paper, the Knights of the L-Shaped Nipple.

Not neglecting our quizly duties, we battled hard all night for our victory. We spent the first four rounds one point behind another large team, clawing vainly for the lead in a easy quiz that offered little spread. We finally closed the gap in round five thanks to the Wonder Twins, and pulled ahead by a single point in the last round to take the gold.

Adi’s certificate remains at large; the possibility of a double-subsidy night remains before us.



The fun never stops

March 22, 2008 by

Great week, thanks — birthday celebration and the Asian-American film festival kept your reporter from filing until now. Oh, the quiz? That was pretty good too.

Ryan, Koji, Tracy, Scott, Tanya, Kai, Chris, Colby [!] and I made up the epochal event known as “Geezerhood’s End”. We were in the groove all night, getting a perfect score in the first round, another in the matching round (actors in bad movies) and doing no worse than the rest of the room on the round of advertising slogans. With a comfortable lead, the rest of us settled back while the Wonder Triplets did their work and we collected our first-place certificate three rounds later.

The Most Vuong Player award goes to Colby, who identified Chuck Norris as the music round’s Hall of Shame singer. And the Most Relevant Bystander award goes to the unnamed Welshman, who, thrilled that his national flower was an answer in the double-points last round, introduced himself to everyone in and around the pub in an accent so memorable as to forever redefine the word “Welsh” for all who heard it.


Best team name ever

March 13, 2008 by

No, not us (The Emperor’s 5000 Club, a victim, I think, of the newbie team-namer urge to tinker). Last night we had the honor of beating the team with the best name, not just among the dozen or so teams in the bar who referenced Eliot Spitzer (nearly every one did), but EVER: Spitzer Swallows.

A strange confluence of absences and presences resulted in a more Franken team than usual: Charlie and friend Todd, my colleagues Mike and Laura from Nile and Eduard from the Ukraine, and I.

Though a strong group, we had to work for our win. We started out a point out of first thanks to someone else winning the web giveaway. We then experienced the 14-car pileup of the Formula One Racing Flags Matching Round. Remember: a black flag with an orange disc represents, not any of the other half-dozen hazards that have their own Formula One flags, but an actual picture of the fire in your tailpipe to put out which the flag is ordering you back to your pit NOW. We missed plenty, but so did everyone. After a round of movie questions and the picture round, both mostly carried by Charlie, we’d worked our way to a one-point lead, and we held on to it to the end, taking the gold with 60 points.

Charlie wins the coveted Most Vuong Player award not just for his usual outstanding performance, but for dancing like a delighted schoolgirl after every correct answer.


Do the math

February 28, 2008 by

(Chris + Dave + the wonder triplets (Khai, Tracy, Tanya))
+ Charlie [!] + Carissa [!!]
= 0 competition
– last week’s winnings
+ this week’s winnings
= a good time had by all

Crackheads Stole My Stuff, said Carissa, and we clutched at it like a drowning man at a branch. Ethnic sterotypes got us through the Age of Discovery; Charlie got us through the sports round.


It’s official

February 14, 2008 by

After three in a row, counting a group win two quizzes ago, we finally bow to the inevitable and award permanently to Kai what was once the hotly contested Most Valuable Player. In its place, the Most Vuong Player award will be awarded weekly to the player who best exemplifies Kai’s values of pop-culture mastery and/or giggling.

The performance that led to this game-changing decision was no less epochal. Having studied one of the web giveaway categories, Wheaties champions, Kai powered us to a fibrous, gassy 8/10 in round three when most of the room was languishing south of 5.

That third round was in fact our third of four consecutive scores of 8/10. Opening in a two-way tie for first with Charlie’s team (including misguided traitor Tanya), we held our ground in the matching round of Madonna movies while Charlie, Tanya & co. imploded. Pulling ahead by a point in the middle rounds, we picked up momentum from Kai and Tracy’s solid 9/10 in the music round and then blew the doors off in the final, finishing in first place with a crushing 12-point lead.

Mulan, Adi, Erika, Kai, Tracy and I, nodding to two important historical figures at once, were “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Darwin“.

Back to watching Uno clips on Youtube.


State of the Quiz

January 31, 2008 by

“We’re Doing This For High School Credit” (Chris, Hannah, Kai, Ryan, Tracy, Tanya and I) took the rest of the pub to school last night. After a hard-fought battle in the first few rounds, we reestablished order in the classroom and gave the opposition a rap on the knuckles that they won’t soon forget.

It was the best kind of quiz, a quiz where there was plenty of suspense and hustle but which we won anyway. We came out of the gate one point in the lead, but swapped two answers in the matching round (Who Had That #1 Hit?) and swapped first for second. We closed the gap in the “mottos and slogans” theme round and then began pulling ahead, by a point after the picture round, three after the music round, and a big nine points by the finish. We took first with 63.

A stable of heroes propelled this powerful performance: Ryan for digging up the “Rain Man” character, Chris for identifying Grandmaster Flash, me for successfully Adiing the Mounties for the Texas Rangers, and of course the Wonder Triplets for their usual stellar music-round performance. But on a night of stars, the Most Valuable Player award went once again to Kai “Go Deep” Vuong, whose unmatched twenty-minute feat of single-minded concentration brought forth not the Devil, but Daniel Powter.

Some of us will be out next week. But the time after that, Tracy promises fry sauce to go with our winnings!


Market rebounds after Fed crumples like a used Kleenex

January 24, 2008 by

Kai, Ryan, Chris, Tracy, Tanya and I were “Bernanke Spanking”. Jayson and fellow New Yorkers were in the house. It was time to deliver, and we did, finishing just a point or two in the lead for an overdue victory over the New Yorkers — who’d collapsed in the last round and left before the results were read.

The first MVP of the New Year goes to the Wonder Triplets, Tanya, Kai and Tracy, who between them swept the round and put us in the lead after having spent the first half of the quiz a point or so out of first. Kudos to you, triplets!

Recipe Corner

Teacher Tracy’s Fry Sauce

This Utah specialty could convince anyone to vote Mormon.

Extra-crispy fries, from Chieftain kitchen
1 cup mayonnaise, special ordered with fries
Ketchup, from bottle on table

Pour ketchup into generous puddle on edge of fry plate.
Moosh fry into mayonnaise until lightly coated.
Dip mayonnaise-covered end of fry into ketchup.
Eat immediately.
Repeat until mayonnaise is gone. Use leftover fries for Fries With Ketchup
(page 137).


Chris, Dave, Tracy, Tanya, Mike and very special guest star Khai

January 10, 2008 by

There was a whole round like that: the names with the commas. The names were of kids in sitcom families. We did fine. So did everyone else. Then we didn’t do so fine, in the nearly impossible match-the-event-to-the-decade round. Three rounds later, despite grunting and straining, we were only back up to second place — hey, it’s 2/3 as good! — with 52 points, only two behind some big team.

What a bunch of Revolting Geeks of Mass Proportions! Us, not the big team.

Though very special, Khai didn’t arrive early enough to activate his and Tanya’s Wonder Twin powers, or otherwise to help. We were all relieved to see him anyway.


I can’t believe no-one ever corrected my spelling of Khai’s name

December 20, 2007 by

Well, that’s what it says on his checks.

He of Many Names was joined by Tim, Ryan, Chris, Tracy, Chef Tanya and I on Tuesday night in the team we called Jamie Lynn’s Baby. As with our namesake, one little slipup was all it took: after leading for five uneventful rounds, we skipped our protection in the double-points final round and let a little accident, or two or three, slip by, finishing in second place by a point.

As Christmas and New Year’s fall on Tuesday, pub quiz will take a break for the next two weeks. See you in 2008!


None can withstand the awesome power of the dreidel

December 6, 2007 by

No miracle happened here, folks — just a big team and a little gelt for energy. Tracy brought dreidels *and* a menorah; when the candles had burned down we turned to burning down the house. In the lead from round one, we pulled away in the pop-culture rounds and finished in first with a five point or so lead.

The team — and I’m going to miss some of us, because we were legion — was Tim, Ryan, Kai, Chris, Hannah, Adi, Tracy, Tanya, Colby[!] and I; taking our cue from the web giveaway question, we were the Ballroom Items.