Trivia as Literature

If American literature in the latter half of the last century has taught us one thing, it’s that we all have a role to fill. Regardless of our actions or our team names, our true selves will be revealed and by the end of the story will be right back to where we began. Sometimes in an even worse place. Everything is preordained and it is only through dramatic action that things change.

Take the kickoff the summer league at Glass Nickel Pizza last night for example. The Leftovers showed up for the first time in like a decade. This team is like Ursula LeGuin, their game is equal parts out there and on point. Most people in the room are getting lost on the minutiae of their incorrect answers and hopelessness, but step back and realize they are the glimmer of hope in an otherwise horrifying world of trivia. As proof, I learned last night that LeftoverXY is purchasing a house, like it even matters in today’s world. They ended the night with 33 points.

Clever Girl and Good Enough both put 62 points on the scoreboard. This must make these teams Jeffrey Eugenides, or Jonathan Franzen, or Dave Eggers or Jonathan Safran Foer or any other white dude who had a couple pieces in The New Yorker but a bunch of pieces in McSweeney’s, because that’s where real lit is happening.

Charles Entertainment Cheese put up a strong 69 and since I really have no shared history with this squad I’m going to consider them the Haruki Murakami of trivia. They were sizable team, I felt better having them there, but much like Kafka on the Shore, or 1Q84 I’m not 100% sure I know what really happened. Feel free to mention in the comments how it’s about Shintoism. But hear me out, I have a very hard time relating to Catholics, who I grew up amongst, so when someone comes at me with Kami and turning over a stone and heavy use of a chrysalis, I’m going to love the journey, but it’s going to take me a couple rounds to get down. They also seemed like the kind of people who would want to talk way too much about The Beatles.

Sixty-six points were put up by The Spoony Bards, trivia’s version of Hubert Selby, Jr’s Last Exit to Brooklyn. Stylistically they are great, their criticism is poignant, they exude a grit and bleakness I like, but honestly no team makes that walk to the back of the room as long. I don’t know how they live in such desolation.

Dern and their 71 points are basically an AP Stylebook.

Son of Sam’s Club is Steven King given they will always entertain, never be the most critically accepted and you know each time they will try to elevate the uncomfortableness. Also, no one that team remembers writing their early works because of wild drug use.

Finally we have Neal of Fortune – a team that has stacked championship tee on championship tee on championship tee. They’re like the John Updike of trivia–hyper-educated and pretty likely to wear corduroy blazers within a decade. I imagine they have have dinner parties where it is revealed that someone on the team reads Buzzfeed articles and then they get ostracized and eventually everyone takes Ubers home except one person who takes a Lyft and that means something. Also there is paragraph that captures the raw insubordination of a dock on the lake at sunset.

Anyway, Neal of Fortune won last night with 83 points. Enjoy the weekend. We’ll start it all over again Monday night at Company Brewing.

 

Let The Summer League Begin

I got a letter from the government the other day. I opened and read it. It said they were suckers, because they didn’t even know it was summer league time at Glass Nickel.

At least that’s what they’re claiming. Like they aren’t tracking these trivia posts, these written riot starters, these instagram instigations, these blogotov cocktails. Plus, every phone at every show is listening, except Janet’s from Team Drink Tickets because she’s still trying to get a signal on her Nokia 5110 with the vibrating battery pack and light up antenna she bought at the Fones World Xtreme, LLC kiosk in the mall. Blud, that phone isn’t even listening when she’s on a call.

Finally, I will tell you the Government knows Summer League starts tonight because the 100% real-deal Secret Service stopped by my house to talk the other day. I cracked–gave the agent the full answer sheet. He claimed these weren’t the answers he was after, but we know the truth.

Now, the last thing we need to discuss before tonight is this week’s clue about the Amazon series Patriot. Madison, we’ve already handled that round so it’s not happening again. Instead, we’ll toss in a category on Serena Williams. So we’ve got the Holy Roman Empire, The Dream Team and now. That’s a pretty legit night of trivia.

If you want to get in on the ground floor of the summer league, I recommend being in the basement of Glass Nickel tonight. The show starts at 7pm. See you then.  

 

June 4 be with you

To all the Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia Players at Company Brewing in Milwaukee, we have not forsaken you.

Sure, I’m coming at you a little late. But the good news is once you’ve read this, there is really no use in going back to office work. As far as I’m concerned, your day is done. Toss a deuce in the air and tell those fellow desk jockeys you’ll catch their fine asses at trivia tonight, and then you lean down real close to Zak and you say through clenched teeth, “God dammit Zak, you better not even show up unless you’ve got some correct answer to contribute because for like three weeks now we’ve been covering your ass. Plus, Annabelle says you still owe her for covering your meal and drinks in March. So don’t fuck this up, Zak.”

Now, if you’re like Zak, or any other player, you’re going to want to be sure you know something about The Holy Roman Empire, a little bit about the Olympic Dream Team and the Amazon series Patriot. Once you’ve got all that knowledge in your brain, you’re going to want to head to Company Brewing in Riverwest. Grab a bite to eat and a few pints and let Nick hit you with 50 questions and answers.

All you have to do is show up. The show starts at 7pm. See you then.

 

The May Ender

I think we can all collectively wipe the sweat from our brows and get hyped because we made it through May. And last night, Madison sent the month packing in style.

Travis for Nerl of 4Chan kicked-off the show, because I had to explain to old people that Next Door isn’t a scam but that doesn’t mean it’s not a trash website that starts everyday with a casual dip in Lakes Racist and Hyper-Local Xenophobia.

The crowd last night was top notch, so I was hyped to be there for as much of the show as possible. I mean The Spoony Bards won, Clever Girl nabbed second place, Good Enough is moving up in the ranks, and a solo Dern tossed up enough points to send one team running by the end of round six. Plus, Amy (“Hi Everybody, Chef Amy here…”) baked me a birthday cake that we shared with the whole place. Plus-Plus, I was finally able to deliver the league champion tees to the last winners. That only took like 4 months. But they look fantastic.

Did I mention, my family was there. Yeah, Mother and Brother Hardest Trivia and Mila and MaLu popped in from Brazil to occupy the last place spot.

Did I also mention, the Glass Nickel Summer League starts next week. So I expect to see 8-12 weeks of second and third place finishes from the Spoony Bards.

And did I also mention Lewis successfully kicked off the Up & Under league. I heard hundreds of people were lined up on Brady Street sending the players off to what might certainly be the their emotional deaths. Trivia don’t fuck around.

Milwaukee, you’re back in action next week at Company Brewing on Monday night. See you then.

 

Up & Under Summer League Starts TONIGHT!

Fresh off a long weekend Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia kicks off a summer league tonight at Up & Under.

If you don’t know what means, here’s a primer. Tonight your boy Lewis, a man with an “I’m already against the NEXT Roseanne reboot” bumper sticker, comes at you with 50 questions. If, after those questions, your team has answered enough correctly to earn more points than any other team, you win. Then through the magic of mathematics he’s going to stack points on points on points the same way he does with spray tans–layer after layer. Finally a few weeks someone gets to be the league winner.

If this sounds like something in your wheelhouse or up your alley or even remotely close to your interests, you need to get a team together. Once you’ve assembled like Voltron, do a quick refresh on what you know about the oeuvres of Steve Spielberg and Ikea. Once you’ve got those committed to memory, get yourselves to Up & Under on Brady Street.

The show starts at 7pm. See you there.

 

Get Your Degree in Trivia, TODAY!

In the future, Philosophy of Trivia classes at I assume someplace like Carlton or Middlebury,  will probably ask, “Did trivia really happen if it wasn’t talked about on social media?”

Well, trust me it happened last Thursday at Glass Nickel and it happened last night at Company Brewing.

Last night’s 30-minute-later-than-normal start time was no big deal. Nick can roll with that. And regarding last Thursday’s tie for first and second as well as third and fourth, that should have been easy-peasy too. But I fucked it up. I’m the one who asked a tie breaker question about a certain concentration camp.

This is where you’re probably saying, “WTFUCK were you thinking, dog?” And you’re right to ask that. In the end what we need to accept is that a lot of people died in concentration camps and that we should all try to avoid using pejorative terms when talking about the Romani.

That said, Moony and Nerl of Fortune tied with both teams one point short of 69. Moony won the tie breaker. #1 Cat in America and Clever Girl both put up 62 points with Numero Uno Gato winning the tie breaker. The Bards of Spoony Junction put up 60 for 5th place, ahead of Good Enough who had 53, which was more than enough to beat Boat-N-Hoes formerly Penis Posse formerly Pussy Posse and formerly Lady Posse who put up 45 points.

Now, on to last night where Titty Roosevelt nabbed 76 points for first place and a commanding rank in the league. Then it was There’s Something About Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau Tiara and Tunnelsnakes both scoring 72 points and putting their league scores at 33 and 34 respectively. That probably has Nick sweating the finals a little bit. Scrambled Eggs landed in fourth with 65 points.

TEEB NABE closed out their night with 58 points, ahead of The Sharpest Tools at 55 and My Burps Smell Like Wet Metal at 47. Ready to Retire put up 41 points and South Side scratched together the 33 points needs to bring up the rear.

Tonight we move on to the Up & Under where Lewis, who insists Prague Rock is better than Prog Rock even though everyone knows all Prague Rock just wants to be Budapest Rock, will be rapid firing 50 questions to all the players. If you want to get involved, simply be at the Up & Under on Brady Street tonight.

The show starts at 7pm. See you there.

 

Walk, Don’t Run

 

Tonight’s Company Brewing show is being pushed back to 7:30 to accommodate a private party. Imagine all of the things you can do with that extra 30 minutes:

  • Read the news (we do current events every week; you have to catch on eventually)
  • Catch one more episode of The Wonder Years
  • Prepare more cover song playlist ideas
  • Pre-game at Polish Falcon
  • Taco dip
  • Catch up on the Royal Wedding thinkpieces you have bookmarked
  • Keep asking Greg for this week’s hints
  • List and rank the many works of Drew Barrymore

In the Belly of the Beast, Wherein the Beast is Trivia Week 20

What up mid-weekers? Y’all looking for an update on some shit?

Well, I have some great news. The update is here. Let’s start with Company Brewing. TEEM NABE cobbled together 35 points like Dan D. Lewis making loafers between the takes on the set of some other slog that will put people to sleep. Best Last Place Ever earned 43 points and proved to the whole bar that there name is a fallacy. Scrambled Eggs put up 61 points and Das Tunnelsnakes ended the night with 75 points. The Sharpest Tools and Titty Roosevelt tied at 77 points and There’s Something About Merrimac and Beautiful Lake Attitash grabbed the win with 84.

Then, at Up & Under The stalwarts were in the house. Who Pooped In The Pool staked their claim with 48 points, but were just topped by A Team Has No Name at 50 points. Trivia Newton John put up 70 points, which left the top spot open for Shiva Conglomeration who scored a solid 82.

That means only the Madison show remains this week. Word on the street #1 Cat in America aka The Norse Force aka Scar-T and the PhD is going to make an appearance, but I’ll believe that when I see. And if I see it, it will be tomorrow night at Glass Nickel Pizza.

See you there!

What up with that league over there, my man?

I’m getting a lot of questions at the Madison shows about when we’re starting the summer league. And every time I have to tell them, “Patience, players.”

First off, it’s not even summer outside yet. We’re still over here fucking about with 6 straight days of rain and temps somewhere between freezing and a moist 80. I’m out here mowing my dandelion field of a lawn while wearing period matching HBC blanket coat and beaver pelt hat. Plus, summer doesn’t really start until like June 31st. Plus, I still owe Neal of Fortune their prizes from the last league ( and like 3 times ago). And the biggest plus is the teams at Company Brewing in Milwaukee are currently in the throes of a league.

I can’t tell you who’s winning in that league because I haven’t checked. I assume it’s Inclusive Wankers, or Theirs Something About Merrimac and Beautiful Lake Attitash, or Best Best Buy By a Best Western Ever, or really any team. I just hope it’s not Das Funnelcakes.

That said, any team could walk into tonight’s show, perform a little trivia jujitsu on Nick and walk out winners. They could do that while drinking a couple pints of Company Brewing’s finest ales or lagers. They could even do that while eating some of the Company Brewing kitchen’s finest appetizers or entrees. All they would have to do is show up at Company Brewing in Riverwest, tonight, get a solid team together and know a little bit about things like Official State Animals, Napoleon and Nursery Rhymes.

The show starts at 7pm. See you there.  

 

A Correction

Attention Madison trivia players, I owe you all an apology. Last week, during the Bamboo Harvester of Sorrows of Young Werther category I mentioned the historical inaccuracy of Melton Wool being worn by soldiers in the civil war.

I posited Melton Wool wasn’t developed until the late 19th century, and during the Civil War era, US woolen mills were not suited for producing the fabric on a scale large enough to meet the needs of the Union forces, or those treasonous confederates who strode into battle fueled by privilege and hatred.

In reality, Melton cloth dates back hundreds of years and was developed in Melton Mowbray in England, not Melt’s Woolery and Rap Emporium—Squirrel Hill’s home for fat beats and stylish pleats since 1861– in Pittsburgh.\

I can only assume I was confusing all of the history of woven wool cloth in the the United States with that of the Woolrich Company of Pennsylvania, who truly found fame in the late 1890s by introducing a wool twill vest with, brace yourselves, several pockets.

Certainly this is more pockets than the Union soldiers were accustomed to. And as for the traitorous rebels, they carried nothing but the empty promises of the rich, protoligarchs and soon-to-be klansmen who funded the unjust and immoral succession of the southern states. Thus, not needing pockets.

I hope by addressing this inaccuracy trivia can move forward and be as entertaining as ever. If you can look past this blemish on the face of Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia, I ask you to join me tonight at Glass Nickel Pizza for food, drinks, prizes and 50 questions that at least seem factual.

The show starts at 7pm. See you then.

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