Geek Bowl V: The 17th Vice President, Captain Cold, Mal Reynold’s Ship, Toy Story 3 & Ernest P. Worrel
Sunday January 30th 2011, 1:58 am
Filed under: Denver, Friends, Knowledge Junkie, Leukemia, Music, Sodapopcornculture

This evening I had the honor of competing on a team with five brilliant friends in the largest pub quiz event in America: Geek Bowl V. There were between 130 to 150 teams competing in the Fillmore Auditorium tonight for several thousand dollars in prize money. The annual Geek Bowls are produced by Geeks Who Drink, a national pub quiz organization founded in Denver. Geeks Who Drink holds pub quizzes every day of the week at different bars around the country. These pub quizzes are much harder than the weekly trivia we play at The Tavern. Check out these sample questions to get a taste of what a regular Geeks Who Drink quiz is like. The questions are hard and there are eight rounds of ’em.

Our team tonight was put together by one of my bestest buddies in the whole world, David Reiman, who phlew in from Philly to compete in the tournament. The other not Reid members of our team were David’s siblings Becca and Alex and their respective sweethearts, Dan (who flew in from New York) and Shayna. Becca and I are on the same team, along with our parents, that regularly competes at The Tavern. Shayna and Alex sometimes play on our team, too. Our team name for the Geek Bowl was “Four Out Of Six Teachers Can’t Be Wrong,” in reference to all three Reimans and Shayna being teachers or working towards becoming teachers. It turns out that a team with four teachers can, in fact, be wrong.

We didn’t win but we didn’t come in last place, either. My personal favorite round was the music round. Parts of different songs were played by a live mariachi band, who played mariachi arrangements of current and past popular songs. For each song, we had to 1) identify the song being played, and 2) identify someone associated with the song in some way. For example, “What is this song and who popularized it in 1958?” and “What is this song and what actress sang it in a 1965 movie?” It was neat hearing mariachi versions of songs like “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “My Way,” and “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.”

I think there were 80 questions to be answered (some rounds had two part questions). Just as each of us on the team answered questions wrong and fought against what turned out to be correct answers, we also each answered many questions correctly. Sometimes confidently, and sometimes because we needed an answer in the next three seconds. Although I assisted with several correct answers and answered some questions correctly with less than full confidence, there are a few specific questions I am really pleased to have answered. Here are four of them, three of which I attribute answering correctly to friends:

1. The 17th Vice President of the United States, Schuyler Colfax, was the Vice President to which President?
Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th President! The presidential history geek (me) came through. Haha!

2. Leonard Snart, also known as Captain Cold, is a villain in what superhero’s rogue’s gallery?
The Flash! I attribute this knowledge to Amy and Jason. While in college, Jason’s enthusiasm for comics led Amy and me to return to comic books years after we had both misguidedly abandoned them in our youth. One of Amy’s favorite comics became The Flash. She taught me all about The Flash, his rogues gallery, and The Speed Force.

3. In one round, we had to identify ships in pictures we were shown. There were boats like The Minnow, The Flying Dutchman and The Titanic. And then, there was this ship that Alex and I were both able to identify right away:


It’s Serenity from the unjustly far too short TV series Firefly. My knowledge of this is entirely thanks to Amy, who introduced me to Joss Whedon and his many excellent TV shows and movies.

4. In Toy Story 3, which actor from the previous Toy Story movies was replaced by Blake Clark?
I knew instantly who this was, but I couldn’t remember his name. He played Slinky Dog! He died before the movie was made! Most importantly, he played Ernest in the Ernest movies! This information was met with blank stares from my teammates. Even as a barrage of questions kept coming at us, I closed my eyes and my thoughts went straight to Matt Gallo. Matt Gallo did not introduce me to Ernest, nor does he remind me of Ernest, but somewhere in the far reaches of my mind, a vague memory emerged of Matt and I having a serious discussion about Ernest P. Worrel years ago. And there it was: Jim Varney! Matt, you inspired me somehow. Hell if I know how. Maybe it was through The Force–it was that kind of event. Thanks any which way.

When I woke up this morning, I was still feeling really crappy from Wednesday’s chemo. I decided to forgo spending time with David, who’s only in town for today and tomorrow, and instead slept all day in hopes that I’d feel up to doing more than just filling a chair. This plan worked well: I felt extremely okay until the end of seventh round, when we were subjected to a quizmaster talent show. At that point, my brain realized that it was no longer needed for answering questions and it began shutting down parts of my body accordingly. I’m back to feeling chemo crappy, but I had a great time tonight and don’t regret being a part of Geek Bowl V even a little bit. I’m hopeful that I will be feeling well enough to hang out with David tomorrow.

For that to happen, I need to go to bed right… nnnnnoooowhours ago.


Now playing: The Beatles – I’m So Tired
via FoxyTunes

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Before you even finished the saying the question of the explanation OF that question, I knew the answer was Jim Varney. And then I read on and realized your situation and was worried for a moment- I then read further on and discovered, to my delight, that somehow the force and Me helped you answer that question.
Yes, we have discussed him, and yes, I know quite a bit about him. (Jim Varney, or Ernest, I of course, speak of)

And now, finish getting better! I’ll give you a few months, but then you better be ready to continue getting better by normal processes, cause I’ll have no more of this chemo business!

~Doc Gallo

Comment by Matt Gallo 01.30.11 @ 5:29 pm

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