After two weeks away from trivia, I was ready for some action. Will was MIA, but Joel and Kevin were ready as well. The Hurts called to say they were coming, so Kevin saved them a prime table, and I answered the first three questions in their absence.
1. GEOGRAPHY: What country’s name means “Land of the Afgans”? After a second or two, it came to me: Afganistan. My teammates concurred.
2. GEORGIA: What Greek city lent its name to the Georgia town where REM was formed? After first thinking about Rome before the question had been fully read, I knew: Athens. Three points. During the song I chatted with Erin about how she’d left REM out of her list of Georgia artists. Ever the little nerd, she checked her computer. To make up for the slight, she played “Man on the Moon” after the next question.
3. POT POURI: What Scottish garmet’s name is based on the Middle English term for “fold” or “pleat”? Kilt was the only answer we knew, and it was right. One point. The Hurts arrived, but there was little time to chat.
4. SPORTS: What Japanese sport, not for the lean, dates back to the 17th century? Kevin and I looked at each other. The “not for the lean” clue gave it away: Sumo. Five points.
5. ANIMALS: What bird lays the largest egg? K & J knew first, and I agreed: Ostrich. Three points.
6. LANGUAGE: What is the world’s most populous Spanish speaking country? After a long discussion, we finally answered Mexico. One point.
7. OUTER SPACE: What is the average distance of 238,000 miles from earth? Kevin had to talk Joel out of his preprostous answer” astronomical unit”. I thought the moon was further away, but it was our right answer. Five points.
8. GAMES: What US city, and surrounding area, are the setting for the standard Monopoly board? Another long discussion. At first I thought it was NYC, until we started thinking about it. We correctly guessed Atlantic City, but only wagered one point. It would cost us the win.
9. TELEVISION: In the sitcom Friends, what fashion company did Rachel go to work for after losing her job at Bloomingdales? We didn’t know…a three point miss. It was Louis Vitton.
10. ELEMENTS: Name the element for the following Periodic Table abbreviations:
…P…Phosphorous. Kevin had studied, and Joel knew them too.
At halftime our single three-point miss placed four teams ahead of us, including the Hurts. Two teams had perfect scores. Bama was tied with us.
11. ART: Who designed the famous collection of buildings in Oak Park, Illinois? Having been dragged on a tour during our Chicago trip, I knew the answer: Frank Lloyd Wright. Six points. Even Bama didn’t know.
12. HISTORY: Which gulf lent its name to the Gulf War? The Persian Gulf. Four points.
13. COMIC STRIPS: In the Peanuts comic strip, how much does Lucy charge for advice? Another question that predated my younger teammates. Five cents. Two points.
14. JEWELRY: What two metals form the alloy white gold? Long discussion. Kevin and Joel correctly answered gold and silver. Two points. Wish we had wagered more.
15. MOVIES: What movie gave Julia Roberts the chance to explain to Hugh Grant that “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her"? I couldn’t think. Michael arrived, so we threw the question at him. He thought it was The Proposal. I should’ve thought harder. The Hurts knew: Notting Hill. I’d never seen it, but should’ve known. A crucial four point miss.
16. AMERICA: What state’s official motto is “North to the future”? After thinking for several seconds, it came to me: Alaska. A big six points.
17. ACRONYMS: What does MRI stand for? Kevin knew: Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
18. FOOD & DRINK: Which berry had the highest antioxidant content? Michael was sure it was the Acai, a berry I’d never heard of. He was right. Knowing the last question is always a killer, we wagered four points. Good decision.
19. MUSIC: Who became a major star after dropping out as a backup dancer from a Janet Jackson tour? We didn’t know. I guessed Paula Abdul. The Hurts were the only team to get it right: Jennifer Lopez.
Going into the final question our 62 points were five behind the leaders, Godzilla. The Hurts 66 points were in second, tied with the Gnomes. With 48, Bama had a rough second half.
20. FINAL: According to Billboard magazine, name the world’s top five best selling music artists, based on combined sales of albums, singles, downloads, etc. I started jotting down artists, and came up with a list of twenty. We settled on the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Elvis, the Rolling Stones, and Elton John. The second-place Hurts took a younger tack, thinking recent downloads of Katie Perry and Lady GaGa had outsold our legendary guesses. We got four of the top five, missing on Madonna instead of the Stones.
Erin was amazed at the closeness of the scores…
At least we beat the Hurts.