As I approached the coffee shop a police car roared past me. A wreck down by the river had bottlenecked traffic, and Land of a Thousand Hills was nearly empty. I chatted with Bama’s leader at the next table, and
Erin asked why I wasn’t sitting with him. She thought I was one of those old Bama dudes! We started late, giving Will and Joel time to arrive…as well as Jon Maiocco and his friend. Janie.
1. What city is referred to in the title of the TV show “Sex in the City”? I was the only one with an educated guess: NYC. Five points.
2. What is the second lightest element, often used to fill balloons? Joel answered, but even I knew: Helium. Three points.
3. What exercise routine uses the position “downward facing dog”? Joel correctly answered YOGA. Earlier I’d shown Joel a Ken Jennings tweet, how it would be funny to pronounce Avengers like scavengers. Then I told Joel I thought the answer could’ve been Pilates…but pronounced it Pilots. He had a good laugh. One point.
4. What food’s main appeal, according to scientists, is that it melts in the mouth at almost human body temperature?
Erin said to not make the question harder than it was. We settled on chocolate. Three points.
5. What is by far the most famous painting in the Louvre? The Mona Lisa. I had to tell
Erin that Ceil had been at the Louvre just the day before. Five points.
6. What had 1919 people reached the top of by 2003? Mount Everest. One point.
7. Who was the last Beatle to marry? He was also the only Beatle whose first marriage did not end in divorce. Tough question…was it a trick? Hurt had said John wasn’t actually married. Had Paul’s first wife died? We guessed John. It was Paul. Only a one point miss.
8. What was the official name of the 1991 Persian Gulf War? Will didn’t believe me, but it was Operation Desert Storm. Three points.
9. In the movie “The Fight Club” what bathroom product is sold by the character named Tyler Durden? Jon knew: Bar soap. Five points.
10. Name the author of the following children’s books:
…One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish…Easy…Dr. Seuss.
…The Giving Tree…Sal Silverstein. I said Glenn Beck.
…The Hungry Little Caterpillar…I knew: Eric Carle.
…Matilda…Jon knew: Roal Dahl.
…Goodnight Moon…Margaret Wise Brown.
We got 3 of five. At halftime our 32 points placed us five behind the leaders perfect score. Bama only had 29. Haley and Margaret joined us, as well as Michael and his young female friend. Since that put us over the eight person limit, Jon abandoned his friend and hung out at Xanna’s table.
11. Which planet boasts the tallest mountain in our solar system? We settled on the correct answer: Mars. Four points. After answering nine of the first ten questions right (and 3 of the 5 halftime two-pointers), we were in decent shape. Little did we know, that was our last correct answer.
12. Which artist designed the iconic Rolling Stones tongue and lips logo? Peter Max came to my mind, even though the Stones logo was really his genre. Seemed like there was another famous artist from the early sixies, but I couldn’t think of him: Andy Warhol.
13. What is the hardest bone in the human body? After the question was asked, I immediately turned to Michael and pointed to my jaw. But since the four Living Science students had all studied anatomy, I deferred to them. Joel went with cranium. It was the jawbone. A six point miss.
14. What year did the famous Chicago Fire take place? We didn’t know. 1871.
15. As feline describes lion-like, what name describes bear-like? We didn’t know. I told a meandering story of how the big and little dipper constellations are also known as the big and little bears. They’re also known as Ursia Major and Minor. Then I mentioned bruin, which is what we answered. It was ursine. Another six point miss.
16. Through how many states does the
Appalachian Trail traverse? Will answered 15, which included . There are fourteen. Alabama
17. What is the name given to wool that comes from a rabbit? Even Haley didn’t know…
18. Prior to 1949, what was the four-letter name for
? I answered Thailand Laos, but it was . Siam
19. What sport is most often featured in John Irving’s novels? I thought it was boxing or baseball, but it was wrestling Only one team had a worse second half. Had we not missed on those two 6-point questions we would’ve been in second place. At least there were three teams behind us.
20. In order, list the five largest planets in our solar system. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Earth. I had written down the first four in that order, but on our answer we flip-flopped Uranus and Neptune. I had thought Mars wasn’t that big, but Joel felt strongly about the red planet. When Earth was announced he muttered “Well I’m an idiot!” Only then did I hear Michael say he knew the order from reading the Magic School Bus.