The Dubliner Pub (Cambridge)
2046 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
Thursdays: 8:00 PM
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Before tonight’s quiz at the Spirit, waitress Anastacia wondered what the minimum number of teams required to go on with the quiz was. I’d honestly never thought about it before, but since the Spirit has prizes for the top two teams, I figured it’d be two so long at the prizes were still at stake. She asked because she had expected torrential downpour around the 8 PM start time of the quiz. That rainfall never came. What did, bizzarely enough, was a record (for my time at Spirit at least) 20 TEAM TURNOUT and a packed-to-the-gills Spirit Bar for tonight’s quiz in the midst of a gorgeous Cambridge evening. It got so busy, in fact, that Staff Infection had to forfeit before the quiz even started due to…um…work?!?! Woah. I guess Anastacia jinxed the bad weather away and telepathically made this record happen, eh?
The record turnout also gave way to another record for the most entries for the e-mail list prize I’ve seen in one week, with 13. Might have had something to do with the fact we gave away a brand-spankin-new Bananagrams Zip-It game to the winner? Funny thing is, the entire time I was hoping Kevin would draw the slip of Brian from Hot 4 Teacher, who honestly spent a lot more time dancing to my Spotify playlist than giving me correct answers, which still entertained me endlessly throughout the course of the quiz. Kevin, being the magician he is, did just that. Yay!
And yes, as I said, we did have the minimum number of teams for the quiz. Just by a bit. Tom Cruise was the subject of two rounds which actually had no questions at all about Tom Cruise (save for bonuses). I learned that in an audio round peppered with artists from disparate genres and eras, by far the most recognizable artist in the bunch (which included Rihanna, Joan Jett and Roy friggin’ Orbison) was actually Florence + the Machine. No kidding, this is the moment I realized Florence is serious business. Not the constant rotation on my college radio station, not the awards show performances or the MTV Unplugged episode, but a barful of quizees of all shapes and sizes able to recognize “Kiss With a Fist” with about the same efficacy they might “YMCA” or “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
This Chicken Tastes Like Bigotry grabbed the early lead at the first break, but mainly because they were the only team to joker in a bevvy of crappy rounds throughout the entire field after the first 3 sets. However, it was that other Chik-Fil-A rippin’ team, Chick on Chik-Fil-A, who jokered a perfect visual round 5 alongside Steve Holt to establish that duo up in front by a hair. In a quiz this painfully close, the simple strategy play of saving your joker for a 16-point round can make all the difference, and two teams took this approach. We’re Totally Tired seemed totally not, as they also flexed their knowledge of world leaders in a perfect non-jokered round 5 before bombing the next two rounds and finishing with a solid 10-point round 8 jokering. Last week’s runners-up by dance-off Wyld Stallyns scored a 6 in 5 of the 8 rounds, bringing some consistency amidst miserable 3-point collapses in rounds 5 and 7 (virtually everyone bombed that national anthem-themed audio round. IMO, all those crappy MIDI renditions of the anthems sounded basically the same). Not an altogether breathtaking performance, but the 12-point jokering of round 8 put them right up front once again at the very last minute. Like deja-vu, Wyld Stallyns once again found themselves facing another dance-off, this time a two-way affair for 2nd. This was when We’re Totally Tired lived out their moniker, as the duo chickened out of the dance-off and forfeited the $10 gift certificate to Wyld Stallyns for their second consecutive runner-up placing.
It’s hard not to love a fresh, first time Spirit Bar GWD champ, and that’s what we got with Chick on Chik-Fil-A. They survived rumblings of their breaking the 6-person max rule, as their table had 7 people, but official investigation showed they were adequately split up. Their lesser half, Our Bodies, Ourselves, finished in a four-way tie for 15th, dropping out after round 5 and finishing 34 points back of the lead. Hardly a conspiracy. The fierce, Spirit-newbie lady trio preserved their lead by one single point after pulling off a clutch 12-point non-joker final round to bring home the $20 Spirit tab. Their place as the victors of the most hotly contested Spirit Bar affair in recent memory is really quite rad.
For a moment there towards the end, I was convinced decision by dance-off was going to become a Spirit Bar tradition. That result was narrowly avoided today, but by equally bizarre circumstance. What the heck could possibly happen next week?!?!? Too tough even for me to tell.