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Round Robin

Celebrating One Quizmaster’s 10-Year Quiziversary

Published February 21, 2024

If you’re following our socials, you’ll notice that we start every week with a post welcoming new venues to our Geeks Who Drink family. It may seem cheesy, but we say it without an ounce of irony. We’re lucky enough to have staff members, writers, hosts, and quizzers who have been with us since we first started in 2006. We’ve learned a lot—about trivia and about each other—and those relationships mean as much to us as getting the right answers. (Okay, fine, they mean more than the right answers.)

This month, one of our quizmasters celebrated her ten-year quiziversary with the company, and got a special surprise gift from the editorial team: a special round all for her.

Meet Robin

New York native Robin Ryan moved to Texas to work at the Dallas Zoo, where she manages animal shows and magnificent animal performers. It’s safe to say that’s both an animal lover and specialist—with a special place in her heart for sharks and vultures especially. (Just don’t tell the other critters she works with.)

Back in 2014, Robin was a regular at GWD trivia, where she met up with the other members of her intramural sports team to keep their team spirit alive. When she heard Geeks was hiring quizmasters in the area, she asked her local host about it. She was already on a mic working crowds every day at the zoo, so how different could a quiz night be? When the host asked her if she felt confident she could control a room of passionate and quite possibly drunk players, Robin thought about it and replied, “Well, I can handle a cheetah!”

Yeah, that was good enough for us, too.

Robin and The Geeks

And thus, Robin’s journey with Geeks Who Drink began. After training and serving as a substitute host for a few months, she started hosting her very own venue in May of 2014, where she worked that same quiz night for six whole years. During the pandemic, Robin moved in with a fellow GWD quiz host and streamed digital trivia quizzes right from their apartment—along with her fabulous, furry co-host, Ollivander. Now, though, GWD and Robin are both back to quizzing in person and in public.

All the while, one thing has remained the same: Robin has never shied away from calling us out for our mistakes.

Geeky as they are, our editorial team is still composed of humans. That’s why we have our Fail Mail page, where geeks who are experts in their fields can point out inaccuracies and make sure we don’t get something wrong twice. Over the last ten years, Robin’s become a regular.

Whenever she noticed a mistake in a question—calling an aardvark an anteater, a tuatara a lizard or, worst of all, saying “poisonous” instead of “venomous”—Robin would write in with a polite heads up and a detailed explanation of why we were wrong. 

She was just doing her part to keep us honest. What she didn’t know was that our editorial team was not only listening, but compiling all of her corrections and saving them for a rainy, February day.

If you see an anteater in The Lion King—no, you didn’t. Aardvarks are the resident snout-critter of Africa. Anteaters are native to Central and South America, so they would be unavailable for Simba’s rigorous dance rehearsals.

We Botched a Zoo

Cut to 2024, where Robin was hosting her regular Wednesday quiz at Autonomous Society in Dallas, TX. The very first round? (Editor: See whole round below!) A compilation of corrections that Robin had sent in over the years, directly quoting her emails—plus a few shark references sprinkled through the rest of the quiz. Even then, the thought hadn’t occurred to Robin that the round was for her. In the moment, she says, the only thing she thought was, “Oh my God, this is the best round ever!”

It wasn’t until later, when she went to the official quizmaster community board to share her excitement, that she realized what was going on; then she went back to review the round. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that Robin remembers sending in all of the corrections we used, and where she was when we first got it wrong—and the free zoology lessons she gave her quizzers. If we botched something the first time around, you can be sure Robin’s teams never left without understanding the real facts from a real expert. 

And, of course, she’s still prepared to call us on our mistakes.

“Technically, the Rafiki question was still wrong,” she says. “The first time it ran, we said he was a mandrill, which—the animators based him on a mandrill, but he’s just this kind of mutant. Now the question says he’s not a mandrill because he has a tail, but mandrills do have tails. It’s just a very short one. They’re actually the largest species of monkey.”

The Real Reward

Robin was absolutely excited about the special round we ran, but the best thing about being a quizmaster has been the people she’s met along the way. Between the teammates who have been quizzing with her for a decade, to the community of quizmasters, to the bartenders and servers she sees every week at her venues, she’s made a ton of life-long friends. They dog-sit for each other, network for better day jobs, even pitch in when someone’s moving into a new place! (Now that’s a real friend you can count on.) That’s why we call Geeks Who Drink a family.

That being said, if anyone from the editorial team is reading this, Robin wouldn’t say no to another round on sharks in May when she celebrates the anniversary of her first solo gig. Just saying!

If you’re in the Dallas area, you can find Robin hosting twice a week—The Londoner Pub Dallas on Mondays at 7:30PM and Autonomous Society on Wednesdays at 7PM. 

Want to learn more about joining the Geeks Who Drink family? Apply to be a quizmaster here!

Round title: We Botched A Zoo

It’s a nice, easy round on animal facts we’ve screwed up on over the years.

  1. Because they secrete toxin from their skin AND their fangs, the tiger keelback snake is both venomous and what term that we always mix up with “venomous”? Poisonous
  2. We were super dumb for calling the tuatara a lizard: It’s actually a nearly-extinct type of reptile exclusive to what island nation that also gives us the kiwi and the puteketeke? New Zealand
  3. We called him a mandrill, but he’s got a tail and even his Disney animator says he’s a “mutant.” Who’s that wise old primate advisor? Rafiki
  4. It’s identical quadruplets, not twins like we said, that are usually born to the nine-banded variety of what tanklike mammal? Armadillo
  5. We called them whales and they’re actually dolphins: That and class warfare are probably why what pack hunters have been attacking yachts in the Strait of Gibraltar? Orcas (or: Grampus, Blackfish, Killer whales)
  6. D’oh, pterodactyls aren’t dinosaurs! They’re actually little cousins of quetzalcoatlus, a giraffe-sized lizard named for the creator god of what Mesoamerican culture? Aztecs (or Toltecs)
  7. Opossums and possums are different things, dopes! But they’re both marsupials, so unlike other mammals they have two of what female organ? Uterus
  8. Long-snouted, related to elephants, and repped by a bespectacled PBS character. That’s what alphabetically-advantaged African animal that is NOT an anteater, dammit? Aardvark
  9. “We Bought a Zoo” features an embarrassing blunder where an ostrich makes a woodpecker noise! We expect better from what “Almost Famous” director who’s got a bird right in his name? Cameron Crowe

One thought on “Round Robin

  1. Cheryl Ehmann says:

    We play every Monday with Robin and love her!!!

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