Log Me In

This round on cabins comes with all mod cons

Published October 6, 2023

Eric Keihl is the managing editor for Questionist’s parent company, Geeks Who Drink. Each week, he will accept a reader challenge to write a entire, quiz-ready trivia round on some tricky or obscure subject. You can challenge Eric here.

This week’s theme is “Cabins,” suggested by Benjamin Berry at City Orchard in Houston! Thanks, Benjamin!

Though Scandinavians have been building log cabins for at least 4,000 years, there’s something wholesomely American about them. From 1850 to 1865 we had four straight cabin-born presidents: Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan, and of course Abe Lincoln. So if you need a fella to either save a country or slowly let it dissolve, keep your nose open for that piney smell!

One POTUS who was definitely not born in a log cabin was number nine, William Henry Harrison, though you wouldn’t know it from his bogus campaign slogan. Running against dapper little fancypants (and creator of the New York political machine) Martin Van Buren, Harrison’s people rolled out a Dubya-esque “man of the people” shtick and released a bunch of kitschy swag with the motto “log cabin and hard cider.”

Despite the inconvenient fact that Harrison was born on a Virginia plantation to a dad who signed the Declaration of Independence, Harrison won and became the first president to represent the nascent Whig party. And then, of course, he died about a month after his inauguration, cementing his place in lazily-written pub quizzes forevermore. 

But hey, we’re trying to write us some good pub quiz here. Let’s get started!

1. According to the FAA, it’s only about once every 100 million “flight hours” that a plane has to deploy the little masks that feed what gas into the cabin? Oxygen

On average, you’ve got about 18 seconds after cabin depressurization before the lack of oxygen starts making you too woozy to put the mask on. So hurry up! You can always catch up on Ted Lasso once your brain stops suffocating.

2. The cabin where Muddy Waters grew up occupies an entire wing of a museum devoted to the Delta branch of what music genre? Blues

Also on display at the Delta Blues Museum: A guitar that ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons had made from a plank of that very cabin. Not sure if that’s a loving tribute or the first step in a necromantic ritual, but pretty cool either way.

3. Knock at the Cabin, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Glass Onion all had their wardrobe departments challenged by the impossible muscles of what retired wrestler? Dave Bautista

If you want my favorite on-screen Dave Bautista moment, I’m calling an audible and picking his cameo as a judge on Iron Chef America. A man who can smile through Bobby Flay’s snail pizza surely has some serious acting chops.

4. If “Mr. Clutch” or “Zeke From Cabin Creek” don’t rev your motor, Jerry West was also nicknamed “The Logo” for hip-swerving in the emblem of what sports league? NBA

What, you need more nicknames? All right. His teammates called him “Tweety Bird” for his shyness, “Mr. Outside” for his beastly perimeter play, and “The Rover” for his hobby of wandering around the surface of Mars.

5. In 1972, Richard Nixon hosted a dinner to break in the Laurel Lodge, the main conference cabin of what super-exclusive Maryland getaway? Camp David

The president usually sleeps in the Aspen Lodge, while the Hickory Lodge has a bowling alley, movie theater … and gift shop. Your tax dollars at work!

6. A cabin boy who was eaten by his fellow shipwrecked sailors inspired the name of Richard Parker, the raft-bound tiger in what Yann Martel novel? The Life of Pi

Get this: 46 years before young Richard suffered his tragic fate, Edgar Allan Poe’s novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket featured a group of shipwrecked sailors who had to eat a young cabin boy… named Richard Parker! Turns out truth is also spookier than fiction.

7.  If you’re getting chased around by a cabin that runs on chicken legs, you’ve incurred the wrath of what baby-eating Slavic ogress who looks nothing like John Wick? Baba Yaga

When time is a factor, Baba Yaga can also fly around on a giant mortar that she steers with a pestle… I mean, obviously.

8. Log Cabin syrup’s primary ingredient is “corn syrup,” but its technically-correct label proudly proclaims that it doesn’t contain what specific type of that stuff? High-fructose corn syrup

Not on the list of ingredients in Log Cabin syrup? Maple syrup. Honest Abe would be proud!

Bonus: Near a sign reading “Dinosaur Graveyard,” naturally, there’s a totally rad cabin in eastern Wyoming made out of 5,796 … whats? Bones

The Fossil Bone Cabin is near Como Bluff, site of the “Great Dinosaur Rush” of the 1870s and 1880s. We could do a whole round on that mess, so here’s a little snippet: When paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope incorrectly reconstructed the skeleton of a plesiosaur with its skull on its tail, he tried to cover up his mistake by buying up every copy of the journal where his results were published.