In October of 1999 the phenomenom known as Pub Trivia came to Missoula, Montana. Brainstormer Pub Quiz is an outfit out of San Francisco who have cornered the market in our part of the world. They (or rather he, a chap named Liam) market do-it-yourself Pub Trivia games complete with questions, blank answer sheets, hand-outs, and preselected music tapes. A local watering hole, Sean Kelly's, became the venue. And so it began...
At that time a friend of mine suggested we check it out. However neither of our schedules could jive - she was still in school completing her B.A. in Forestry and I worked a regular 8 to 5 job. I went as the advance guard with another friend. We arrived too late to sign up as a team (bar patrons, organized into teams or playing alone, compete against each other), but got a table and ordered some drinks. After a while I began to get excited. Why? I knew most of the answers and would whisper them to my friend. Others were excited as well. The team sitting next to us, consisting of six guys, asked us to join them after overhearing me. Would I help them in exchange for a few rounds? At the time I drank Long Island Iced Teas - never a cheap drink in any establishment. Sure! With my help the Rat Pack, as their team was called, won Second Place. This was out of thirty teams. They were grateful. I was hooked.
The next week a few of my cohorts and I arrived en masse. The first order of business: a team name. I had overheard great names the week before. Post-Nasal Drip was a favorite. At the time we were entirely female so I suggested Team Beaver. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. It was solidly rejected. After much tussling we settled on Palindrome.
'We should be a palindrome.'
'A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!'
Another said Bob. It was perfect. The emcee would think we ladies were one lonely soul, a man without friends, Bob.
And in first place tonight, Bob! Is he at the bar? Stand up, Bob, and come get your prize!
We won third place and climbed upward from there. The number of teammates did as well. From the original four women, Bob has been anywhere from two (a man and a woman) to twenty (all ages, both sexes). Bob does better on some rounds than others depending on the makeup of the team. Since most of the questions are 'general knowledge' we're safe - we have everything from graduate students to teachers, scientists to artists, philosophers to working-class heroes. When a round has a particular theme, we hand it to the appropriate 'professional'. For instance, I'm handed the history and movie trivia questions. Another member, an entomologist, gets any natural history or chemistry questions. In one area we suck. Despite our collective love of music in all its genres and forms we never do well in the music round. This is where the emcee plays obscure cuts of songs and the players have to name the artist or the composer. After months of floundering, we've come to the following conclusions:
1) If it's an unknown male singer the answer is 10CC.
2) If it's an unknown female singer the answer is the Spice Girls.
Ever since October of 1999 we have been in the top four teams every night. We have paid our bar tab with the prize winnings more than once. We have nearly been kicked out of the bar for outrageous behavior more than once. We have almost come to blows more than once. Our top rivals have remained the same: the Austin Nichols Project, the Highlanders, the Wolfs, the Gnomes, and Work in Progress. A tip of the hat goes to the K-Y Cowboys, Spongeworthy, the Heavy Petting Zoo, and Team Timmy. Our fame has spread beyond Missoula. An acquaintance of a friend announced she was bringing some visitors from New York State down one night. When the acquaintance told them they would be on a team named Bob they were excited. Why? Because they had already heard of us.
And so, dear reader, Bob's your uncle!