Note: After the story, see how you would have done at Geek Bowl IV.
How's your knowledge of the sex lives of giraffes? What about homosexual subtext in popular film? And can you name the two alternate types of Froot Loops cereal?
That's what it takes to win the Geek Bowl. That and an ability to come up with all of this stuff in seconds, while drinking heavily and being subjected to a barrage of the greatest hits of inspirational '80s pop music between rounds.
The festivities opened with a solemn procession of quizmasters that turned into a ludicrous, Bollywood-inspired dance number. Then a video of drunken local comedian Adam Cayton-Holland explained the rules and the games began -- eight rounds, ten questions in each, some with multiple parts, including an entire round on animal sex that was the clear audience favorite, judging from the near-continuous gales of laughter while the questions were read.
The chance to win a few thousand bucks ($2,000 for first place, a little more than a grand for No. 2, and a few hundred for third), plus some serious bragging rights as the Greatest Geeks of All, attracted some seventy-plus teams of six people each down to the Gothic Theatre for the fourth annual Geek Bowl. Teams came from Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and further. The loudest, rudest, shit-talkingest team of all (Trust Us, We're Doctors) came all the way from Philadelphia to prove their mettle -- a long way to come just to show that you can outgeek the mountain west geeks.
And bragging rights were all the shit-talking Philly geeks were really gunning for -- even if they took first place they'd be down $300, they admitted. So team leader and self-professed "hype man" Johnny Goodtimes put together an all-star team of Philly quiz kids (Goodtimes runs his own quiz company out East), started an epic flame war on the Geeks Who Drink blog and flew out to test his mettle in the Mile High City.
By the end of the night, the quiz skills of Trust Us, We're Doctors proved to be slightly less impressive than their shit-talking skills. Outdone by the lack of what Goodtimes called "traditional quiz classics" and the speed of the quiz, which left them unable to exercise their acknowledged team strength of talking out the answers, the final standing found them out of the money, barely. Fourth place was to be their legacy, a true "agony of defeat" sort of standing.
"That's the worst possible finish," Goodtimes said. "I'd rather finish 75th than fourth"
To make matters even worse, their final score was just a single point -- one more lucky guess, one more second to consider and recall a dim, childhood pop culture reference -- out of third. Six more points would have found them tied for second with Albuquerque, New Mexico's Coldocked!!!, the defending Geek Bowl Champions. And ten more points would have given them the undisputed win -- but ten points is an insurmountable Geek Bowl gulf, like being "only a second and a half" out of winning the gold in a 100-meter race.
In the end, the top prize went to Jesus and Tequila, making it the first time the Geek Bowl has gone to a Denver team in years. And the whole thing took just over four hours -- only an hour more than scheduled -- even with time out for a couple of dance numbers, ten minutes of standup from Cayton-Holland and a set from one-man band The Limbs -- not to mention scoring and tallying hundreds and hundreds of answers from the 75 teams.
"Geek Bowl 2010 was nearly flawless," said head geek John Dicker. "Next year though... so help me God we'll finish in three hours. And, of course, it's good to have the Geek Bowl back in Denver -- where it all began!"
How geeky are you? It's no fun reading about trivia without doing it, so we asked Geeks Who Drink to hook us up with the questions and answers used in the 2010 Geek Bowl (the actual bowl was eight rounds, but two were visual so this quiz is only six). Jot down your answers, check them against the correct ones, and leave your score in the comments. And don't lie. That would just be lame.
Round One: GEEKS AND BOWLS, 11 pts.
1. What 1989 novel was narrated by an albino dwarf named Olympia?
2. What program usually airs on the afternoon of the Super Bowl and features the Bissel Kitty halftime show?
3. Since 1981, all Chevy Corvettes have been manufactured in this Kentucky city.
4. What does "The Geek" ask Samantha Baker to borrow for 10 minutes?
5. ohn Keats wrote this poem about a piece of ancient pottery.
6. Wonderlier, Thatsa Bowl, and Classic Sheer are all extensions of what brand?
7. This Ashton-Kutcher produced reality show features mismatched couples competing for a cash prize?
8. Two points: We'll name the fictional bowling alley, you name the TV show or movie it's from: Barney's Bowlorama, Stuckey Bowl.
9. What company that might unclog your toilet has the following slogan: "And Away Go Troubles Down the Drain"?
10. What bowl rendered parts of Oklahoma virtually uninhabitable in the 1930s?
Round One answers, Round Two questions, on next page ... Round 1 Answers: 1. Geek Love, 2. Puppy Bowl, 3. Bowling Green, 4. Her Panties, 5. Ode on A Grecian Urn, 6. Tupperware (accept Tupperware Brands, Inc.), 7. Beauty and The Geek, 8. The Simpsons, Ed, 9. Roto-Rooter, 10. Dust bowl
Round Two: AMERICA SONGS, 10 pts
1. What do I take to work in Weezer's "Surf Wax America?"
2. Name the person who is directed to "get your gun" in George M. Cohan's "Over There?"
3.What now canceled show does Eminem get hugged on in the song "White America?"
4. In the Kanye West/Estelle song "American Boy," how tall is the boy that she meets that's just her type?
5. What president does David Bowie ask if you remember in "Young Americans?"
6. In James Brown's "Living in America," what SNL veteran is told to eat his heart out?
7. In "America" by Simon and Garfunkel, what city did Kathy and the narrator board a Greyhound in?
8. Name either of two words that don't elicit a "Fuck Yeah" response in the song "America, Fuck Yeah" from the movie Team America: World Police soundtrack.
9. What does the sign say in "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie?
10. In "Born in The USA," what place of employment does the narrator come back to after being sent to Vietnam?
Round Two answers, Round Three questions on next page ... Round Two Answers: 1. Board (accept "my board"), 2. Johnnie, 3. TRL (accept Total Request Live or MTV Total Request Live), 4. 5 foot 7", 5. Nixon (accept President Nixon, Ricard Nixon, Dick Nixon), 6. Eddie Murphy 7. Pittsburgh, 8. Sportsmanship or Books, 9. No Trespassing (accept No Trespassin'), 10. Refinery
Round Three: TWO BEARS, ONE CUP: The Animal Fucking Round, 10 pts
1. The largest pair of animal testicles belongs to the Northern Right whale. Do they average more or less than one ton?
2. Which species drinks piss as part of its mating rituals: Giraffes or Zebras?
3. On average, who has a longer shlong: an adult lowland gorilla or a full grown human male?
4. True or False: Beavers almost always mate for life.
5. In the rape scene in Deliverance, was Ned Beatty forced to squeal like a pig or bark like a dog?
6. Whose penis has more heads? A Spiny Anteater or a Koala bear's?
7. Which animal has a fully erectile clitoris: a Spotted Hyena or a Leatherback Turtle?
8. Which bird is one of the only two in the world to have a penis: Ostrich or a Peacock?
9. What intestinal parasite has multiple pairs of both genitals: a hookworm or a tapeworm?
10. In 2005, a man in Washington State was sodomized to death by: a horse, a porpoise, or an Alpaca?
Round Three answers, Round Four questions on next page ... Round Three Answers: 1. More (2200 lbs), 2. Giraffes, 3. Human Male (accept human, accept male), 4. True, 5. Squeal like a pig, 6. Spiny Anteater, 7. Spotted Hyena, 8. Ostrich, 9. Tapeworm, 10. Horse
Round Four: MUSIC ROUND, 20 pts. (For the actual Bowl, a band called The Limbs played 15 seconds of each song. But for these purposes, we'll make it easy: We name the song, you name the artist/band.)
1. Brown Sugar
2. Can't Get You Out of My Head
3. Love Me Like A Rock 4. Hash Pipe
5. No Scrubs
6. And Justice for All
7. Ms. Jackson
8. She's A Lady
9. Rock With You .
10. Run This Town
Round Four answers and Round Five questions on next page ... Round Four Answers: 1. The Rolling Stones, 2. Kylie Minogue, 3. Paul Simon, 4. Weezer, 5. TLC, 6. Metallica, 7. Outkast, 8. Tom Jones, 9. Michael Jackson, 10. Jay-Z (featuring Rihanna and Kanye West)
Round Five: DELUSIONS OF GRANDMA, 10 pts.
1. Shirley Jones has geriatric sex appeal in the film Grandma's Boy, but is best known as the wholesome matriarch of what TV family?
2. His books include The God Delusion and The Greatest Show on Earth. Name him.
3. Little Edie and Big Edie Beale are the subjects of this 1975 Maysles Brothers documentary?
4. Though she didn't start painting until her 70s, this artist's work titled "Fourth of July" is hanging in the White House.
5. What is the name of the annual dance that Lucille Bluth takes George Michael to?
6. What Polident shill was Mark Harris married to until her death in 1994?
7. What was the name of Norman Bates's mother in the movie Psycho?
8. Irene Ryan's scholarship fund is for actors and actresses, but she's best known for playing a Grannie on what TV show?
9. What did Grandma drink too much of in the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"?
10. What NBA star donned "Grandma's Gear" to become "Grandma-ma" in a series of 1990s Converse commercials?
Round Five answers and Round Six questions on next page ... Round Five Answers: 1. The Partridge Family, 2. Richard Dawkins, 3. Grey Gardens, 4. Grandma Moses, 5. Motherboy, 6. Martha Raye, 7. Norma, 8. The Beverly Hillbillies, 9. Egg Nog 10. Larry Johnson
Round Six: RANDOM KNOWLEDGE, 23 pts.
1. Three points: In Super Mario Bros. 2, what three characters (other than Mario) can you start the game as?
2. What is the animated character Leopold Stotch better known as?
3. Three points: Name the top three highest grossing Oscar Best Picture winners of the 1990s (US box office only).
4.What is #13 on the Periodic table?
5.Three points: Name the first and last states that Ted Bundy committed murders in.
6. Besides the original, there are two other types of Froot Loops cereal -- name'em.
7.Four points: Did the following brands die in 2009, yes or no?
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8. Three points on shit you can't afford: Who makes the Submariner wristwatch; H3 D II Digital Camera; Silver Ghost automobile.
9. What city is the setting for the novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being?
10. Two points: which hand is the player in the NBA logo dribbling with? How many stars are on the NFL logo?
Round Six Answers: 1. Luigi, Toad, Princess Toadstool (accept Princess), 2. Butters, 3. Titanic, Forrest Gump, Dances With Wolves, 4. Aluminum, 5. Washington, Florida and name the state where he escaped from jail: Colorado, 6. Reduced Sugar and Marshmallow, 7. Max Factor (no) Kodachrome (yes) RC Cola (no) Brut cologne (no), 8. Rolex, Hasselblad, Rolls Royce (accept BMW or Bayerische Motoren Werke AG), 9. Prague, 10. Two, Eight