Not quite. The Puppy Lovers were the legendary band of rogues who terrorized the late, lamented, Carlos Palanca Street haunt, the Blarney Stone. Every Thursday night was quiz night, and they would come in at around 7-ish while it was still Happy Hour, order their Happy-Hour-priced beer, and nurse them until the quiz started at 9:00 pm (Happy Hour ended at 8.). By then they had their game-faces on, surveilling the competition and plotting strategy. They so terrorized the owners of that august establishment with their cheapskate ways and the ease with which they handled the quiz questions, that the owners saw it fit to pad the quiz with questions submitted by the House Team, a downright despicable bunch of expatriate Brits--a kind of leakage in reverse. But even with the unfair advantage, the Puppy Lovers would kick alien ass with astounding regularity, so much so that they so endeared themselves to the owner/chef even though he knew that they wouldnt generate that much sales. On the contrary, since the prizes sometimes consisted of various bottles of booze that the establishment normally purveys, it is quite possible that with the Puppy Lovers, he ends up paying them instead of the other way around. Perhaps, the Puppy Lovers' reputation as a quiz-force to be reckoned with attracted other people to the pub--other teams with the hope of toppling the Lovers, and if I might reluctantly add, the House Team, from their places of honor, or at least to bear witness to the battle of wits and trivia the likes of which they have never seen before. These other teams are mostly composed of expats as well: Aussies, Kiwis, other Brits. And they order a lot. So owner/chef is happy. Even after the Blarney Stone morphed into O'Reilly's under new ownership, Thursday Quiz Night continued to generate heat.
Anyway, Monday night was quiz night at Míck O'Çonnor's pub and with the British colleague knowing of the Puppy Lovers' reputation, and my role in building the legend, he invited me to come and see what the Dutch competition was like. We went through several team names before we settled on Pimpin' Aint Easy, Biatch. So our four-man team of one American, one Curacao-born-and-raised Dutchman, one Brit, and one Pinoy hunkered down, fueled by beer, and forged ahead to do battle. Round One was general knowledge. Eight questions and we shot them all down. My reputation preceded me, and with that first round, I caught up with it. Pimpin Aint Easy, Biatch was at the top of the leader boards.
And it was all downhill from there. The old teams, who had at least twice as many members as we did, knew they were in a fight. Especially the teams in the Premiere League, the ones with the highest point totals for the year. Round 2 was geography and history where we got 5 of 8; entertainment 5 of 8... the closest we got to a perfect 8 was in the other general knowledge round when we got 7. By then the Premier League teams were coughing up 8's from their asses. In short, we didnt manage even a podium finish, landing fourth behind the perennial champions.
"That wasnt bad for a first try," Dutch said.
"Yeah we did quite allright," Brit said.
"Man, you know now I totally believe you when you said you went to Amsterdam and visited the museums and never went to the red-light district," Yank said.
Self-congratulations all around. The team was pretty proud of itself! "What the hell's wrong with you?," I asked. "We LOST! We're LOSERS!!" I have to admit, the high standards the Puppy Lovers have instilled in me in the art of useless information are pretty tough to live up to.
We'll get 'em next time.