Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,
This morning people’s patience was being tested at the UC Davis Coffeehouse. The line was growing ever longer behind me as a woman who was hoping to pay for her coffee with a quick swipe was instead checking her bank app to determine why her credit card was not being accepted for her micro-purchase. When I offered to pay for her half-price coffee, the woman took back her credit card and then moved along. Eyeing the long line, at least the anxious barista thanked me.
Outside I saw a street preacher who hadn’t checked his academic schedule to confirm that students would still be attending classes this week. During the exam period in the winter, the quad can be pretty empty, but he kept preaching anyway, despite the lack of an even uninterested audience. The morning sun barely warmed the morning air. As I mounted my bike, two ROTC participants walked past the flagpole and then past me in full uniform. Like the coffee-drinker in line, they didn’t make eye contact.
It occurred to me that, like the evangelist and the soldiers, I wasn’t being appreciated for my service to the community this morning. Also like the preacher and the ROTC folks, I knew that a lack of thanks wouldn’t change my attitude or my practices. Sometimes we engage in service because we see it as our duty, and not because we need to receive thanks.
By contrast, this week I’ve been working on a project that will allow me to show my gratitude towards all of you, and, I suppose, vice versa. Yesterday I submitted my Pub Quiz book manuscript to the printers with special instructions to have a small print run be ready by next Monday, December 18th, our last Pub Quiz of the year. I wanted you to have a chance to buy the book before the holidays in case you needed some physical token to justify to your friends and family where you’ve been disappearing to on Monday evenings.
At 350 pages, 33 full-length quizzes, and over 1,000 questions, Pub Quizzes: Trivia for Smart People will be the longest book I’ve published so far. Unlike my bonus questions at the end of these newsletters, the book will actually contain answers, including a number of humorous incorrect answers with which your teams have amused me and others over the years. It’ll also include an introductory essay by me about the importance of playing games with actual humans in the same room, a preface on similar communal themes by the esteemed professor Keith David Watenpaugh, and an acknowledgements section that goes on and on with its expressions of gratitude, likely mentioning at least one person you know.
Pub Quizzes: Trivia for Smart People will be available at the Pub on the evening of December 18th, with the Kindle version downloadable from Amazon not long thereafter. The paperback retails for $20, or you can buy three for $50. My friend Cheryl said she wanted six copies, and it was her enthusiasm that compelled me to invest in the early run so that it could be wrapped and shared with all of you before we wrap up 2017.
If you really want a copy of Pub Quizzes, but can’t join us on the 18th, my son Jukie and I will be making some daytime delivery runs around Davis once he gets out of school. I will set up an online form for that by next week, so stay tuned. I also hope to deliver a stack to The Avid Reader bookstore before Christmas.
Meanwhile, if someone does something kind for you this month, or even “serves” you in a way that you weren’t expecting or requesting, consider how you might give thanks, plan to pay it forward, or treat others with loving kindness. As the Dalai Lama tweeted last week, “Peace in the world depends on peace within. If we have that we can approach problems in a spirit of compassion, dialogue and respect for the rights of others—always a better solution than resorting to a use of weapons and force. External disarmament depends on inner disarmament.”
That Dalai Lama really takes full advantage of those 280 characters. Maybe like me he’s using Twitter to draft his next book. And what are you drafting on this drafty day?
Tonight’s Pub Quiz may feature questions on some of the topics raised above, and will take on the following weighty issues, though perhaps not in the way you expect: balconies, Irish history, assassinations, wrestler inspirations, Virginia Woolf, people named Rupp, people whose name is not Obama, musical rules, NFL football, bee hives examples, job descriptions and co-workers, civil wars, the meaning of “pacific,” shared light, rediscovered industries, capital cities, the common era, musician rankings, cinematic investments that pay off, books that can be compared to Huckleberry Finn, presidential history, loyal sidekicks, ocean travel, shampoo objectives, Disney, religions of the world, dogs that closed quickly on Broadway, catchy cereals, whales, cue cards for comedians, KGO, World War II amusements, prime numbers, real estate, musical instruments, title roles, seven-letter total names, siblings, Rolling Stone, and Shakespeare.
I hope to see you this evening. If you know of Davisites who are returning to town for a break, perhaps from college, please invite them to join us tonight, on your team or with new friends that could be made at the pub. We always have more fun with a greater variety of people. The louder the better!
See you tonight at 7.
Here are three questions from last week’s quiz:
- Books and Authors. Authors Elie Wiesel, Eugene Ionesco, and Andrei Codrescu were all born in the same country. Name the country.
- Sports. Russell Wilson is the fastest player in the Super Bowl era to reach the 150-touchdown pass mark and rush for 3000 yards (91 games). For what team does he play?
- Shakespeare. Duke Orsino is a primary character in one of Shakespeare’s most-performed comedies that is not named A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream. Name the play.
P.S. Poetry Night with Beth Suter on December 21st starts at 7 instead of 8 at the John Natsoulas Gallery. Happy December to you and yours.