The Vegan Marathoners Are Leaving Us Behind Edition of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz Newsletter


Fernandez with medal

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,


Hollywood screenplay author Brian Koppelman once said, “Resilience is a writer’s best friend. Train like a marathon runner. Move a little further each day, despite the pain.” Abraham Lincoln likewise said, “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” I think of these accomplished writers on Patriots’ Day, the holiday set aside for Bostonians to cheer those who participate in the Boston Marathon.


I used to watch the Marathon go by from my Warren Towers dorm room during my freshman year at Boston University. In later years, I would stand along the route with the other impressed fans, cheering as people would race past us, faded from a few hours’ intense effort. A runner myself, I enjoyed exploring Boston and Cambridge neighborhoods, alone with my thoughts or with my running mixtape on the Walkman. For me it was more meditation than competition.


Now that I bike every day, I feel like I am doing my part, that I needn’t run in the evenings and on weekends as I used to do when I was younger. But of course, that’s a lame excuse. What Koppelman and Lincoln say running and walking, above, need not be merely metaphorical.


Take, for instance, my friend and former student Josh Fernandez. Less than a decade younger than I am, Josh flew to his once-native Boston this week to compete in the Boston Marathon. A review of the searchable results reveals that he ran at about a 7.5-minute mile for more than 26 miles, finishing with a time of three hours, 20 minutes, and eight seconds. Now-vegan Professor Josh teaches us all that intense training, patience, and an exploration of the relationship between discomfort and accomplishment could help any of us realize our athletic and creative dreams. Do you have any lame excuses that you would like to re-evaluate?


Tonight’s Pub Quiz will feature questions on some of the topics raised above, as well as on Studs Terkel, the ways a crow flies, the great cities of London and Dublin, a morning coffee, second to social media, Welsh exports, bards, the great depression, Julius Caesar, futball, Easter memories, navy jobs, precarious bridges, sexually active arachnids, people who want their money, elegies, Phillip Larrea and Barbara West, the first practical lead-acid battery, hilarious and scary, aquatic transformations, the good of notebooks, international poetry, really old carbine anagrams, plagiarism, more than Oprah, shells, high angles, geological speaking, waiting for a move to be made, shaking with what might be called ageism, Bismarck and Jamaica, international poetry and poets during National Poetry Month, and Shakespeare.


As is the case with the Boston Marathon, the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz pushes us to our best performance when more competitors bring their game. See you tonight.


Your Quizmaster


Here are three questions from last week’s quiz:


  1. Countries of the World.  What is the name of the sovereign and unitary monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula?


  1. American Rivers. 156 miles long, The Big Muddy River joins the Mississippi River south of the town of Murphysboro. Furthermore, the Big Muddy River drains areas of the following counties, all in the same state: Franklin County, Jackson County, Jefferson County, Marion County, Perry County, Union County, Washington County, and Williamson County. Name the state.    


  1. Science.  Tabasco peppers start out green. What color do they become when become fully mature?


P.S. Poetry Night is Thursday, and you should join us. Phillip Larrea and Barbara West will be our featured performers.