The 44th Parallel

Below is the write-up Whit sent out today following our fun night of political and presidential trivia. I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d cut and paste it on here. I’ll try and add in explanations where needed.

The 44th Parallel

It was the kind of night that would make the “Great Compromiser” Henry Clay smile, Dick Cheney scowl and Kim Campbell blush. Legends were made and dreams destroyed in a small Korean living room as the “Obama Mama Ramas” went toe to toe with the colorfully named “Team One.”

In the end neither team prevailed. Things got off to a slow start as the official scorekeeper Lindsay Nash could not find a pen or paper on which to keep tally. In order to quickly clean up her apartment for the event she hid everything from herself and husband. “Hey, but the bathroom looks great, doesn’t it?” Nash said.

Despite the slow start, soon tempers flared and choice words flew. In an early dust up of emotions, American Whit Altizer questioned the wording of Dutch/American Sam 9-House “youngest president ever” question. Altizer accused 9-house of being “vague” while 9-house implied that Altizer was being “daft.”

Upon further review her question was deemed valid by the committee and “stupid” by Altizer. Things quickly became more diplomatic when both teams went 0 for 4 and the scoreboard showed two large goose eggs most of the night.

“These questions are hard,” Canadian hippie Angie Allaire said in an attempt to stroke bruised egos. But eventually, Team One drew blood by answering the “how many VPs became Ps” question before the Obamas could get on the board.

For about 30 mins, Team One couldn’t wipe the smiles off their smug little faces. But team dynamics soon got in the way of the unified Team One. In moment described as “Kim Jong-il-ish” by participant Jonathan Huggins, half-Canadian, half-American Caroline Coombs tried taking ownership over her team’s questions by proclaiming that “our team made the best questions.” Coombs, however, was promptly reminded she had done no preparation for the event.

Overall the quiz game ended amiably despite blatant disagreements over answers. In a moment of compromise the teams decided in a 4-4 tie.

“This kind of feels like the Korean War,” Dutchman Rik 9-House said afterward, “more of a cease-fire than an end to hostility.”

Like the Korean War afterward some participants couldn’t let go of opportunities lost and victories unclaimed. Lindsay Nash reminded her team that she thought tulips caused an economic bubble in Holland not the “freaking slave trade” nor could Sam 9-House let go of the fact she blew the Gerald Ford question by not going to the Michigan museum in his name in her hometown.

“Hey, I think it was a success,” Canadian Tony Gallant said of the quiz, “and I got two persimmons to prove it. (Lindsay editor note: I re-gifted some persimmons to everyone who participated since we keep getting persimmon gifts this fall. Sam then told us that persimmons cause constipation.)

“Notes–Rik 9-House won the best questions category for his wonderfully constructed questions about Dutch politics and received an extra persimmon for his hard work. This ensures he will not have a bowel movement for one week……Tony Gallant won the “most likely to be a game show host” category for his colorful presentation of questions. “If you are loud and use your hands a lot, people love you……eat your heart out Trebek,” Gallant said in his acceptance speech…..American educated Canadian Caroline Coombs is being investigated by immigration in Canada by failing to correctly answer how many provinces and territories were in her homeland. “She forgot the Yukon,” one government official said of Coombs, “that is unforgivable.” The officials also took notice of Allaire who “was awfully quiet during this question.”

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