Damn the late night IRC chatters - Derek (aka dpaterso) said a couple words in passing, and it tickled my funny bone enough to churn this out. It's nothing serious, and will likely never see the light of day beyond AW, but figured I'd share it here:

Trivia Night With Derek

It was late at night, and we were all too drunk to think when the next trivia question was shouted out for the teams.


“WHICH WAS THE FIRST STATE TO SIGN THE CONSTITUTION?!”

In my slightly diminished state, I remembered that song about the 50 States and smacked my hand on the table, careening cheap peanuts from the bowl to the floor.


“Delaware!” I cried.


Papa Bear stared over at me - it was probably the only-semi coherent answer he’d gotten all night. The bar actually dropped to a hushed silence as this was unheard of. Usually answers rung out in the form of the next round of alcohol needed, some sexual proclivity, or some other meaningless answer like “llamas from Timbuktu!” that had absolutely no bearing on the questions whatsoever. Answers were immediately followed by uproarious laughter, spilling of drinks, claps on the back, and people doubling over in tears. One night, the answers were so stupidly funny, I even fell out of my chair. Thank God McCready was there to catch me before I fell into the beer soaked, vomit-laden stickiness of the bar floor. And I was usually the soberest of the team.


“TEAM OXFORD FOR THE POINT!” cried Papa Bear, “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE THE FIRST ACTUALLY EARNED POINT OF THE NIGHT!”


Applause and cheers rose in cacophony. A stein of cheap, warm frothy beer appeared before me. The head was taller than the actual beer itself. I raised the glass to toast the bar and slammed it down with raucous abandon, spilling the contents across my sleeve. I shifted my hand to the glass of Oban to my right. I’d been nursing it all night, and the scotch just tasted better to me over suds. With only a taste or two left, I raised that instead, and took the rest of the glass and upended it down my throat. The crowd went wild.


Another hour of questions bantered back and forth:


“WHAT’S THE CAPITOL OF LIBYA” (Tripoli)


“WHO INVENTED THE COTTON GIN?” (Eli Whitney)


“WHO PRECEDED HENRY THE EIGHTH?” (No one knew Henry the 7th apparently)


“WHO WROTE THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK?”


Back and forth, back and forth, for sixty agonizing minutes. Finally after another hour, it was nearly closing time, and Papa Bear knew that people were either too drunk to drink more or too tired to care. He’d also likely reached his maximum profit margin for the night. It was only downhill from here, so he cut off the trivia, said it’d take some time to tally the answers.

Congrats were passed to both teams, but t’was the:


“LAST CALL FOR ALCOHOL!!!”


People rushed at the bar, just hoping for one more douse of booze to numb the pain of the previous weeks work. It was all they had to look forward to next week anyway. But, just to make sure everyone got home safe, Papa Bear made sure that all drinks were diluted. No more than 50% strength (if that) was permitted in a pour after 10pm. No one, least of all Papa bear, wanted a drunk robbed, beat up, or lost in the streets of Belmont. Further down into Boston, they may not care, but the locals took that shite seriously. It was a small town and his was the only pub open this late. Too risky.


After all the watered drinks were served, Papa Bear climbed up to the height of the bar itself and clanged his mighty bell.


“LADIES AND WELL…THE REST OF YA LOUTS…WE HAVE A WINNER!!!”


A slightly less raucous rouse of applause went up from those that were lingering over the tepid alcoholic remnants. Papa Bear silenced the crowd quickly.


“BY A FINAL SCORE OF ONE TO NOTHING…THE WINNERS ARE….THE OXFORDS!!!”


He clanged his bell thrice, and everyone stayed hushed.


“THE PRIZE FOR THE WEEK, AS YOU ALL KNOW…” Papa Bear paused for dramatic effect.


“IS AN ENTIRE BOTTLE OF SCOTCH! AS PROMISED, IT'S ONE OF MY BEST!”


The crowd was all excited now. Which would it be? With a town of scotch enthusiasts, the blended stuff never really took off. It was single malts or else… Dalwhinnee? Oban? Laphroaigh?
McAlister? There were so many to chose from.


“LADIES AND GENTS…MAY I PRESENT THE 18 YEAR MACCALLAN!!!”


The 18 year Maccallan was no joke. Bottles typically got for at least $100, if not more, and to college students, that was definitely a prize worth winning. With a flourish reserved for Vanna White, Papa Bear pulled the miniature out of his pocket, and handed it to me.


“SINCE DEREK WAS THE ONLY ONE TO ACTUALLY GET A QUESTION RIGHT, HE GETS THE HONORS OF KEEPING THIS FINE IRISH SCOTCH!”


The two teams looked at the mini and the collective gasp was so sad, it was comical. We could do nothing but cry and laugh in dismay.


“Papa!” I cried, “As the designated driver, I insist on something I may enjoy, and this ain’t it! At least tonight! Now bring me a Cheese Wotsit!”


“YOU WANT A WHAT?!?!”


“A CHEESE WOTSIT!”


“Sighing in defeat, he pulled the 50 cent package of cheese crackers off the rack behind the bar, and upped the ante…


“JUST THIS ONCE, THE PRIZE HAS BEEN EXTENDED! I GIVE DEREK HIS BELOVED CHEESE WOTSIT”


With laughter and tears galore, we all filed out as Papa Bear made his last shout of the night:


“AS YOU ALL KNOW WHICH MEANS, THAT’S A WRAP EVERYONE. DON’T CARE WHERE YA GO BUT YA CAN’T STAY HERE - G’NITE!”