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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Thirst for Knowledge

Do you wonder how to use those obscure facts you have to memorize for class? Do you long for an opportunity to share them with others? Do your friends complain that you’re a know-it-all?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, several Boston-area bars and restaurants offer a solution: trivia. While eating and drinking you can dazzle your friends with useless information and possibly win prizes!

Mass Media sampled two spots, both within a fifteen minute drive from campus, where you can let your genius show.

First stop was Wednesday night “Pub Quiz” at The Druid, a tiny Irish pub in Cambridge’s Inman Square, with vintage posters, sculpture art hanging from the ceiling, and a maximum capacity of 100 people.

Entry costs $5 per team, with all cash given to the winning team at the end of the night. Eight teams were playing that night, which according to laid-back cider-sipping trivia host Dave is unusually few. The night started off with standing room only.

There are four rounds with five categories per round and bonus questions after each. Question topics are varied enough to allow everyone from reality TV fans to PBS viewers to score some points, and include literature, history, geography, movies, music and sports. A lot of questions are about pop culture or current events, so I was finally able to put my extensive knowledge of Jessica Simpson to work.

While the teams deliberated on their answers, Dave played strategic music, which alternated between several genres and time periods, and often contained clues. The questions were hard enough to pose a challenge, but easy enough so that teams can earn a high score. The highest score possible is 130, which according to Dave no team has ever achieved.

The winning team scored 109 and made off with the $40 cash basket and some bar swag. Unfortunately, our team came in last with only 32 points. Luckily, The Druid awards free beverages to those with the lowest score.

Next, we visited Sunday night “Stump! Trivia” at The White Horse Tavern, a sports bar in Allston Village with two pool tables and much more room to move around.

The high-energy, fast-talking host, Will, rattled off questions and answers while keeping one eye on the baseball game playing on fifteen high-def plasma TV’s. Although our team was one of eighteen in the running, there was no shortage of tables.

While there is no charge for teams to play there is also no cash prize. The game is played in four quarters, each containing four categories. Every quarter ends with unique, varied bonus opportunities, such as a picture activity.

The categories were the same as at The Druid, but the questions involved less pop culture and some not-so-current events. However, all those Sunday mornings I’ve wasted on newspaper word puzzles came in handy during the third-quarter bonus round. The music was a mix of top-40 hits, and unfortunately did not contain any clues.

The highest possible score is 140, and Will said he’s always careful to make sure people aren’t using their cell phone apps to earn points unjustly. The winners that night scored 127 and took home a $30 White Horse gift card. The runners-up made off with a $25 gift card, and the team finishing ahead of the wait staff earned a round of beverages. No free drinks this time; our team scored higher than the lowest, which was a 72.

So if you are suffering from excess knowledge, know that you are not alone. Whether you want to feel smart, cheer on your friends, embarrass yourself, or take advantage of free refreshments, Boston trivia nights have something to offer.

To find a trivia night near you, visit www.mcoproductions.com, www.stumptrivia.com, or go to Yelp.com and search for trivia in your neighborhood.