Summer Heaters

I haven’t checked the weather for Milwaukee today, and y’all know I haven’t stepped outside since Thanksgiving, but I do hope Up & Under has the AC on full blast. And players, you’re going to need it. 

First off, let’s assume an ambient air temperature of 82 degrees tonight at 7pm. You’re also going to push that up by seven to nine degrees when you start feeling the heat of this weeks questions. They are just pure fire. Then you add two degrees for the decomposition and off-gassing of the Brady Street vomit and the bodies and lies buried below. WOOOF. I’m already sweating thinking about it. 

Finally, there’s the goddamned open flame that now threatens every team at trivia. You see, the team formerly known as When Life Gives You CthulhuLemons, Make CthulhuLemonade is not fucking around with their naming convention. Since the league began at Company Brewing they have been Rancid Sweatshirt Visions, I Toss Christian Dwarves, Anarchist Nerds Visit So. WI and Downstairs, It Rains Chives

Last night they show up, bananagrammaphone in hand, and snap off Ass Riders Visit Chinatown. And now we all have to deal with it. It hangs over the heads of everyone playing at Up & Under tonight. It’s like the Sword of Damocles but on fire–LIKE A FLAMING SWORD OF DAMOCLES. 

And frankly, that is just adding to the heat of Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia summer leagues this week. 

Fortunately, Celebrity Guest Host Andy Berg and Lewis, a man who single-handedly beat up an entire college acapella squad and then tossed them into Lake Michigan because he felt their version of In The Navy was some stolen valor bullshit, will be there to keep it cool. There will obviously be cold beers and mixers to beat that heat as well. And if you do well enough at Trivia, those frosty beverages might even be free. 

So get to the Up & Under tonight for your chance to win. The show starts at 7pm. See you there.


The Trivia Boys of Summer

Rejoice! Trivia Players! This is one of those great weeks during which we have all of the questions and answers written before the week even starts. I don’t want to say that after nine and a half years, we’re organized. But, we’re getting there. 

Perhaps it’s the chill vibes of summer that have enabled us to achieve this fete. But then again, it’s not like Lewis had his laptop at the beach. His toes getting little rhythmic smooches from the waves while he bangs out questions and crafts a moon landing conspiracy about how if you look at the reflection in the visor of Buzz Aldrin’s spaceman helmet you can clearly see Dick Cheney watching .gifs of September 11 attacks while jerking off with salt. 

Maybe it was Nick, really capturing the essence of summer and embracing the sun bleached streaks in his beard. You’d think by the looks of those natural, tropical highlights he’s been doing summer right. 

And what about me? You might think I’m milking every last moment out of summer, bouncing from cook out to cook out, with the top off the Jeep, skipping between tracks on the Soko album I Thought I Was an Alien, Ragana’s You Take Nothing and Destruction, Not Reformation by Book of Sand, a Coors Light Party Ball riding shotgun and just waiting to be cracked open. 

C’mon, you know trivia is an indoor sport. This week we put in the work and you’re all going to reap the benefits. Nick is kicking it off at Company Brewing. As league play rolls on, he’s bringing extra summertime heat with categories like Know Your Produce, Catholicism and Celebrity Vineyards. All that starts tonight at 7pm.   

As for Nick’s summertime look, I can tell you that with Sun In Tropical Breeze spray-in hair lightener it’s Sun In, salon out. He’s also stacked like six layers of bronzer on that skin.


Madison Summer League is GO!

It’s a big day over here in Madison. Certainly one the city has been waiting for. It’s not “keys to the city” kind of big, but that might all change when people start seeing those summer league points stack up. 

Typically, this is where I would make a joke about Spoony Bards’ race to the bottom and my plan to hand out league prizes for Neal of Fortune before it all begins, but not this time. Trivia is about to get a 1906 San Francisco shake up and subsequent burn down. Neal of Fortune, who already took a series of hits when Caitlin, Alex and Gabe moved on, have been scrambling to rebuild. By the time this league wraps, they will also lose Weiss PhD and Soon-to-be-Weiss PhD. I kind of expect a OKC Thunder approach, which will see SNeal (the team’s namesake and Russell Westbrook analog in this scenario) traded to TV Dogs or something. 

You might think this opens up the podium for a few other teams, but the already mentioned TV Dogs are losing a couple players to Singapore (or some other place which I failed to commit to memory). #1 Cat in America is shuffling half their team to Oslo. NeilSimpsPhD, the belt that has held up Laura Dern and The High Waisted Shorts for so long, ships off to not-quite Seattle. Team Drink Tickets is losing Kyle and Kirsti to Minneapolis and Lara has already hopped on her horse and headed out, all ipsy pipsy, for Palo Alto. Like the Bay Area has never been impacted by a 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires. 

With all of these changes, you might think this is Spoony Bards’ time to shine, but I’m telling you it’s Clever Girl, Good Enough and then the return of Fuck The EFG. You can box those picks if you want, but there’s no need. 

To see how all this is going to play out, or maybe inject a new team– an unexpected variable, a rogue wave of trivia knowledge– you need to get to Glass Nickel tonight. There will be food, drinks and questions all night long. 

As always, we’ll be in the basement and the show starts at 7pm. See you there


Such Names!

Players, I need you all to give me a minute while I collect myself. You see, I just checked out those Company Brewing scores from last night and frankly, I’m flabbergasted (that’s a real word, not just something my gramma used to mutter while adding macaroni to chili like some sort of big-timer who lived as though she had never heard of the great depression or a proper chili). 

To be fair to the Up & Under and Glass Nickel teams, it wasn’t so much the scores that were shocking, but the team names. Refrigerator, for example. They were easily the worst team at trivia last night. They scored 20 points, and I imagine Wisconsin’s Hardest Nick even let a few answers slide, but that name. OOOO DOGGIE. Then there was No Name, Effervescent Unicycle, Hot Bod of Christ and Whale Pharm. All of these teams could have combined their scores and still only ended up somewhere around third place, but they are name champions forever. 

Then there is Downstairs, It Rains Chives. While all of us simps are here on Earth playing Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia, they’re playing Three-dimensional Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia and they’re already six moves ahead. I bet this team all lives together in a Dymaxion house inside a geodesic dome. No chairs in the place, just a lot of cushions and Stars of the Lid albums Avec Laudenum, The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid, and Gravitational Pull vs The Desire for an Aquatic Life play at 20 percent volume at all times. 

Anyway, there is a tight race at the top of that CoBrew league, with Scrambled Eggs, Tunnelsnakes and Farts Anonymous all within five points of each other. 

Tonight, Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia becomes corporeal, dons a crisp mariniere, or a breton stripe if you must, and captains the SSWHT down to Brady Street for Trivia at the Up & Under. Celebrity Guest Host Andy Berg is running it tonight and I heard he scores a real easy show. So slide on down and boost those Up & Under league scores. 

The show starts at 7pm. See you there.


The Second Act of Summer

I could use a vacation FROM my vacation. 

I mean, what a week. We started off an absolutely buck wild Canada Day, during which I had to shout down simps talking about the wonders of state-sponsored healthcare, walkable communities and roads that don’t feel like driving over a washboard. Then came the mandatory 5 days of sparklers, hot dogs, Toby Keith music just blasting through the speakers on the powerboat. Truly, the days of American Exceptionalism

And to top it all off, yesterday, every American got to watch the US Men’s National Team graciously let the Mexicans take home some minor soccer trophy. Not to downplay it, but I suspect the men’s team knows that the body is like a battery, you only have so much energy and you can’t be spending it all willy-nilly against teams like Mexico

I cannot wait to see the coach’s plan to energy conservation for the 2022 World Cup. How will they top the 2018 approach of not-even-qualifying? Think about all the battery energy saved. 

But now it’s back to normal. Sure, America is still number one in everything, but someone has to earn a few bucks to keep jumbo bottles of Heinz Kranch (that’s Ketchup and Ranch together) sauce on the picnic tables. 

That also means, those crapchunks over at Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia are back at it. Wisconsin’s Hardest Nick is going to walk into Company Brewing, fill a camelbak full of Bounce House Citra Wit and rattle off 50 questions on super lame things like Girls Soccer and their game yesterday, and then a couple of categories about white men–specifically Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tarzan. 

If you’re into Trivia and that sort of thing, you’ll want to be at Company Brewing in Riverwest tonight. The show starts at 7pm. See you there.


Canada Day! Yay!

“Hellometer, Hellogram!”

Those are the traditional Canadian greetings that I send to all trivia players, on this fine Canada Day. Sure, it’s probably going to rain today, but that’s nothing new to Canadians. 

Did you know that it rains in Canada too? 

Contrary to popular perception, it only snows in the colder, winter months and in the high altitudes. In fact, it rains so often that every exterior shot used in season one of Orphan Black was filmed as they needed it. And every bright, sunny exterior shot from Schitt’s Creek was actually filmed in Bali. You can tell by the tropical plant life. 

Here’s another fun fact about our neighbors to the north, Wisconsin’s Hardest Nick hasn’t been allowed in the country since 2007 when he was heard muttering “Hudson’s Bay Company? More like Dudson’s Bay Dumb-pany” 

Apparently taking The Bay’s name in vain, or even mocking The Bay, is a criminal offense in Canada. Plus, that’s not even a clever insult. I would feel bad for WHNick if I didn’t know he’s been sneaking back into the country under the guise of a member of The Guess Who

Nick leads a weird-ass life.
Anyway, Nick’s ready to regale everyone with amazing stories of the Canadian 10-day week and the implications of the 2012 Trans-Pacific Partnership on the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s CanCon rules and how that has left the residual taste of Nickelback in our metaphorical ear-mouths. 

Sounds thrilling, right? Don’t worry, He’ll also be talking about Human Anatomy, the Industrial Revolution and the World of Dumplings of the World. HOW MUCH BETTER CAN IT GET? Find out tonight at Company Brewing. The show starts at 7pm. See you there.

Let the CoBrew League Roll On

Here we are standing at the starting line, waiting, twitching, knowing that at any minute another week of Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia is going to kick off. Picture the crew at Company Brewing polishing the last few glasses while someone else holds up a pint of Thousandfold Imperial Porter, into the sunlight where it immediately casts a shadow of pure darkness. Pupils enlarge, plants begin to die, demons begin to awaken, then the employee nods their head and says “That’s a dark-ass beer.”

But there is added pressure on the players this week. Not only because this is week two of the CoBrew summer league. And not only because Scrambled Eggs smoked everyone else last week. But they all know a new high bar has been set when it comes to naming at Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia.

Sure, Rancid Sweatshirt Visions finished with a penalty-assisted third place, but that name has made them a champion in the hearts of everyone here at Trunch Lake. We got a real Torchwood/Doctor Who thing going on here.

So tonight, we get to see if anyone can come up with a better name and how well the substandardly named teams can do with categories like North American Song Birds, Rich Nixon and Statistical Analysis of the 2018/19 NBA season. Now if those aren’t categories that can woo one, siren-like, towards the rocky shores of Riverwest, I don’t know what are. The show starts tonight at 7pm. See you there.  


Such Bravery!


I think we trivia players, maybe even all Americans, need to mark June 17th on our  calendars. The world needs to remember the day Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia players at Company Brewing started their summer league with not one Facebook clue to help them.

America has a national doughnut day, so certainly we can honor the players who so bravely walked into Company Brewing last night with nothing. I don’t even know if they run table service during trivia. The players last night were deep in the shit. If there were a documentary made about last night’s players and the show in general it would just be Apocalypse Now with Wisconsin’s Hardest Nick’s face layered over Marlon Brando’s Kurtz. And I’m talking just a static image of Nick’s face, with Brando’s voice still providing all the dialogue. Dave Coulier’s face would also be imposed on the cow that gets slaughtered.

Compare that to teams at the Up & Under tonight. They too are going into battle but they’re walking in with clues like The Great State of Oklahoma, Hinduism and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

We act like those are real clues, but we all know they are tips at best. Imagine you’re walking into an underground fight club, like in the movie Brad Pitt and the Underground Fight Club, and right before you’re about to get in the ring I show up and say “A few things to help out tonight. First, this is an empty spray bottle. You can put pretty much any liquid you want in it, but be sure you label it. Next, these are Certs. They were old people mints from the 1900s. Finally, Frankenstein was the Doctor, the monster’s name was Big Yoska. Okay, go get ‘em tiger.”

Lewis and Andy are leading the charge tonight at the Up & Under on Brady Street. The show starts at 7pm. See you there.


D-Day Baby!

Madison. What up? What up?

It’s Thursday night and that means it’s time to get ready for another serious bout of Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia. Now, if you were paying attention earlier this week, you would know that European Geography, Lana Del Rey and Harry Houdini all in play tonight. But we’ve got another late-breaking category.

Brace yourselves for a full category on the movie Brick. Oh man. I just did my work and watched this today, now you do yours. The way I see it, you’ve got just enough time to watch all 109 minutes and then get yourself to trivia.

That should also leave you just enough time to place your order for the Judith tee. Honestly, time is running out on this bad boy and we need to sell a few hundred more. All you need to do is drop $25 to let me know what size you need and the address where I’m sending it.

The show starts at 7pm at Glass Nickel Pizza on Atwood. See you there.


The Right Call

In the leadoff spot this week we have the crew from Up & Under, and we’re going to toss it directly to the Brewers announcers for the call.

Lane Grindle: Walking up to the plate right now we’ve got Celebrity Guest Host Andy Berg. You know, Bob, Celebrity Guest Host Andy Berg, when he’s not out here rounding the bases, you can usually find him at home practicing with his devil sticks.

Bob Uecker: You know, Lane, that’s the lamest bit of trivia I’ve ever heard you mention about a player. Honestly, one hundred percent trash.

LG: Well, you know, Bob, I’m simply reading the from the facts sheets they gave us.

BU: Fuck you, Lane. I want to hear the real shit. I want to hear about the time Celebrity Guest Host Andy Berg brought an all-Harry-Houdini category to the Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia show at the Up & Under. Or tell me about the time he was playing minor league ball and was run out in Lajitas, Texas for trying to, uh, get romantic with the mayor. And what you need to know here is the mayor of Lajitas is a goat.

LG: Oh, Bob. You know that story is about you. But there will be a Houdini categ–

BU: It’s a home run!


BU: Up next we’ve got Lewis strutting to the plate to the mesmerizing tones of Lana Del Rey, a singer who is certain to have a trivia category about her. What kind of dumbshit story do you have to tell us about Lewis, Lane?

LG: [leans close and whispers into the mic] Alright, dig this shit. So Lewis has actually been working with a break-off faction of the Sinaloa Cartel. It seems when El Chapo got locked up several factions of the cartel split off, including the tunnel diggers. So this group of Tunnelers, it turns out they’re Subterranean Diggers and Tunnelers Union local 864. You wouldn’t expect El Chapo’s men to be organized, but I guess if you want a tunnel you want it done right. So anyway, the Mole Men and Lewis have been working on a tunnel that leads from Lewis’ house to Lake Park. And once it’s finished Lewis is going to hire an entire opera company to perform Don Giovanni, simply so he can pop out of the ground at the moment Don Giovanni kills Donna Anna’s father, thus recreating the fictional painting in Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore.

BU: You know, Lane, it sounds a lot like you’re saying the third trivia category for tonight is Don Giovanni, or maybe Murakami, again.

LG: Not at all, Bob, it’s European Geography.

BU: Now a word from our sponsor, “Usinger’s, why fuck on mattress when you could squeeze the sausages from their all-natural casings, fill a casket with the ground meat and just get nasty. Don’t just get freaky, get an infection. Pick n’ Save, the silver lining”

The show starts at 7pm. See you there. Also, buy a tee-shirt.


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