Drippy Chrimbo

Whooo, there is some weight in the air in Madison today. A lot of people think it’s due to the students moving, but the real players–the Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia Players–they know this is the weight that is now on Neal of Fortune’s shoulders. It actually started last week when founding member SNeal first saw threats from former team members tell him not to fuck up the legacy. Honestly, I don’t know if I could play under that kind of pressure. I mean, to go from being the winningest team in Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia history to telling riddles to strangers by the dumpsters behind the Madison Public Library. This is the only way I see it going. Think about that kind of loss.  

But what about those other teams?

Think of Team Drink Ticket, Clever Girl or Good Enough. While they are usually battling it out for third place, THIS COULD BE THEIR TIME. Certainly we’re going to see Dern slip, as they won’t even be there tonight. And Spoony Bards, this crew is poised to snap into gear. While they are the standard always-the-bridezillasmaid-never-the-bridezilla team, they’re looking at this week as their opportunity to prove themselves as contenders. 

Of course, the match tonight could go to anyone. There could be a team who walks in for the first time and takes home the top spot. Maybe we’ll see the return of Fuck the EFG or the King of Havey Road step in and step up. All I know is that if you think you’ve got the brain power to play Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia, tonight is the night to do it. \

Like each week, anyone can play. All you need to do is get your crew to Glass Nickel Pizza on Atwood and grab a seat in the basement. The menu is fresh. The beers are cold. And the questions are sizzlers. Jake will be there. Young Nick will be there. I’ll be there with the questions. All you have to do is get there by 7pm. See you then.

Dog Days of Summer

Are these the dog days of summer? When time seems as slow and heavy as the air? 

I was standing at the gate of Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia Global Headquarters, Rap Emporium, Content Chop Shop and Luxury Vape Showroom, and no matter how I tweaked my rig, every stream of jelly bean-flavored cotton just settled at my feet. Like dry ice on the run up to Halloween. I noticed my white-on-white sambas were turning a dingy yellow and I knew Dîner en Blanc was not in the cards for me tonight. 

But you know I wouldn’t be afraid to stomp those sneaks down to Company Brewing for a proper trivia match. I suspect some sort of discoloration whether it be on your shoes, clothes or a questionable spot on your back is encouraged at the Monday night show. It proves you’ve spent a little time truly living in this world. You’re not afraid of the grime and grit. You’re no stranger to the back of a cop car, but doing hard time isn’t something you’re accustomed to. Sure, you bike to work, but it’s an e-bike. You know the crowd I’m talking about.

The kind of people who might get really excited when we cover topics like the Alleged Oeuvre of William Shakespeare and Pirates of the Modern World. And you can just imagine that CoBrew crew going bananas when Nick tell them they’re about to cover Big Little Lies. A whole bar full of people screaming with joy and one voice mumbling, “I heard Adam Scott is really good in it”. 

Chaos. Pure Chaos. Right here in the heart of Riverwest, in the dog days or summer. The show starts at 7pm. See you there.


When the Nick is Away…

Apparently this is what happens when Nick goes on vacation. I sit here at Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia Global Headquarters, Rap Emporium and Misery Annex, trying to figure out the best way to prank him. I already ruined the first thought when I started pitching him the concept of “warm gin” before he even left.

“Think about it, you’re having a party. Maybe it’s a pool party. It’s just going to be abs and butts and boobs everywhere. You pick up a jumbo bottle of Beefeater which you had put out there, poolside, at nine in the morning. It’s mid afternoon now, the sun has been cooking the bottle. To the touch you wouldn’t call it ‘hot’, but it’s certainly in that 20-min old coffee range. You pop the top on that bad boy, pour it in a coffee mug and start sip-sip-sipping through your reusable metal straw.” 

And all he had to say was “Gross.”

Come on, Nick, live a little. 

So now only real prank options I can think of filling his office with scorpions, tossing the rotting carcass of a cow into his office in hopes of attracting buzzards or burning down his childhood home. All of which seem less funny the more I think of them.

Needless to say, the time not spent scheming has been spent getting ready for this week’s Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia shows. We’re kicking it off tonight at Company Brewing, and it is certain to be a banger. There will be a category about famous fictional bartenders. You know we’re going to have a Tour de France recap to drop on you, and as a special treat we’re going to introduce you to the 100 percent, completely and randomly selected town of Bothell, Washington.    

These are going to be heaters from your head to your feeters. And you know the CoBrewCrew is going to keep you happy and hydrated. You could grab one of those Cer.Voces, a Mexican dark lager that must be amazing. Or, if you’re truly a lover of life, you can walk up to bar, order a tall glass of gin, slip the bartender a couple extras dollars and say, “Maybe you pop this bad boy in the microwave for 35-45 seconds…”

Ultimately it doesn’t matter what your drink of choice is. What matters is that you’ve got your team at Company Brewing tonight. The show starts at 7pm. See you there.


I’m Back, As If Anyone Noticed I Was Gone

We now know where trivia stands in the hearts and minds of the players. Not one person reached out to say “What are the categories this week?” or “Where are our clues, asshole?” 

Not a single person texted and asked, “You doing alright?” If so, they would have learned that I was doing great, but just got hung up in the middle of nowhere northern Wisconsin where there was no mobile service and really spotty internet action. Plus, I totally forgot that is was Monday until nearly 5:30, when I was being traffic on the drive home. 

Anyway, I missed that CoBrew show. I’m sure it was great. I’m sure the anagram team came up with something like Three Dollar Pickle Slicer Toyota Previa or whatever. The good news is that I’m here posting trash and giving those Up & Under players plenty of time to get ready for tonight’s show, knowing they had better study Quentin Tarintino, More About Wines, and then Famous Murders

If you want to break that down in true Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia style that’s a category about a sleazy white guy, privilege, and creepy white guys behaving badly. 

As is tradition, the show tonight will be manned by Celebrity Guest Host Andy Berg and Lewis, a man who knows all the lyrics to the Barenaked Ladies’ jam One Week and is not afraid to break them out any time. The show starts at 7pm. See you then.    


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.

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