Don’t check your brain power at the door
It’s not often you’ll get asked what the average life expectancy of a giraffe is, or which movie won the Best Picture Oscar in 1976, while sipping on a cold beer.
But if you hang out in some of Cayman’s bars early in the week, expect to use your brain power to try to answer questions like these.
On the first and third Monday night of each month, Macabuca in West Bay plays host to its trivia night when quiz mistress Bonny Vincent spends an hour testing the depths of customers’ knowledge on three categories: music and movies, food and drink, and ‘around the world’.
“Everyone who plays gets a free shot, and you can win a $25 gift voucher that can go towards your bill that night,” she says.
Vincent, who compiles her questions from the Internet and other sources, says the popularity of quiz nights at the waterfront bar is growing.
“This is only our fifth one,” she said of Monday night’s quiz this week. The trivia nights have already attracted a regular following with some of the same teams showing up to battle it out with rivals.
The combination of the quiz and a $15 barbecue on Mondays is drawing the crowds, she said.
At the Dog House in Grand Harbour, Z99’s JB hosts the weekly trivia night on Tuesdays. That quiz lasts about two hours and there are prizes for first, second and third p
lace – a $50, $25 and $10 vouchers for the bar.
This long-running quiz also draws regular teams who come back week after week.
“I think people have taken in so much so-called ‘useless knowledge’ over the years, it is fun to show off that big brain. Chances are, if you are in a team setting, someone knows the answer,” says JB.
He gets his questions from a variety of sources, he said, including textbooks, magazine articles, television and the Internet. “Everywhere you look there are questions,” he says.
Trivia nights can make competitors of even the mildest of players. “People definitely get competitive… and adult beverages can sometimes take that up a notch. People can always challenge answers. Sometimes I am wrong; they will get the points if they deserve it,” JB adds.
He recalled one of the weirdest answers he received to a question – he had asked what was the most common cause of vegetables becoming spoiled. “Someone answered ‘Gifts like money’, thinking I meant a person in a vegetative state, not the actual food.”
At Lone Star on West Bay Road, the crowds have been gathering for the weekly quiz night, which is also on Tuesdays.
Scott McLean, who hosts the quiz at the bar, says there have been nights when the players have gotten every single question right and there have been ties with perfect scores at the end of the evening. “We’ve had to make it more and more difficult,” he says.
Quiz night also attracts repeat customers. “There is a huge competitive spirit,” McLean says, adding that Tuesdays have become among the busiest nights of the week for the bar.
Prizes are awarded after each of the four rounds.
But, in this day and age of instant information from iPhones and Blackberrys, how can quiz masters ensure that the answers they’re receiving from teams have not been gleaned from a surreptitious peek at Google under a bar table?
McLean says the staff at Lone Star are adept at spotting people who use more than their memories and brain power to get an answer to a trivia question.
“We’ve had one case of someone cheating under the table. The server took his phone and changed his Facebook status to ‘I just got caught cheating at trivia’. It became a huge joke, it was all in good fun.”
And for the record, the life expectancy of a giraffe is 20-25 years and Rocky won Best Picture in 1976.