The Cayman Islands Humane Society will once again be holding its monthly pub quiz at Fidel Murphy’s on Aug. 17. This very popular evening brings out well-established teams and new eager beavers to participate in a battle of the brains, rather than brawn.

Up to six people are allowed in a team, and on your first night you’ll quickly realize that the name of your group is almost as important as your final score. Teams such as “Quizlamic State,” “The Jackson Four” and “The Misfits” are just a few examples of confident regulars that frequent local quiz nights looking to take the crown.

The Humane Society quiz has become one of the premier trivia events on the island with a rotation of hosts known for the interesting questions they bring to the table. Jonny Kern will be on the microphone for the next round, taking a break from being a participant; a poacher turned gamekeeper, if you will. According to anonymous sources, Kern is a font of useful (and useless) information, making him a coveted teammate and much sought-after quizmaster.

The (sort of) history of the pub quiz

How did pub quizzes become such a … thing? At which point did someone decide that a night of groups huddling over tables, nursing pints and answering questions was a good idea?

According to Marcus Berkmann, author, journalist and quiz enthusiast, via the Daily Telegraph, it was the launch of the board game Trivial Pursuit in the ‘80s that really sparked the interest in quizzes. Those of us who were around at that time and old enough to remember it, will recall the phenomenon that the Trivial Pursuit game became. Many special editions followed, some with such heinously difficult questions, that after three hours of playing and each player only one piece of pie richer, they would give up.

In the U.K., people became bored with the game after a while, but liked the idea of answering trivia questions. Thusly, by the ‘90s, pub quizzes were popping up all over the place.

No doubt there will be others who will dispute this theory, but in the end it matters not how it all began – the important thing is that the noble pub quiz is still going strong both in Cayman and overseas.

Be careful to not have too much testosterone in the team.

Cayman Islands Humane Society

The Humane Society is an organization dedicated to the protection of homeless animals, while trying to find them foster or forever homes. The monthly running costs have to be covered by donations and fundraising efforts, such as the monthly pub quiz. Costs including housing the animals, feeding them and providing them with medical treatment, when necessary.

Marcus Berkmann’s five favorite pub quiz questions

Try your (U.K.-biased) quizzing chops with these and when desperate, you are allowed to check Google.

  1. In April, the Institute of Contemporary Arts hosted an event called “A Girl, A Clown, A Blackboard.” What was it celebrating?
  2. In which English county are there places called Ham and Sandwich?
  3. Samuel Rogers (1763-1855) lent the same suit to two fellow poets when they were invested as poet laureate. Which two? A point for each.
  4. If 31 and 38 are European capital cities and 36 is the third largest city in Austria, which Roman god is 41 and which Salzburg family are 35? A point for each.
  5. The Beaufort Scale for wind intensity, much loved by British pub quizmasters. Force 12 is a hurricane. What does normal breathing register on the Beaufort Scale?

Berkmann’s quiz tips

  • Mix the genders. Teams containing women are usually better at lateral thinking. All-male teams always think they’re cleverer, and always come 4th.
  • Look out for the person who says “I’m absolutely certain it’s Ethiopia” when he doesn’t have a clue, and get rid of him.
  • The person who says “I don’t know anything, I can’t help,” will probably be the one who wins you two vital points.
  • Your first effort is almost certainly better than your second or third. People are constantly rethinking, foxing themselves into believing that their first answer cannot be right, because it seems too simple.
  • Have at least one team member who stays sober for the last round. That’s usually when people blow it, because they’ve drunk too much.
Money raised will go to the Humane Society, home to very intelligent moggies.

I have a personal favorite line from the film “Shaun of the Dead,” when Shaun and his group of friends are trying to find safety from the zombies in their local pub, The Winchester Arms. Banging on the window: “John? John, Bernie, are you there? It’s Shaun and Ed. We come in all the time. We do the quiz!”

The Cayman Islands Humane Society pub quiz is scheduled for Aug. 17. Entry fee is $10 per person. Email [email protected] or call 949-5189 to reserve a table and register a team.

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