It has finally happened: A six-pack! Six questions up, six questions down, and nothing but correct answers from start to finish.
I honestly never thought the day would come: For players of my ho-hum ability, there are SO MANY WAYS for things to go wrong. How many times have I smugly hit Submit only to learn I had fundamentally misread a question? How many times have I known some arcane fact seemingly up to the very moment that I read a trivia question about it, at which point the fact makes a jailbreak right out of my brain? Not to mention all the Learned League categories for which my depth of knowledge can be measured in centimeters. A day might have five gimmes, but if the final question is about sports, or science, or geography, then that’s it for the six pack: Gone for another day.
Well. Surprise! Despite the presence of a sports question and a geography question, all of my answers were right. Maybe everybody gets one day where the slot machine rollers line up perfectly: Jackpot, Jackpot, Jackpot!
1. What is the largest country in land area on the Central American isthmus? It is also home to Central America’s two largest freshwater lakes — one named for the country, the other named for the country’s capital city.
The hardest question in the batch: My answer was 100% guesswork. I suppose if you know something about the region, this question was loaded with hints, but for me the whole second half was no help at all: Blah blah lakes, blah blah capital. I didn’t even try to come up with a rational answer: My strategy pretty much boiled down to “Name a country that is probably located in the right part of the world.” I went with Nicaragua. Wow, it’s right!
2. What was the last name of the family at the center of the comedy/drama series The Wonder Years?
Fred Savage played Kevin… Kevin… Kevin what? It took some meditation to make it come back to me: Kevin Arnold.
3. What is the name of the business establishment being depicted in this painting?
My first thought: The Moulin Rouge. My second thought: This seems a little more sedate than the Moulin Rouge depicted in the movie of the same name. Third thought: Sure, but that movie was directed by Baz Luhrmann, who doesn’t do small when enormous is possible. And there are cues from what I remember of the movie that confirm my answer: The clothes and beards seem right for the period, and there is also a green, absinthy tint to everything, especially that woman on the right. (Either that or she is a sea monster.) The final convincer: I had no backup plan. It was Moulin Rouge or nothing. Moulin Rouge it is! Correct!
4. Of the 50 discrete words that appear in Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, which is the only one that begins with the letter F ?
Is this really going to be a difficult question for anybody? That’s hard to fathom, but then again I have read this book about ten million times. I will not eat them with a fox, I will not eat them in a box. (Considering how my daughter once loved this book, it’s ironic what a picky eater she has turned out to be.)
5. Ray Bluth, Don Carter, Carmen Salvino, Harry Smith, Dick Weber and Billy Welu were among the initial inductees for a Hall of Fame in what sport?
Got it from Dick Weber: Bowling!
Actually, I confused Dick Weber with his son, Pete Weber, who has made an attempt to bring bowling into the modern age by wearing dark sunglasses and adopting a Hulk Hogan-like attitude, neither of which does much to counter the fact that he is a professional bowler. But I got to the right place, so who cares if I took a wrong turn along the way?
Here’s Pete Weber celebrating a win, I believe earlier this year. Stay tuned for the immortal line, “Who do you think you are? I AM!”
6. Field artillery Colonel Robert R. McCormick was, from 1926 until his death in 1955, sole publisher of what major American newspaper — a time which includes one of the most notorious gaffes in newspaper history, which occurred in November of 1948.
There needs to be a term for a question where the first half fills your brain with a panicked OH NO!, but then the second half turns it into a total gimme. That’s what we have here. I’ve never heard of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, but his presence in the question is unnecessary: All I really needed were the last eleven words. Chicago Tribune, with its famous DEWEY BEATS TRUMAN cover.
So there you have it! My first six pack. I’m not expecting this to happen again anytime soon, that’s for sure. In the meantime, though, Who do you think you are? I AM!