Field Notes: Trivia Night at Manifest
Field Notes explores Honolulu’s vibrant and varied scenes and subcultures. This month: Tuesday Quiz Night.
Bar-trivia night at Manifest. The bar serves oversize hot dogs, but many players bring their own food.
photo: erik ries
WHAT IT IS
• Part of a nationwide bar-trivia trend.
• A proven way for Manifest, a bar in Chinatown, to fill the house on a weeknight.
• Two hours or so of drinking and thinking, in teams (Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.).
HOW IT WORKS
There are four rounds with four questions each, plus bonus questions and a photo round (e.g., “Identify these 10 people born in Australia.”). Competitors play in teams of up to six. Teams earn points by betting on the likelihood that their answers are correct. After each question, a song is played, giving team members time to confer, socialize and order drinks. No smartphones allowed.
People whose strengths in trivia might include sports, history, movies, literature, music or reading US Magazine. People who say they have no trivia strengths whatsoever, then turn out to have surprisingly useful knowledge about, say, The Simpsons.
On the night Field Notes attended, 15 teams competed. Among them: a team called House (which has been playing since day one, often places in the top three, and always sits at the corner of the bar), The A-Team (one of House’s arch rivals, which always sits at the same table across from the bar, and sometimes brings Chinese chicken salad to share with everybody), and Chuck’s Team (two litigation attorneys, one named Chuck, and a high school history teacher, who, by the time he was 6, could name all the U.S. presidents).
Also in attendance: One waitress. One bartender. A 28-year-old man named Remy, who was acting as quiz master, and his 31-year-old assistant, Brandon.
“I’m Pat Sajak,” Remy said. “And he’s Vanna White.”
“Only I don’t wear the dress,” Brandon explained.
The winning team gets a round of drinks and the privilege of posing for photos with the trivia trophy, an old bowling trophy adorned with tinsel. Also, for one week, a drink is named after the winning team and chalked onto the blackboard behind the bar. The honor encourages some teams to use off-color puns for their names, examples of which we shall not provide. A member of The A-Team, hoping to cause problems for the bar, wants to rename her team $1 Beer. But the rest of The A-Team won’t go along.
JUST HOW HARD IS IT?
You decide. But keep in mind, it’s easier if you’re on a team, and more fun if you’re drinking.
A. What 2,184-mile-long public footpath was conceived in 1921, built by private citizens and completed in 1937?
B. What was the name of the coffee shop frequented by the characters in Seinfeld?
C. What innovation did the U.S. Postal Service introduce on July 1, 1963, to improve the sorting and delivery of mail?
D. What model and actress, born in 1972 and originally named Tara Leigh Patrick, appeared in the films Scary Movie, Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie?
E. What Hockey Hall of Famer, who retired in 2001, has the most career goals, assists and points for a defenseman in NHL history?
F. Karachi is located in what country?
G. What album, released in 1973, holds the record for most weeks charted on the Billboard 200, despite holding the No. 1 spot for just a single week.
H. What company, founded in 1986 and listed on Nasdaq as SPLS, currently uses the slogan, “That was easy”?
I. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli President Menachem Begin signed a historic peace treaty, and former California Governor Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy for president, in what year?
J. Who defeated President Grover Cleveland in the 1888 U.S. presidential election?
K. In the 1985 film Back to the Future, what does the vanity plate on the DeLorean time machine say?
WHO WRITES THE QUESTIONS?
The questions come from a Boston-based company called Stump! Trivia, which declared on its website that, while it has fervent players all over the country, “nowhere are they more dedicated than at The Manifest.”
CAN'T GET ENOUGH TRIVIA?
Fresh Cafe, 831 Queen St., has a trivia night every fourth Monday. Edge Bar, 1661 Kapiolani Blvd., has a trivia night every other Sunday.
A. Appalachian Trail.
B. Monk’s Café.
C. ZIP code.
D. Carmen Electra.
E. Ray Bourque.
G. Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.
J. Benjamin Harrison.