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We're Not That Smart: Our one-round appearance at the Trivia Bee 

click to enlarge We totally would have got that one right.
  • We totally would have got that one right.
We totally would have got that one right.
Did you know that Oregon's state slogan was: "Oregon. We love dreamers?" No, you probably didn't, and neither did the Source's three-member team at the 2009 Trivia benefiting the Education Foundation for the Bend-La Pine Schools on Saturday night.

And did you know the name of the dude that Michael Phelps beat out by the length of a fingernail to win one of his eight gold medals? Yeah, we didn't get that one either. The correct answer was Milorad Cavic of Serbia, which you probably didn't know. Or maybe you did, because unlike our team, you actually remember Olympic swimmers not named Michael Phelps. Maybe if Cavic had been recently photographed holding a bong we would have got it. Who knows?

Long story short, we realized about six questions into the 12-question first round that we weren't as trivially savvy as we thought. As the questions popped up on the massive Tower Theatre screen, the words themselves a couple feet tall, we stared at our white board and erasable marker and found ourselves largely blank. So we wrote whatever nonsensical and slightly smartass answers we could muster. Remember that Oregon state slogan question? We answered with "Let's party." Our backup was: "I can't believe I ate the whole thing."

The format went something like this: There were seven teams in each of six rounds and the winner of each round went on to the finals. More than 40 teams were whittled down to six finalists by a gamut of often ridiculously difficult questions ranging from current events (What dog won Best in Show at the most recent Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show?) to local trivia (What event was once known as the Redmond Potato Festival) as well as sports, science, and arts and entertainment. The entry fees and ticket proceeds went to benefit the Education Foundation, so the "hey-this-is-all-for-a-good-cause-lets-not-get-too-serious" vibe dominated surface conversation, but we'd be remiss if we didn't remark on the heavy scent of competition that hovered around the stage. And we'd be lying if we said we didn't care about winning because we totally did.

Contestants ranged from those representing breweries, middle schools, ammunition manufacturers, lumber companies, local cable providers and snarky yet ultimately clueless alternative-weekly newspaper staffers. In the end, it was a squad sponsored by Miller Lumber hilariously named The Softwoods (Rob Marshall, Connie Marshall, and Larry Marshall) that came out on top in the finals. The Softwoods toppled a Deschutes County team comprised of Dave Kanner, Wells Ashby and Jason Kropf in a sudden death tiebreaker by answering correctly the name of the film in which Clint Eastwood's "Go ahead, make my day" line appeared. Answer: Sudden Impact.

And you know what? We would have got that one correct...if we had managed to make it to the finals and somehow squirmed our way into a tie for first place, rather than nailing a mere three out of 12 answers in our preliminary round. But hey, we'll be back next year, and we're going to be studying up on Serbian swimmers, Spanish architecture and mountains of other inordinately pedantic facts. Or, we'll just answer, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" to every question. It could go either way.

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