Trivia champions kinder, gentler
by Tom Richards
The Appleton Post-Crescent, January 30, 1989.
This weekend was the 24th time the people at WLFM, Lawrence University's radio station, got really serious about minutae in the annual Midwest Trivia Contest.
The 50-hour contest began at 10 p.m. Friday and ran until midnight Sunday, with questions broadcast over the university's 10,500-watt FM station. Responses were phoned in by off- and on-campus teams to pile up points.
In the off-campus Category, a team named Kinder, Gentler Good Company finished first with 1,345 points; second was Zen Morons, 1,295; and third, Fake Rolex, 1,160.
On campus, it was Pizza Hut Trivia to Go, 885; Armadillo Appreciation Society, 765; and Sammy's and Coleman, Dammit, 750.
The team names, in the best collegiate spirit of outrageousness, always are a highlight of the contest. Among some of the printable ones this year were Really Bushed Spin Doctors, Battleweary Bushwhackers, Shaved Sheep, and Bondage with Slinkys.
Larry Page, director of broadcasting at LU, for the duration of the contest is
known, for no reason anyone recalls, as "Pope Pontius Page the One-Quartereth." He chooses the prizes, and this year said they would be body parts.
First-place teams got a sleeve with a fake hand. In presenting these, Page said that they deserved a hand. Second was fake human feet, designed as dog toys. Second
place, Page said, represented "de feet." Third prize was telephone parts, because these teams, he said, needed more help.
The annual trivia contest began with that same kind of rebellious attitude.
At the time of the competition's beginnings, some students and professors
went off annually for a retreat to discuss the weighty, serious issues of the time.
This was simply too heavy for those who stayed behind. They wanted to discuss the pointless issues of the day. They did, and it stuck.
A highlight of the contest every year is the "Super Garuda," the final, 100-point question. This year's was:
"What is the title of the Brown University Library's two-millionth book?"
The answer is: "Lectures on the Function of the Main Food-Digesting Glands."
Incredibly, one team had the correct answer, vaulting them, as Page put it, "from total obscurity to relative obscurity," from 250 points to 350.
The team was "Total Fabrication," three off-campus adults, one a Brown alum who happened to have a copy of the Brown alumni magazine with a story about this book.