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GENE AUTRY'S NINJA WARRIORS -- TRIVIA 2000

This is the TRUE STORY of what happened just east of Polonia, Wisconsin, during the 
54 hours from 6 p.m. on Friday, April 14 until midnight April 17th...

Many thanks to LARRY AND VINCE'S DRIVING ACADEMY for inspiring me with their great
web page.  I hope they don't mind my "lifting" their format for this review... if
you guys do mind, just let me know... Anyway, imagine yourself drifting back, way
back..."Free Bird" is playing on the radio, the precious life-giving books are
NEATLY organized on shelves, and we're getting ready to play Trivia, Fast Eddie...
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HOUR 1 QUESTION 5: "What is the name of the ship on which the talented Mr. Ripley
sailed across the ocean?"  We had notes on the movie, but seemed to remember that it
was the Queen Mary even without checking them.  A quick check with the notes (the
first use of our notes in Trivia 2000!) verified the QM.  Maybe 10 or 15 points, I
thought.  But I was wrong!  An hour later, when they read off the scores for questions
from hour one, it turns out that "Queen Mary" was worth a whopping 60 points!  Certainly
not our highest-pointer ever, but a GREAT way to start Trivia 2000, especially after
last year's dry-as-dust start.  The Warriors were starting off with a bang!

HOUR 1 QUESTION 8: "Who was recently named TV Guide's Entertainer of the Century?"
Brief discussion amongst the team members present came up with a general consensus
on Elvis Presley.  And so it was, and so began the Elvis theme which popped up
continuously throughout the contest.  The Oz did say it would be an "entertaining" 
contest...

HOUR 3 QUESTION 7: "Chatsworth, Georgia recently decided to NOT change its name to
that of what entertainer?"  Good grief!  We had a few on-line players by this time
but none of them had any idea.  A few minutes of standing around, checking some
clippings, but still no idea.  Then the Oz reads off the answer: John Fogerty.  If
only we'd paid attention to who was singing the first song played during the question...

HOUR 4 QUESTION 1: "What big screen character said 'men are amoebas on fleas on rats'?"
At GANW HQ, no one was 100% sure but several people thought maybe that feisty screen
character Erin Brockovich.  We had on-line players going full-steam at this point, 
but we still had a few problems communicating this way... As the second song wound
down, we called in the Erin Brockovich guess, only to hear that the answer was
"Frenchy" (from Grease).  Argh!  Blinking out at us from the computer screen where
we chatted with our on-line players were the words "Frenchy 10000000% sure!"  Too late!
Luckily the bugs were quickly worked out, the online players became valuable assets,
and Frenchy was only worth 10 points, anyway.  Greased Lightning!

HOUR 4 QUESTION 3: "What NFL player recently adopted the nickname 'Dot Com'?"
A mere two questions after the Frenchy Fiasco, our on-line Ninjas struck back.
Andrew Ulland (he's a Big Fan...) hesitated only a little while before typing in
"London Fletcher 100%!"  20 big points from the cyber Ninjas...

HOUR 6 QUESTION 5: "What is the complete name of the tavern owner who ran as a 
write-in candidate for mayor of Phillips, Wisconsin?  Please give first, middle,
and last name."  A GANW CLASSIC MOMENT!  Alright, we knew it was Elvis Presley,
but weren't 100% sure on the middle name.  Standing by the phone, I decide to call
a random place in Phillips to see if someone knows.  The operator hooks me up
with Phillips Lanes, the local hangout for bowlers.  I ask the burly-sounding man
if he knows the name of the man who lost the recent election.  His response: "Sure
I know his name -- he lost to me!"  Yes, I had the good fortune to talk with the
mayor of Phillips (and proprietor of the Phillips Lanes).  Time was short, but
he gave me the middle name (it was indeed Aaron), and I said goodbye with a cheery
"Thank you!  And...congratulations!"  Only 10 points for this question, but it was
a classic!

HOUR 9 QUESTION 6: "What are the names of the performing Blues Brothers?"  OK, Oz, 
admit it -- you messed this one up!  We called in the CORRECT answer, the names of
the TWO brothers named "Blues" who sang in the group -- Jake and Elwood.  Oz's
answer: "Jake, Elwood, and Z Mighty Mac" (the little tyke who showed up in Blues
Brothers 2000).   Argh!!!!  And this one was worth 500 points!  Because it's wrong!
Oh well, I'm just about over it....



About this time, our Trivia Stone team came back with the sad report that 
they hadn't been able to get the first Trivia Stone stamp... We were down
for awhile, but never fear!  The last two Stone Stamps were ours!

HOUR 11: We're really on a roll!  We answer 7 out of 8 this hour (only missing
a 285-pointer) and 6 out of 7 in hour 12 (one was thrown out)!  Then we get 7
out of 8 again in hour 15!

The first score check is read after hour 23 (6 p.m. on Saturday) and we are
in 56th place with 1925 points!  We're back where we belong, and top 50 is
definitely within our grasp!

HOUR 24 QUESTION 5: "What is the name of the 'not-to-be-eaten' turkey James
brings to Thanksgiving dinner on the hit TV sitcom Spin City?"  Huh?  Who 
knows?  But wait...Dennis Joy begins flipping through notebooks...he has notes
on this!  Where are they?  A frantic, tension-filled search yields, as time
is drawing short...the correct answer: Sparky!  An hour later, we find out
Sparky was worth a whopping 155 trivia points, our biggest question so far...

HOUR 27: We're 7 out of eight again this hour, including a 30-pointer about
the movie "Bowfinger" and another 30-pointer about old-time radio -- always
one of GANW's strong points!

HOUR 30 QUESTION 1: "According to screen character 'Jelly', what kind of
sandwich 'ain't too fattening'?"  Analyze This -- a great movie!  The answer
(read this in the voice of a gangster): "a half a sandwich"...

HOUR 31 QUESTION 6: "In the Bogie flick We're No Angels, what is the name
of Albert's pet snake?"  This question haunts several of us to this day.
The answer was "Adolf" and it was only worth 15 points.  That means a couple
hundred teams got this.  How?????

HOUR 33 QUESTION 8: "What's the song playing over the opening credits of the
movie Dick?"  It's 2 a.m. on Sunday, and GANW HQ is at a low point in terms
of active players -- a few are sleeping, a few are out working on the Trivia
Stone.  Awake at HQ are Chris Hakala, Bill Retza and myself.  Chris saw the
movie, but didn't get this bit of info.  Bill and I haven't seen it.  Our
only option: fire up the ancient computer which we're using for our web
searching when no online players are playing, and get the soundtrack listing
for the movie.  Well, let me tell you, our little computer was huffing and
puffing and just about didn't make it... I was standing at the phone as
the second song was winding down... "Guys, any guess?  Any guess at all???"
Seconds to go, the list finally pops up on screen and one of them calls out
"ABC" as a possible guess.  I barely get the answer in to the operator, the
song ends, the answer is given: ABC.  30 points.  The three of us take a 
deep breath, look at each other, and realize that this is what trivia is all
about: moments of great pain and moments of glory!  Time for another Dr. 
Pepper...

HOUR 36: "Trivia Y-Nino" strikes.  Oz comes on and says the computers have
been bitten by the Y2K bug (everything comes late to Wisconsin...) and we
will be playing under the old contest rules for the time being.  An hour of
chaos ensues for the 5 or so of us who are awake... Unlimited guessing, points
determined ahead of time for the questions, etc.  It's great fun, but
we're glad it only lasted an hour...

HOUR 42: 7 out of 8 again!  GANW has been unstoppable for the last 20 hours
or so...wonder what place we'll be in when they read the scores in a few hours...

HOUR 44 QUESTION 1: "In the movie Pitch Black, how much does Richard Riddick
pay for his 'shine job'?"  We have this info in notes.  335 points.  ALL-TIME
RECORD POINTS FOR A QUESTION!!!  Oh Yeah!!!  Along with a 90-pointer (again
from the movie Dick) we answer later that hour, we get a total of 450 points
in hour 44 -- easily a GANW record!

HOUR 47 QUESTION 8: "In the movie 'Around the World in 80 Days', what is the 
ship that Phineas T. Fogg takes to India?"  Hmmm... none of has seen the
movie recently, or ever... We start checking through our vast collection of
movie books, hoping for a photo of the ship, but meanwhile Matt Joy has 
snuck off to another room undetected.  In a moment he comes out with the
Illustrated Classics kids' version of the book, which one of us must have
gotten when we were kids.  Flipping quickly through the book we find the
RMS Mongolia.  Taking a chance that the movie used the same ship as the
book, we call it in... 145 points!  And now the read the scores, with 
only a few hours to go we are in 31st place!!!!!!! 

HOUR 50 QUESTION 4: "What's the name of the entertainer pictured in Trivia
Times photo #5?  She made her debut in the movie Parachute Nurse."  Dashing
to the movie books, and we get the computer wheezing into action to find
info about the movie... But the Oz has our number... He's started playing 
much shorter songs.  We try to call in an educated guess -- Louise Albrittson --
but the second song ends.  Imagine the pain when the answer is announced as --
Louise Albrittson.  ARGH!!!!!

HOUR 51 QUESTION 3: "Who's the muscular woman in Trivia Times photo #23?"
We've been looking at this picture for 50 hours and no one seems to have
any clue, so as the second song runs out we call in a guess (Grace Jones).
After I hang up, one of our team members brings up an old Sports Illustrated
swimsuit issue, and shows us a picture of a bodybuilder named Linda Murray.
Nah, couldn't be, they don't really look similar, do they?  The answer, 
announced a few seconds later: Linda Murray.  ARGH!!!!!!!!!  Thank goodness
the contest only lasts 54 hours, our systems couldn't take much more!

HOUR 54 QUESTION 8: The last question, traditionally "impossible" to answer, 
and you only get one song instead of the usual two.  The remaining Ninjas
at HQ are engaging in activities ranging from sleeping, to sitting in a 
daze, to drinking yet another Dr. Pepper.  Billy Retza and his family
by this time are back home in Platteville, 4 hours away in SW Wisconsin,
but Bill has joined us on-line for the last hour or so.  He hangs in
there like the Ninja Warrior he is, despite the fact that our poor little
HQ computer keeps crashing... Anyway, the question is read, it's a long
one, but Billy's under orders to call if he knows the answer.  It's actually
not THAT tough of a question (it's about the Mary Tyler Moore Show, what
gift did the Stevens get frmo the Kravitts when Tabitha was born).  We find
it in a book a minute or so after the song is over (the answer: one share
of stock in Poughkeepsie Woolens").  Ah well, it's been a great contest.
We keep cleaning up for another minute or so, then the phone rings.  I
pick it up.  Bill Retza's voice booms out: "IT'S A SHARE OF STOCK!!!"  But
we're out of time... and it was only worth 50 points instead of the usual
500... 

And that was the exciting finish to Trivia 2000.  An hour and a half later
a few hardy souls were still up and moving at HQ to hear our final place:
38th place with 5250 points -- both record finishes for GANW!  And next
year'll be even better......so get your motor running........

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