Birthday Berating

There have been may great philosophers in Human history; Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and now Mooney? Many of Mooney’s exploits have already been documented, but seeing as we have already covered all the major stories, aside from the occasional epiphany, I was struck with the idea of filling in some cracks with a Mooney post. Any who better to fill a breech than Mooney?

I will start with an unfortunate fact that Mooney’s birthday is three days after mine. Most of my life I was able to avoid the obvious elephant suggested by this fact – sharing a birthday party with Mooney. In my opinion, an inconceivable event is to have to share your annual jubilee with anyone, but the gods take this opinion to mock me relentlessly. Aside from sharing a birthday close to Mooney, my grandfather’s birthday is a few days before mine, and to inject more salt on the wound I have a cousin who’s birthday is a day after mine, and another cousin who’s birthday who is two days after mine. Needless to say, long before I met Mooney I was saturated with shared birthday events, which I still feel robbed me of the enjoyment of a birthday. I am not an individual who often needs to be the center of attention, and as such the birthday is a rare occasion where I not only want to be, but I feel is my god-given right, as would apply to anyone else. I would go as far to propose that if you know anyone with a birthday in close proximity to your own, then dump them from your life immediately!

*breathe*

One occasion, sometime after Princeton, Mooney proposed a join birthday party at his place, on the Friday of his birthday. As with many of Mooney’s suggestions, he orated a friendly suggestion, and any response other than an angry NO was taken as an emphatic YES. So it was also on this occasion. Dan had thegawl to tell me to bring the cake and beer?! BRING BEER AND CAKE TO MY OWN BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!! ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR F*CKING MIND! Never was this going to happen, though the entirely of my response was something akin to a grunt as I was too tired to field a Mooney argument.

The night in question I had something else to do, with some other people, I think Chris or Stephanie may have been involved (it was one of those eras where Matt and Stephanie were broken-up). As we eventually made our way over the Mooney’s place for an ordinary party as far as I was concerned, I did bring a 12-pack of beer for the cause, as per normal. I did not arrive at Mooney’s place until after 10pm. Dan was upset at my tardiness, thought I was never informed of a time. His anger was soon replaced with a heightened level of anger when he saw I had ONLY brought a 12-pack and NO CAKE! How dare I! Mooney expected me, with his apparent empathic communication, to bring a keg of beer AND A CAKE!

As Mooney ran off in hysterics to salvage the night, I saw the outside yard was a zombie field of penned-up Humans comprised of “Dan’s Friends”. I skipped no beat, nor wasted no breathe as I entered the yard, made a prompt face-left (or stay there) and entered the house. I knew, as with any party – good or bad, there would be a collection of people in the kitchen. I was correct! Those who arrived with me, and a few real Humans drank my beer, and cajoled in the kitchen. the evening was highlighted when of all people, Mary arrived and gave me a gift and a birthday wish! The others present wished me well, and apologised for not remembering my birthday.

The greatest gift that night was the smug look I gave myself in response to Mooney. Wrapped in a bow would not have made it any better.

With that off my chest we enter the second Mooney tale. It was an era after Princeton, when Matt, Eric, and Ivan lived on the second floor of the typical University Heights house onWinspear . Each Saturday we drank beer and rolled literal dice in the normal gaming ritual. The difference her was Matt had only one semi-functioning working light, which is placed in the farthest corner of the gaming room given it’s absurdly short cord. This lent itself to playing Vampire. Like a good host, Matt often chose to eat as we arrived, thereby leaving us to fend for ourselves in the ritual ordering of food. A gesture that was simply rude.

Going off on a tangent here I remember how Matt’s future wife, Jessica, attended gaming here one night. Strictly forbidden, but as Matt sprung this on us at the last minute we could do nothing but stomp around the room yelling and then proceed as normal. She sat quietly (as ordered) in the corner during gaming, picker her spot, as she shot a blow to Matt at just the correct few times as to push him over the edge into one of his few-but-famous blow ups.

Back on track, one evening Matt informed us gaming would be cut short as the UB Marching Band was having their annual party at his place in a few hours. Matt informed us at the start of gaming and then ran around making invisible arrangements and telling us “I’ll be ready to start gaming in one more minute.” That time never arrived and we bullshitted until the band keg arrived.

The rest of us drank the party keg as soon as it arrived. Since we were friends of those house host (Ivan) we were granted free passage, as the Band changed non-band members $5.

How did this party for the UB Marching Band come to be hosted at Matt’s place when he nor his roommates had any musical talent? Ivan was friends with a band member, and when his friend spoke of the party, and how it needed a place to live, Ivan offered up his place (for the price of free beer for himself and his roommates).

This party story escapes from the seedy underworld of drugs! *GASP* I was inside, siting on the couch, taking to some people who like me did not care to watch the Yankee world series game that was on. My conversation pal left for the restroom and a new buddy took his seat. We engaged in some pleasant commentary on the crowd, and after a moment of silence he abruptly asked is I had any drugs! I had never been approached int his manner before, but I must have looked like a grungy dealer that night, or maybe it was Matt’s piss-poor lamp. Without hesitation I informed him the individual he wanted was Erik, and gave him a strikingly accurate description, sending him on his way in search of heightened states of awareness.

The house quickly filled up with people and Mooney, Rob, myself, and the like moved to the porch. We saw a group of five guys striding down the middle of the street past the house no doubt towards some Main Street bar. Mooney yelled at the crew, causing the rotund leader to halt and look up. Seeing an obvious party in swing he requested an invite. We told him it was $5. They proclaimed to have not money, how they were gonna get anywhere in a bar who knows. I should also mention we were told this was strictly a private band party.

“Come on up!” cried Mooney

“Tell them you are int he band!”

They all disappeared to the side of the house and five minutes later three of the five appear, beer in hand, on the porch with us! We all had a good time mocking the two left back on the ground floor, who had somehow managed to be denied access past the high security. After some time the two drooped their heads and trudged off towards Main Street.

At this time Erik appeared on the porch and spoke of a mysterious man who kept asking him for drugs, not taking no for an answer. Erik had finally ditched the guy by escaping to the porch. We all took the story in.

“I wonder how he knew to ask me?”

“I told him.” (with glee)

Rob, Mooney, and myself erupted in laughter at Erik’s situation, and I personally took joy in one of my occasional moments of Mooney-ness.

It has occurred to men this last story had more to do with Matt and Eric than Mooney, but into every tale a Mooney must ooze.

I continue with a tiny example of Mooney’s philosophy of “The Most Obvious Thing About Them”. To subscribe to this philosophy you simple point out the most obvious thing you see about a person. Be that their fat-ness, smell, what have you. His defense when the inevitable “Mooney!” was the reply (be it by the target, or more commonly a female member of the group) was always the same.

“It was the most obvious thing about her.”

Mooney touted his philosophy often, but the one that is forever stuck in my mind is when I was driving Mooney down Kenmore Ave. past Jacobi’s. Frequent readers of this blog will note, once again, that Mooney in your passenger seat is an open invite to incident. A new law had been passed days before. That being the decree that had feminists shouting from the roof-tops. A woman could walk around top-less, just like a man. Despite much struggle to get this law passed, I have only ever once seen it put into practice, and it to be this day.

As we drove up Kenmore Ave. we spotted a woman with generous proportions. Low and behold she was top-less! As single college men this was not the example we wanted to see, be that as it may I quickly turned my attention back to the road. Mooney, in all his most sincere honesty, could not avert his eyes. What he yelled as we passed her was cruelly the most obvious thing about her.

“PUT A SHIRT ON YOU FAT COW!”

Who am I to say Mr. Mooney has issues.

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Next Wave

       There is an old saying, out with the old and in with the new that really has no application here, but I will utter nonetheless. Over the course of reporting on the plethora of misremembered doings over these past pages, it has occurred to me that a sizable contingent of folks have been mentioned far less than their fair share, and must be given due time. Where the Clan Frank has taken up significant time and digital storage with their silly adventures and ne’er-do-well undertakings, those who filled the vacuum after their departure were a much classier lot, if of course anyone in our association can be given that distinction. Be that as it may, they did prove to be significantly longer lasting and far less destructive.           

       Before we introduce this group and before they are built up as some sort of paragons in your feeble imagination, it is best to once again recount the severance with Clan Frank that opened up this new age to exploration. The death knell, of course, was the attempted break in and my squashing of their right to party that summer’s day in ’93.  After that things never quite reverted back to the wild splendor of wanton partying. A good thing, and key I feel to our collective survival and freedom as it was only a matter of time before someone was killed or arrested. Carrie, bless her, was the first to publicly point out that I had the beginnings of a bald spot forming in my lustrous thick mane of hair. To this day I hold her partially to blame for the subsequent spread that now occupies almost 80 percent of my cratered dome. It made letting go all the easier.           

       Things were finalized once Carrie decided to enlist in the Army; a fate I sneered at, feeling entrance into the armed forces was for the rabble. History has a talent for highlighting with great gusto each and every time I must wearily eat my words once again. Engaged to our very own Mooney, she departed for boot camp and the thrilling life of a ground pounder where I assume she still exists, albeit hopefully raised to considerable rank. I recall seeing her only once after that, upon her return from boot camp, looking very much the same, but gussied up in full dress uniform. She made great show of her ability to execute crisp facing movements and timed marching; a skill I was never quite able to pick up in my own adventure a few years later down the line. Unfortunately the distance provided too much of a barrier for the romance to continue, especially when Mooney lacked a set of wheels or unlimited funds for air travel. It is also my guess that she fell victim to the same condition as most women in the military. In an environment of 10 men to every 1 woman, even the homeliest of young women is treated like the belle of the ball or a buck naked, hot to trot Ann Hathaway. I’m not saying Mooney couldn’t live up to competition against hundreds of buff army guys hot for a piece of tail, but I certainly seem to be implying it.            

       Dan was never one to let heartbreak slow him down more than a few hours, and it wasn’t long before he was back on the horse again. It seemed that there was a string of dimly remembered women he brought by with enticing monikers like “Psycho Carrie” and whatnot. As so delicately stated elsewhere, the defining characteristic of the majority of these women was that they tended to drink up to the point of yorking in our cookware. Further details regarding the disbursement of said women after is a hotly contested topic and will be decided elsewhere, even if my version is the official one.           

       One fine day I arrived home to quite a surprise. It appeared to me as though the mailman arrived and bore a striking resemblance to the Cowardly Lion. Dan and a somewhat familiar looking woman also emerged from the unusual conveyance and joined us inside. The mail truck driving hair bag was of course none other than the famous Rob Leftwich. The familiar looking brunette was Mary Serio. It took me some time before I could place where I knew her from, such is my facial recognition talent, and eventually she did me the service of reminding me. Some years prior I had been in hot pursuit of a tall leggy blonde named Joanne Zemszal whom I worked with in food service. Where in my impression things were progressing steadily toward full blown romance, in her mind I was already firmly entrenched in the ‘like a brother’ file. My first experience, by the way, with that line that is so dear to all men. Many theories abound as to why that was, but Mary had her own impression.           

        On one of the many occasions in that summer of ’92 that Joanne and I got together, we ‘doubled’ with her friend and her friend’s boyfriend. Be that as it was, I think I can be forgiven my impression of the situation. Who brings their brother to double with another couple? The complete lack of physical progression in the relationship may have been a dead giveaway to a sharper man, but I simply attributed it to a genteel coyness on her part. On this occasion I drove, having borrowed my father’s boat of a Caprice Classic, and the four of us headed out to a nice night of dinner and a movie. Again, something real couples tend to do, but don’t mind me, I’m not bitter, just vindictive. Vindictiveness, however, was not the root cause of the true reason the evening was so memorable; just lousy driving on my part.

       Upon emerging from the movies, we found that some douche bag had parked extremely close to the passenger side of the car, making it necessary for me to get in and back up to let in Joanne. I did so, directly over her foot. She was quite gracious about it that night, and I forgot completely about it, never attributing the mistake for being the reason behind the sudden and steep decrease in time spent together for the remainder of the summer. Mary, of course was the friend we doubled with, and she took delight in the occasion of our reunion to recount the story. In her version, being privy to Joanne’s more forthright views on the matter, it was revealed that she had been quite miffed about the occurrence.  Perhaps not the catalyst that drove her back into the arms of the boyfriend she had been complaining to me about, but possibly one of the many reasons I was not on the guest list of that wedding.

       To this day I’m not completely sure how this new little group became enmeshed with ours. Just as Schultz brought in the Franks and Clausen from ECC City campus, I think Dan discovered this group at the far more prestigious ECC North.  As I understand it, all were connected through attendance of Sweethome HS and consisted of Mary Serio, Rob Leftwich, Char Lipkus, Ian Chrystal, and that strange dude Craig with the white hair and beard. There actually may be no connection whatsoever, but the sum of them appeared almost simultaneously on our doorstep and thus to my understanding are all part of one big happy group.

       Mary, as I mentioned, I had met before and it was not long before she and Dan became an item. For all of us who knew Carrie and the lot that followed her, Mary was a significant trade up for Dan at a time when the smart money had him reduced to courting transvestite hookers before the years end. Where there was a significant overall skepticism that there must be something wrong with her, she proved in time to be a sweet and enjoyable person. The box office success of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ allowed for a willful suspension of disbelief that she was able to overlook things like cum milkshakes and gorilla masked porn endeavors and dig him for his rakish charm. In any case, she was easy on the eyes and never broke in or threw up in my house, and in that way made herself welcome. Her staying power was also impressive, as of all the women mentioned herein, she demonstrated the ability to put up with the lot of us for the longest by far.

       Rob was an easy going character and overall cool cat who so happened to resemble the love child of the cowardly lion and the lead singer of Metallica back in the good old days before they jacked you up for stealing their music. His other distinguishing feature of course was the wildly popular mail truck. On a few rare occasions I was treated to a ride in the precarious mail bag seat on the left hand side. Early on I hoped for an ally; someone who would resist the siren call of the GURPS mafia and be willing to attempt to meet women on Sat night instead of mimic whimsical fairy folk prancing about the realms of imagination. Alas, he fell in with them right quick. They claim to be born as such, but fundamentalist geeks such as I know that it’s a choice that through prayer and frequent beatings can leave their wicked hearts. I know, having had a few ten sided dice thrown in my past, but with the healing power of Superman, was able to keep sin away. Anyway, disappointed as I was, I was able to forgive him anyway. I mean the guy had a mail truck!

       There are probably dozens of Rob stories I am completely unaware of, although he was a pretty innocuous guy, so who knows. It was always enjoyable on those Sat night when we were able to extricate the gamers from the Keebler Elf try to have some fun on the Elmwood strip sipping Guinness at Bullfeathers or Coles. On those nights we could generally find Rob holding down the counter at the We Never Close. True to their word, they never did, despite the many times Rob found himself staring down the barrel of a Saturday night special and handing over the hard won proceeds from the sales of smokes and Corn Nuts. You had to admire his tenacity for hanging in there for so long, even if he wasn’t shot as many times as Apu. Some years later he traded up for a job at the Zoo, where aside from the occasional freeing of lorikeets, the customer base proved considerably less threatening. I never really knew what happened to the mail truck and assume it died an uninspired death, perhaps perched up on blocks in front of a trailer.            

       The rest of this group I never knew terribly well. Although I’m tempted to come up with inspiring tales of courageous and nefarious deeds, my ears are still ringing with the howls of outrage from previous ventures similar in nature. Ian I knew only as the French looking fellow, jauntily bedecked in trademark beret (unlike Brian who was savagely bedecked as such), and deeply in cahoots with the gamer crowd. He assumed the role of Mary’s boyfriend once she and Dan suffered a mutual break up. A surprisingly risky breach in the common etiquette of not dating a friend’s ex, but mitigated I think by the existence of a common acquaintanceship prior to Dan entering the picture. In any event, it proved to be a smooth transition with impressive lasting power until, as I understand it, very recently.           

       Char I met only a few times, and not even completely sure if she had any type of deep association with the rest. Unlike Mary she kept a greater distance from the doings of the Mooney-polar end of the circle and was more associated with the Thies-centric sphere of influence. This was during the period when Aaron had pledged Dan’s destruction for such outrages as the milkshake and quasi cult formation. Not that this stopped congenial association for the mutual sake of gaming, but during the increasingly rare times that no dungeon master was present, venomous tirades were spewed as regular as Old Faithful. As such, Char never got sucked into the full depravity of our world, having come after the period of grand unity.           

       Finally there is Craig. He I’m truly not sure of the association and remember only for a few distinguishing traits. He may have been a MOH and not a Sweetpea at all, but nevertheless, I have to cram him in somewhere. He resembled a miniature version of Rob at least to the point where I had the two confused for a period (likely a direct cause of my mild Prosopagnosia). The annoying quality about him is that he immediately fell into the same role as Social Disease Joe Saad. Alone with my thoughts cruising down the North Campus spine or drifting through the plaza, out of nowhere, there was Craig. To my endless delight, he never really had anywhere to be and was always going in my direction. Any great pains I took to avoid or shake him were completely ineffectual. Worse yet, and unlike Joe Saad, introducing him to others was completely useless in mitigating the effects! While it was possible he could only be transmitted sexually, unlike casually as with Joe, I was not willing to explore that option.           

       His other distinguishing characteristic, as reported by Dan anyway, was that he considered himself to be akin to an Adonis. Everyone who heard this found it surprising. Now, don’t think I’m knocking Rob here, as the points of resemblance were really related to the glasses, long hair and beard. Craig had whitish hair and the strapping build of Schultz. That amount of hair on such a small space gave the appearance of Cousin It with a blond hooker dye job. Dan once related a story in which he, Craig and some others took a trip to Canada. Waiting at the border in line to cross, some women began flirting with them. Craig, certain it was aimed directly at him, begged to be let out of the car to join the women in theirs. I have full confidence that this virgin fool had expectations of a grand orgy, probably right there on the side of the road. Dan, or whoever, out of some unexpected sense of decency or kindness refused him exit, leaving him to pout miserably for the rest of the trip. I can’t help but think this would have made a much better story had things gone the other way.           

       In sum, this next wave added value to our fracturing group, perhaps providing some much needed glue through the bitterness of the Mooney-Thies wars and Thies-Wolf ‘lights on or off’ television watching battles. I believe one of them is also responsible for contributing the snazzy zebra couch that appeared one day at Comstock and was recognized as the least dated and most structurally sound piece of furniture in the room. We can only hope that the silent lurkers who feel their ears burning with this telling sound out.

Happy New Year!

It is New Year’s Eve of around 2000 (?). Matt was dating Stephanie (again) at the time (Matt and Stephanie were on/off repeatedly for at least two year, but you lose track after awhile), and I had taken Stephanie’s friend, Michelle, out twice. The plan for New Year’s was to go to some formal event downtown, but since Matt did not want to dress up he broke up with Stephanie; they got back to gather a week after New Years, so I maintain to this day he merely did not want to put on a nice shirt for New Year’s so like any sane person would do to solve this problem – he broke up with Stephanie. Due to this fracture the group split up. A new plan was quickly formed to salvage the event. The large group of us (myself, Stephanie, Michelle, Rob, Rachel, and some others I cannot recall) had dinner at Bennigans. Our group had a history of not thinking of New Year’s plans until too late, and we could always get into Bennigans, so we ended up there at the beginning of New Year’s Eve for at least three years in a row, and a few other times after that.

I should note the first time I met Stephanie, Matt barged into my apartment and begged me to go to the beach with them. He said Stephanie’s friends did not like him, and if I was there I could enjoy the beach and I did not care if they hated me; this would take the pressure off Matt as her friends could concentrate on hating me for being a jerk. It all backfired as I had a great time letting them bury me in the sand, and playing washing machine in the lake.

Back to New Year’s. The other group was Chris. He had recently met up with some girl, and it was going well. They decided to meet at Mr. Goodbar on Elmwood and see how it went. The newly-broken up Matt was not going to spend New Year’s by himself, and suddenly without a gaggle to traverse the night with he pleaded with Chris to tag along. Chris agreed, but demanded Matt hang out in some other part of Mr. Goodbar when his date showed up. Matt got a health head start on drinking, so was quite bold in stating he was going to walk over to a group of women to talk to them, but proceeded to boldly stride past them to hang out in the corner for awhile. Chris’s date, let’s call her Melanie – I can’t remember her real name, arrived and she and Chris had a grand time. Matt grew bored of the corner, and headed back over the Chris. Initially the conversation was pleasant, until Matt spilled Melanie’s wine all over the front of her dress. Melanie lived a block form the bar, and in a remarkably smooth move, saw Chris jump on the opportunity to offer his gentlemanly services to help her out of this embarrassing situation.

Melanie was quite eager to accept Chris’s help. Chris and Melanie hauled Matt to her place and deposited him on her couch in a drunken pile while they entered her bedroom to change. Their giggling and fondling were interrupted by the sound of a drill. They exited the bedroom, to find Matt with the drill to his head. Luckily it was not plugged in.

Meanwhile, back over with the larger group. We all partook of dinner at Bennigan’s with little of note. After dinner we proceeded to Anacone’s. We pulled some tables together in the back (the usual plan). The first round of drinks was quickly downed and Stephanie and Michelle went up to the bar to get more drinks. At the bar they ran into a fellow med student (male). This was the last I saw of Michelle, as she talked to this guy all night long. Eventually they moved to a table together in the back of the room, after the rest of us had moved out of there. I was not the least heartbroken, as I had only been out with Michelle twice previous to this night, and note even a kiss was add (now it sounds like the Seinfeld episode). I was miffed due to principle. More on this later.

The rest of the group at Anacone’s had a grand time. We wore hats and cajoled with noise makers the find employees of Anacone’s provided us all free of charge. Rob even took the opportunity to declare this “The Year of Rob”! He would date a new woman every month. The follow year I store his idea and declared “The Year of Aaron”. The decree payed off as Rob asked Barb out, and a relationship ensued for some time. When Rob made his decree, in loud and proud fashion, he sealed the deal by squeezing Rachel’s boob in sudden and shocking fashion. Rachel’s reaction was the usual, “Rob?!” To the rest of was surprising, yet somehow typical Rob.

Another incident was Stephanie ran into some guy who kept hitting on her, and she asked me to save her if I saw him talking to her again. Some time later I saw her backed into the pinball machine by said guy. In my drunken state I saw fit to help her out by sliding down the length of the pinball machine, to appear in the middle of the two and shout “I love you!” The guy promptly left. This was the first false decree of regard that night.

The night dragged on, and the rest of the group (Rachel, Rob, etc.) left. I was getting tired, but Stephanie decided it was time to cry over Matt. I was stuck consoling her. After 30 minutes of tears-to-anger she was fine. I decided to make my way home, as it was now about 3AM. As I opened the front door of Anacone’s here comes Chris, Matt, and Melanie.

Chris: “Where are you going?”
Aaron: “Home, everyone else has left.”
Chris: “Where is Michelle?”
Aaron: “In the back talking to some guy all night.”
Chris: “I’ll be back.”

Now, the actions of Chris I did not learn of until weeks later. He strode up to the table, “I love you!”, and laid a big kiss on Michelle. Then he left. Here is our second false decree. I later found out that soon after that Matt strode up to Michelle’s table and berated her for what she had done to me.

Back at the table, ended up Chris, Matt, Melanie, and myself. Cheerful conversation was had by all. In the middle I looked at Chris, and holding both hand out in a manner to suggest I am displaying the size of something, “Chris, I want to ask her a question?” Those that have seen the infamous “David and Goliath” video will know the question that is supposed to follow is “Do you do it doggie style?” As a side note, I surprised myself with the wear-with-all to ask Chris’s permission to ask such a sensitive question to his date, but I digress. Chris said, “Go ahead”, having the clear desire to know exactly how far his progress with Melanie could advance. My question to Melanie was then, “Do you take it in the ass?” Not the inquiry Chris expected, but Melanie, without a studder or shake, said she had, and it was OK.

In closing I suddenly recall another point of fact. Melanie had a very large chest. It was said she needed two seats… one for herself, and one for her chest. It turned out to be true as she took nearly half the table surface.

All this without Mooney. I do not even know where he spent his New Year’s.

So concludes the most eventful New Year’s I can recall.

Trivial Pursuit Championship

Our group of friends has played the occasional Trivial Pursuit game.  Dan, Rob, and Wolf have all won the game when playing alone (we always seem to have an odd number of people and these guys always jump to play alone).  One of them always wins.  I attribute it to their knowledge of literature, that I feel most versions of Trivial Pursuit is heavily slanted towards.  Of course I am the only one to ever answer sports questions.  Who are the people I am friends with?  Anyway, at no point had Rob, Dan, and Wolf played a game with all three at the same time, so in order to end the bragging of all three, each claiming to the the Trivial Pursuit master, I organized the Trivial Pursuit Championship.  This was supposed to be an annual event with a trophy, but we only ever held one.  I served as the host, reading all the questions.  We had a small crown of people to heckle the players.  Wolf jumped out to an early lead, but then both Dan and Rob stormed back.  In the end Wolf held off their advance to win (he got stuck on the final question for awhile).  We played Genus 6th edition Trivial Pursuit.  Dan came in second, and Rob a close third.  It would have made for a great tradition, maybe when we are all old and retired.  Next time I will create a trophy and play some music when the players try for a piece.