Geeks Who Drink to drink strong exotic drinks

By Ron Swarner on January 3, 2013


A big change is afoot in Geeks Who Drink land.

As you have noticed, the Geeks Who Drink trivia game has disappeared from Paddy Coyne's. The downtown Tacoma Irish bar told Quizmaster Holland Hume, or as the teams at Paddy Coyne's called him - Holland the Wonder Boy, to grab his quiz sheets and leave. Standing outside the pub, Hume glances across the street and saw Tacoma Cabana's great big smiley aloha. One, two four, Hume had a score. The tiki bar will host the Geeks Who Drinks trivia game every Tuesday beginning Jan. 8.

The nationwide quiz game - held in several venues in Olympia and Tacoma - consists of eight rounds of eight questions and is played in teams of up to six people. Questions are read aloud by the quizmaster; teams write their answers on provided sheets and turn them in at the end of each round. The team with the most points after eight rounds is the winner.

"The Tacoma Cabana game will be the standard Geeks Who Drink formula, which is a two-hour live MC event," explains Quizmaster Hume. "There are eight rounds in the night. One is a visual handout that is given at the beginning of the quiz, two are audio rounds - one usually music-related and one usually movie/TV-related - and the other five are read by me over the mic. In addition to first and second place prizes - which will be in the form of gift certificates good for the next visit - there are five bonus prizes scattered throughout the night that each equate to a free beer."

The Tuesday night Geeks Who Drink game will be held in Tacoma Cabana's tropically tricked-out backroom, as to not interfere with the front room's enjoyment of Gilligan's Island re-runs and peaceful Zombie cocktail drinking.

I quizzed the quizmaster on his past games.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: What were your favorite moments from Paddy Coyne's game?

HOLLAND HUME: As much as a cop out answer as it is, it's hard to pick one moment. The quiz itself is very much a social gathering. The structure lends itself to countless repeat visits, and I run it with a focus on player interaction. We would be nothing without our quizzers' support, so I try to make them a part of the evening.  We celebrate birthdays and weddings. We have special theme nights with bonus prizes. I work to make it less a "two hour event" and more a "weekly gathering."

Our one-year anniversary quiz was pretty amazing. My scorekeeper and I dressed in drag - black evening gowns - and had lots of bonus prizes. Also, the then-manager Rory did a fantastic cross-promotion job and got us support from some local breweries for the evening. It was a pretty amazing night.  Halloween has also been a fun quiz night. Halloween is the only holiday I really care about, so I try to play it up at the quiz.  I encourage people to dress up and give awards - usually terrible horror movies inspired by the Tacoma Cult Movie Club - based on different categories.

VOLCANO: Was there a trivia night at Paddy Coyne's you wish you could take back?

HUME: Back when I first started, and was still wet behind the ears as far a Quizmaster/drunk crowd controller, I went along with an idea that involved a special cash prize, assuming people could and would police themselves. It was a nightmare. There was rampant cheating from several teams, finger pointing and slander-throwing from half the teams. I received lots of negative feedback. In the end, we lost the support of three veteran teams. I had to spend weeks rebuilding the trust of the remaining teams. It helped me develop my quiz mastering skills quickly and taught me a lot - most notably, cash prizes are generally a terrible and often desperate idea). Ultimately if I could hit a giant "redo" button I would have handled that night much differently.

VOLCANO: Is there an individual or group that is heads and shoulders above everyone else?

HUME: About two-thirds of our teams are repeat players, but we have a few that have been playing anywhere from six months to the entirety of the quizzes lifespan. Of those teams, we have two teams that tend to win more often than others. They always change their name, but I often call them "The Political Team" and "The Beard Team." You would think having the same teams win over and over would turn people off from playing, but really it adds another incentive. If you win you not only get a gift card, but also you beat "those guys." It's an extra level of satisfaction that can be shared by the whole bar.


LINK: We hung out at Paddy Coyne's Geeks Who Drink



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