On Scene: Trivia at The Tap House

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— Quick: What slice-of-degenerate-life 1996 film made "Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle famous?

Ideas? There's free food and beer on the line. Does that help?

If you can guess the answer - it's "Trainspotting," starring a very addled-looking Ewan McGregor - you might know enough to win as much as $30 in gift certificates playing live trivia at The Tap House.

Wednesday night live trivia was one of the first regular evening events that caught my eye when I moved to Steamboat Springs. Trivia night was always a big money maker for the bar I worked in during college, and it offered a chance to compete against fellow students and the one team of townies who enjoyed beating the tar out of us with their deep knowledge of Cat Stevens songs.

I got hooked on Tap House trivia - hosted by Caitlin Scanlon, with questions provided by the Boston-based Stump! Trivia - with a bonus-round question the first time I played. It involved a comedian who used the words "Noah" and "cubit" in a signature standup routine.

It was Bill Cosby.

Now, why would I know that, being 23 and not being that familiar with Bill Cosby's standup? Asking, "What's a cubit?" was similar to asking, "What's going on?" in my college house. I have no idea why, and I certainly had no idea at the time that phrase would ever be useful.

But that's the fun thing about playing live trivia - it's about knowing a clutch answer well enough to take the lead against the dozen or so other teams playing and then fumbling for some reason to possess that knowledge.

Being that I'm a little on the competitive side when it comes to trivia, I don't want to give away too many tips about how to win each week. But I think these pointers are vague enough to be safe:

¤ Play with at least two other people, and always go with your first instinct on an answer.

¤ Recruit experts in pro sports, U.S. history, old-ish movies and celebrity gossip. These topics come up often.

¤ Recruit a team member from New England. Many of the questions are related to Boston (where they're written).

¤ Don't shout your answers. The bar is crowded, and people can hear you.

¤ Read Wikipedia in your free time. You never know when knowing Jessica Alba's hometown will come in handy.

Trivia starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays in The Tap House bar.

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