$25 Down the Bowl
by Regyna Woodpile
Sorry, make that "Quzzo" Bowl, as it was spelled on the very large signs provided by the beer sponsor. This year's event was held at the TLA on South Street, a venue more commonly associated with indie bands and Rocky Horror. The entertainment guests were Fastball Pitcher Bob Gutierrez, the West Philadelphia Orchestra, and Chip Chantry.
Johnny Goodtimes was his usual personable self, amiable and amusing throughout. (Almost. More on that in a bit.) I'm beginning to think his annual promise not to rap is not sincere. (Ya think?) The rap had an unusual bridge, with the lyrics, "Crap. Hang on...okay, I got it," with the avant-garde noise-effect created by stuffing the mike in his armpit while smoothing crumpled sheets of notebook paper with words scrawled upon. Some might have interpreted this as forgetting the words, but perhaps it was a new brand of minimalist caesura.
High point: Rappus Interruptus
A team from Denver, with whom the JGT contingent has developed a good-natured rivalry, proudly unfurled a Colorado flag during a thunderous round of "Denver sucks" chanting. Whoever thought to bring a giant flag is a mad genius. I hope they understood how Philadelphians roll, because no one is anyone until they've been booed in Philly. Be honored, Denver, and be glad no one brought handfuls of batteries.
The trivia, as promised, was slightly more difficult than the typical pub fare. Johnny posted to his blog before the event that he had crafted a 50/50 round which would be universally hated, and hated it was. Johnny said after the fact that his rationale for the "Male Enhancement Pill or Not" round was to prevent the titans from dominating the game early. I can see wanting to mix it up, but dick pills?? I'd have to put that one way below "Dog Toy or Sex Toy." That round was not worthy of an expensive A-game event. The titans can remain secure in their manhood, since none of them knew dick.
The usual titans won anyway.
After the traditional Dumping of the Tickets, and a small knock to the head with the bucket, Johnny's raffle winners gained an assortment of gift certificates to local establishments and a selection of lawn chairs. I had my eye on the beer-themed diaper bag, but alas, it was not to be.
Fastball Bob is a funny guy. Bob brought down the house every time he said something like, "Dat's a chair, dere" or "Domestic American beer." One of the highlights of the evening was Bob using the microphone to prove he was indeed wearing a cup. I have limited patience for comedy, but Fastball Bob's presence on the stage was an enormous relief. It meant I was not hearing the band.
The West Philadelphia Orchestra is a combo that plays what can best be described as klezmer/jazz fusion. The singer, probably a Fidel Castro impersonator in his spare time, alternately growled like Oscar the Grouch and ululated piercingly enough to make white spots appear in my vision, while thrumping a stand-up bass. Clarinet, sax, flute, and a bunch of horns all blared the same song, over and over, at top volume. Having my fingers jammed in my ears gave me time to notice the ensemble was wearing the latest in homeless apparel, except the lone female, and the sax man who apparently mugged Jack Sparrow on the way to the gig. (Possibly after stopping at a pawn shop to get the dirtiest saxophone I have ever seen. It had green corrosion on his right-hand keys. Shame on you. Look after your instrument, dude.)
The halftime show was a truly unfunny Dating Game parody. The Bachelorette sat on a stool looking uncomfortable while the lamentably misutilized Chip Chantry asked inane questions of the three "bachelors." Bachelor #1 was Fishtown Eddie, a white trash douchebag in a green track suit. Bachelor #2 was Johnny Goodtimes as the 1920's Comic, a clever idea which suffers in the execution. Bachelor #3 was another helping of Fastball Bob, who won the lucky lady by popular demand, dere.
The high point of the heinous halftime show was the white trash douchebag in a Tri-Lam shirt who roared up to the stage to express his outrage at Fishtown folks portrayed as white trash douchebags. I couldn't hear most of what he yelled, but I did catch something that sounded like, "DON"T BE AN ASSHOLE!" That was either the funniest part of the act or a man completely lacking a sense of irony.
I don't know if Johnny seriously underestimated the consumption rate of the quiz crowd or if the sponsors were cheapskates, but the $3 beer special ran out after the first round at our table. After that, it was an outrageous $6.50 for a 12-ounce plastic cup of Domestic American Beer. I had a Coke in the same size plastic cup, but crammed with 6 ounces of ice, for $3.
The TLA has an apparently very strict no re-entry policy which left the smokers to fume, and not in a good way. Two Nazis were posted by the doors to prevent any ducking out. I don't know if Johnny knew about this dickish policy beforehand, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. (I had a report from a tablemate that he intervened with one of the Nazis so she could step out "just this once.") The smoking members of our team paid a collective $100 to attend this thoughtlessly chosen venue and their moods ranged from mildly inconvenienced to seriously pissed off, especially after the dick pill round.
On the whole, the Quzzo Bowl was a disappointment. When the most memorable highlights are an enraged douchebag and a guy using a mike to thump his junk, it kind of makes me miss my 25 bucks.
UPDATE: The smoking debacle was not Johnny's fault, and he was not happy about it. He graciously took the time to comment on the blog.