Time for a Pop Quiz (With Beer)

Pencil Fado's trivia night into your social calendar.
Pencil Fado's trivia night into your social calendar. (By J. Carrier)
Saturday, September 5, 2009

Teens and college students are heading back to school, where they'll grumble about next week's history test or try to avoid a literature quiz. Meanwhile, some of us go to bars' trivia nights, where we'll be tested on how well we remember Shakespeare or the periodic table. If you want to get that back-to-school feeling, here are four of our favorite contests.

Fado has one of the best trivia nights around, a crowded, smoothly oiled machine that mixes pop culture with history, science and other things you should have learned in high school. On Fado's Facebook page, the hosts give hints about upcoming categories, like a round on "The Life and Times of Patrick Swayze." Also, each table needs to hit a $10 per person food and beverage minimum, which equates to two of the $4.50 Bass or Harp pints offered during the game. Prizes -- gift certificates, T-shirts, bar swag -- go to the top three finishers and the team with the best name. Be creative: These range from unprintable jokes to "Vick Arrives in Philly. Asks to Go Back to Prison."

Sample Question: At which Las Vegas casino was Roy Horn attacked by a tiger?

8 p.m. Mondays. Fado, 808 Seventh St. NW. 202-789-0066. http://www.fadoirishpub.com/Washington.

The Monday Night Trivia Fight has built up a following with regulars who take turns hosting and writing questions every week, so it's never the same game twice. The team that finishes in last place gets to pick the topic for one category the following week.

"They're super nerds," Wonderland owner Rose Donna says of the trivia crowd. "We get a lot of 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars' questions. Lots of science."

The winning team -- of no more than five people -- earns $100 off the bar tab.

Sample Question: How many Legoland theme parks are there worldwide?

7:30 p.m. Mondays. Wonderland Ballroom, 1101 Kenyon St. NW. 202-232-5263. http://www.thewonderlandballroom.com.

One of the liveliest quizzes around, Smart [Expletive] features two games every Wednesday night. Questions that involve '80s music, forgotten movies and head-scratching geography make it more fun to play than most games. Competition is strong among the 25 to 30 teams that show up every week -- and teams of two often do as well of teams of eight. First prize is $30 off your team's bar tab. Second prize is $20, and third is $10.

Sample Question: How many properties on a standard Monopoly board share their names with oceans or seas?

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