How much productive thinking really goes on when you're drinking? Well, if you're up to the challenge to find out head to Madam's Organ on a Tuesday night. Smack in the middle of bar-central in Adams Morgan you'll find an intellectual stock of mid-twenty hipsters playing "Stump!" Unlike those quarter slot touch-screen bar games, "Stump!" is an emcee hosted trivia game that is just about the coolest way to show off your intellectual prowess over pitchers of beer.
The game splits you into teams of your choosing (up to seven people), with the object of racking up the highest points by answering a challenging assortment of trivia questions. And what's in it for you? Well for one, the emcee plays music compiled by the previous week's winning team. Two, you get to pick team names with puns intended like "Vagina Monocles," "Beautiful Mound" and the seven dirty words you can't say on television. And of course there's the prizes; the top three teams gets a gift certificate towards their next bar tab.
On the most recent night, the crowd was an eclectic mix of Hill staffers, cute think-tank boys and laid-back earthy intellectuals. The guy to girl ratio was about 3 to 1, and most people, still dressed in work attire, were heavily engrossed in deep thought and conversation. Janis Joplin was wailing over the speakers and the crowd couldn’t help but dance in their seats and then the last bonus round was announced. The energy heightened and the remaining teams geared their brains into overdrive. The tension in the air was thick. The final question … “What two movies won both Pulitzer Prize for the book and Academy Award for the movie?” The Vagina Monocles knew the answer and won first prize in this episode of Stump! When asked what they were going to do now that they won, one of the team members promptly replied "study the almanac." There you have it. After all, brainiacs have to keep their cerebral muscles in shape.
Walking out of Madam's Organ, I realized I had not been asked for my number nor hit on by any of the unassuming characters at the bar. I’m young, attractive and single so what the hec!? Then it dawned on me as groups of guys walked out still discussing the answers they missed. This is definitely not a meat market night so don’t expect to meet Mr. Right. Folks come here to have fun, exercise their minds and maybe get their bar tab covered for being smart.
Also keep in mind, this event isn't for the casual pop culture aficionado since the questions could put any erudite to shame. If you can answer "the term Benedict appears in which of Shakespeare comedies?" with no sweat then you should be good to go. However be prepared to answer geography questions like “what country is the Devin Islands a part of?” Other categories include music, history, and mathematics.
As for other places where you can Stump! your brain:
*Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle on Mondays at 8 p.m. in Bethesda (4844 Cordell Ave.)
*Union Jacks competes with Madam's Organ for Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in Bethesda (4915 St. Elmo Ave.)
*Saphire Café on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in Bethesda (7940 Wisconsin Ave).
*Ireland Four Courts every Monday at 7:30 in Courthouse, Arlington (2051 Wilson Blvd.)