Spartos’s days of dubbing the local pub’s trivia night “Nerd Night” are over. Find her at the Voice watercooler, thumbing her deck of Magic cards, and she’ll tell you gaming is the next logical step in her competitive drinking career. “I’ve so done the kegger circuit,” explains a visibly bored Spartos. “I’m the Michael Jordan of Quarters and the Friedrich Nietzsche of Drink While You Think.” So when Butch Princess and Boutros invite her out for some quiz-show shenanigans, she pencils them in. “My Arbor Day countdown doesn’t begin for another week!”
Picking a trivia night isn’t easy: There are some Sundays at St. Dymphna’s (118 St. Marks Place, 212-254-6636), Mondays at Fish Bar (237 East 5th Street, 212-475-4949), and Wednesdays at Dempsey’s Pub (61 Second Avenue, 212-388-0662)—and those are just the ones within a five-block radius of the Voice. Overwhelmed, Spartos hits up dive expert Wendy Mitchell, who suggests NIGHT CAFE (938 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-864-8889), “a funny, blue-collar meets Columbia student bar” that also hosts Sunday-night quizzes. But Mitchell fails to mention the stern house rules: Boutros answers half of round one’s questions with a burnt match (bring your own pen) while Spartos misses it entirely (game time is 8:30 p.m. sharp). Team Liquid City is in the toilet by halftime, with Team Freedom Tickler and Team Regime Change Begins at Home winning bottles of wine for Best Name and Score, respectively. After losing the Heineken Bonus Round by incorrectly spelling hemorrhoid staphylococcus, T.L.C. are wishing they’d named themselves Team War Pigs. They do feel smug, however, that all champions Team Regime win is a magnum of crappy white wine, and so they stick around post-game drinking copious amounts of hearty Sam Smith’s Nut Brown Ale ($5.50). “We are supporting this whole goddamn operation!” complains Butch Princess. Indeed, but the bartender gives them a 25 percent buyback discount on their total tab, making them feel much, much better about their trivial trivia showing.
They feel so much better they decide to play bingo next. Of course, they tell everybody at the Voice they’ve renamed themselves the Bingo Bitches because of all the cool prizes—cash, pitchers of cosmos, and transsexual porn videos. So it’s not your mama’s bingo, but that’s half—make that all—the fun of Misstress Formika’s Monday-night bingo at cool airport lounge GLOBAL 33 (99 Second Avenue, 212-477-8427). Besides, nobody can deny the thrill of jumping out of one’s chair and into the arms of a drag queen while shouting “Bingo!” At least that’s what Spartos had in mind, but victory was not to be—even after strategically purchasing so many bingo boards there was hardly any room for their tart blood-orange margaritas ($8). Their neighbors, a/k/a the Lucky Bastards, win two pitchers of cosmos but are so tanked they actually give the second to the Bingo Bitches—so much for Butch Princess’s plan to pry it from their clutches!
Sick of relying on the kindness of strangers, the surly Bingo Byotches head to divey theme bar FLIGHT 151 (151 Eighth Avenue, 212-229-1868) for Thursday trivia night. The whole affair is highly unstructured: Every 20 minutes or so, the bartender asks a question and the first person seated at the bar to correctly answer wins a buyback. “No more whammies!” chants a confused Spartos, who’s taken the liberty of warming up with a few pints of Stella ($5). But this time Boutros and Butch Princess remember to bring their brainiac beanies: Before they know it, the bar is lined up with frothy beer and sweet, sweet melon martinis ($7.25). Even Spartos gets in on the action: “What did Marlon Brando scream in A Streetcar Named Desire?” “Stella!!!” cries Spartos, raising her glass in victory. For once, Team Bingo Bitch are the objects of the bar’s jealous scorn. Find Spartos at the Voice watercooler, fingering her new pocket protector, and listen to her brag.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 15, 2003