Are You Smarter Than A Librarian? Find Out!

Question: In 1969, Washington’s Skamania County passed a law making it a felony subject to a penalty of up to five years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine, to shoot what? (Hints & answer follow.)

Katchoo from Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise captures what many librarians have probably felt after a long day of answering questions.

Who can resist a good trivia question like that? October has rolled around, and with it Booktoberfest, our annual festival of events in bars that includes happy hours, spooky story times, karaoke, and other fun gatherings. It all starts on October 2 with the first of three trivia nights, to be held at Union Bar in Hillman City; (here’s the Facebook event: invite some friends!) We’ll also be hosting a pair of events on Tuesday, October 10: one event at Floating Bridge Brewing in the University District (Facebook event), and another with the same questions starting 30 mintues later at Naked City Brewery and Taphouse in Greenwood (Facebook event). You see, last year’s events were so popular, we wanted to make sure everyone could get in. Even as I write this, and in a curious reversal of our usual routine of answering your questions 24/7, our crack team of librarians is wracking their brains to come up with questions to puzzle and delight. In honor of this turning of the tables, we call these events Librarians’ Revenge!

Hint: In 1984, citing jurisdictional overreach, the crime was reduced to a gross misdemeanor, subject to one year of jail time and/or a $1,000 fine. 

Pub quizzes got their start in the UK back in the 1970s, and it is no surprise that Seattle has become a mecca for trivia nights, which are the perfect social lubricant for well-read, hyper-smart locals to strut their stuff for fun and prizes. Oh yes – and we do have prizes!
Here are just some of the wonderful bookish things you can win at one of our Librarians’ Revenge Trivia Nights this October (& no entry fee!):

Bookish tchotchkes, souvenir drinking glasses, tote bags, ducks ducks ducks, and books books books are among are prizes for this year’s Trivia Nights!

Hint: The law seems to have proven stunningly effective. In almost 50 years, no person has been charged – let alone convicted – under the statute. 

Looking to prepare yourself for the fight? Question: where do you find books (and eBooks) on Trivia at the Library? Answer: Probably Not Under “Trivia,” …because where’s the challenge in that!? Instead, check such obscure subject headings as “Questions and Answers”, (“miscellanea” is also good), where you’ll find such intriguing sounding titles as The Book of General Ignorance, Do You Think You’re Clever?, as well as Kenneth Davis’s popular Don’t Know Much series of books, which cover an array of topics including history, geography, literature and American presidents. To learn more about the fun world of trivia in general, we recommend Braniac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs, by local Jeopardy celebrity Ken Jennings. So – now it is time to reveal the answer to our Skamanian trivia question…

“Thanks, Skamania County!”

Answer: Bigfoot! Skamania County Ordinance 1969-01  made it a crime to kill Bigfoot within the county. This law was amended by Ordinance 1984-2, which substantially reduced the penalties for slaying Bigfoot, while at the same time establishing Skamania County as a refuge for Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti and Giant Hairy Apes. 

Trivial? Not if you’re bigfoot!

We’ll see you at the pub! The beer’s on you: we’ll bring the questions.

     – Posted by David W.


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