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Emily Meloche

Smarty-pants Wanted

Popular smackdown seeks new host.

by Steve Daut

From the April, 2017 issue

Quick question: Who is the trivia master for The Smarty Pants Trivia Smackdown at the Chelsea Alehouse Brewery? The answer: Emily Meloche, until May at least. She founded the Smackdown almost four years ago while working for the Chelsea District Library, but in February, she took a new job as Silver Maples of Chelsea's PR and wellness director.

Meloche was inspired to start the Smackdown after she and her family attended a trivia event at the Alehouse organized by U-M students. They had so much fun that she pitched the idea of running a trivia night to her library colleagues. Chris and Aubrey Martinson of the Alehouse had already let the library know they were open to a partnership.

"Our goal for the Alehouse was to make it a place for community members to get together in a casual way, to get people out to meet with their neighbors, and share experiences and ideas. The Trivia Smackdown seemed to fit that goal perfectly," says Aubrey. So the library and the Alehouse formed a partnership with Meloche as the trivia master and her friend and onetime college roommate, Theresa Tejada, assisting. (Tejada knows trivia--in 2015, she won $21,599 on Jeopardy.)

"Typically, we see eighty to ninety people here for the Smackdown--not bad for a Tuesday night in Chelsea," says Martinson. It's usually held on the first and third Tuesdays every month, but for the next few months it will be only the first Tuesdays while they look for a new host.

When we visited on February 7, a dozen-plus teams vied for the chance to take home the traveling trophy. Teams included the Kitty Kats, the Library Fanatics, the Geezers, and the Pantless Calgarians. The themes were Hodge Podge, Animal Movies, Love Songs, Pirates, and Four Letter Words that Begin With "W." Sample question: President George H.W. Bush caused drama on March 18, 1990, when he banned what from Air Force One?

The Pantless Calgarians won the night.

...continued below...

Team trivia: their name is based on a newspaper article about a Calgary resident who was arrested at the Orlando International Airport after taking off his pants, hijacking a luggage truck, and driving it across the tarmac while being chased by a firefighter. He was charged with trespassing and grand theft. Apparently the airport officials didn't consider it a trivial matter.

The Smackdown is fun to watch, even if you aren't a trivia buff. If you want to play, you don't even need a team: Meloche says the regular teams "are welcoming and pull people into play as long as they don't exceed the cap of six people per team.

"It's good competition, but it's all really well-meaning," she says. "I love this event. It is such a joy of an evening, it just raises you up."

And by the way, the answer is broccoli    (end of article)

[Originally published in April, 2017.]


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