Sammy is the reason we’re all so close; we bond the most when we make fun of him. Sometimes we feel bad because Sammy is deaf in his left ear, so we’re careful about mocking him for reasons that are specifically not ear-related, like his broken childhood and his three-legged dog. We laugh. We tease. We speak to the left of him so he can’t hear us.


Jake has been to jail three times. I don’t actually know what his area of expertise is, but he’s powerful and terrifying and I’m scared of angering him. He has a back tattoo that says A BEAR, BUT LIKE A MEAN ONE, because his tattoo artist thought he meant the entire phrase. Everyone reads it and feigns terror because they’re too afraid to admit the truth, so Jake still believes there’s a menacing image on his back. I need to have Jake on my team.


I meant to ask Eli on a date but I got nervous and accidentally asked that he join the team instead. He’s a computer scientist, which is irrelevant because pub quizzes concern real facts, and computers are just a fad—they’re getting so small that they’ll soon disappear. Anyway, Sammy knows more about coding, but I guess Eli could correct his mistakes. Ha, what am I saying? Sammy doesn’t make errors. He’s such a geek, with bad hearing. (But that ability — or lack thereof — does not reflect his character. I want to be clear about this: Sammy would be just as irritating with two good ears, which he absolutely does not have.) Eli has beautiful, symmetrical ears.


Rachel is a genius. I could easily win with just Rachel on my team, but I think she finds me annoying so I always pad our social interactions with cooler people. I couldn’t actually find any, but the other members will at least be distracting.

Rachel is so smart that she once conducted diabetes research in a hospital where nobody had diabetes. She wrote a paper titled, “You Can Have a Broken Leg Without Having Diabetes.” Sammy apparently wrote his PhD dissertation on the very disease, but it took him 142 pages to only cover Type 1. Rachel defined both types and broken bones in just 4 pages.

Her ears are okay.


Daniel is the only one over 21 and can get us into the pub. He feels like our cool older brother who also goes to the bathroom every half-hour due to his microbladder. He also shaved his facial hair in vertical strips so that there’s a functioning barcode on his face. When you scan it, it says he’s priceless. (Unless he’s sweaty, in which case it scans for $1.99.)

To be honest, Daniel could easily be the person we ridicule instead of Sammy, but again, Daniel’s our ticket into the pub because he’s over 21. Daniel is 72 years old.


That’s me! I’m on the team because I went through the trouble of observing and evaluating my peers. Reading timed essays is hard, especially when Jake’s are just drawings of skulls. Also, I have a weird habit of spouting facts when I’m nervous — the first time I met Eli I frantically listed the US presidents who were in office during the Vietnam War. It was in response to his question: “What did you study in college?” I studied Communications. My nervousness actually makes me adept at answering trivia questions, just the wrong ones at the wrong times.