By Nick Roumel

Here's a bit of trivia for you. What does it mean to be in one's "cups?"

I used to know the answer to that. In fact I used to know a lot of things. Trouble is, my brain is full. As I acquire new knowledge, the old stuff necessarily falls out. Nothing drives that lesson home more convincingly than "quiz night" at the local pub.

Remember that song by what's-her-name? And that movie with that one guy, you know who used to be married to ā?¦ gosh I can just picture her.

Don't worry about it. Have another beer from the Wolverine State Brewing Company in Ann Arbor (, home to delicious, quaffable hand-crafted beer, and trivia nights on Mondays and Thursdays. Here was our small, ragtag bunch, competing against seasoned teams, some as large as small companies, with names like "Trivia Newton John" and I forget the others. The rules are simple: confer and answer the question. No checking phones. For bonus points, identify the song playing during the answer period. And order lots of beer.

What does it mean to be in one's cups? I think it might have to do with being in the groove. Maybe comes from horse racing, like when the jockey is leaning forward, feet in the stirrups, with the mount in a good rhythm. Just not sureā?¦

The trick to a good trivia team is not only to have different skill sets represented, but also different generations. It's one thing to answer Beatles questions. It's another to identify episodes of "Friends."

Me, I was useful during the "Supreme Court" category. I also knew the baseball question. However, I waited in vain for the food question. Anything to do with roast lamb or spinach pie, I would have owned it. But the closest we got to food was this one: "What candy bar was advertised as ā??Crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery?'" (Butterfinger).

All in all, I didn't remember as much as I used to. Perhaps it had something to do with being in my cups ā?¦

That's it! It's a nice way of saying I had too much beer!

We didn't win trivia night. I'm sure it's because we didn't have enough 30-somethings who watched every episode of "Friends."


Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht, Roumel, Salvatore, Blanchard, and Walker PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and writes a food/restaurant column for "Current" magazine in Ann Arbor. He occasionally updates his blog at

Published: Thu, Jul 10, 2014