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12/01/2001 Entry: "Great Guiness Toast"
So last night was the night of the Great Guiness toast. And of course, since we were playing, we got to work with the Guiness rep. I say Guiness rep: I think that they hired a bunch of people to come in and play rep for the night, but anyway... This guy says "The Great Guiness Toast..." (I should explain. Guinsess was trying to get into their own book of records by having the most number of people toasting at the same time. So at 11 p.m. yesterday, everyone in participating clubs had a toast.) Anyway, the guy says "The toast is tonight, so could you give away these t-shirts and trinkets and stuff. And would you announce the toast at 11?" So Blind Al says "Bill is the P.R. guy, so let him do it." So I acted as the M.C last night at Joshua's Tavern.
To start out, I explained that I would not require any silly games that most of these shirt giveaways entail. Instead, I would ask some Guiness trivia questions. (I'm a Guiness fan myself.) Then this one gal, who looked surpisingly like my boss's wife Alison, says to me "Give me a shirt, and I'll show you what looks under the shirt!" She did get a shirt eventually, though not for that reason. Another girl, joking with her friends about how they could bribe me out of a shirt, hiked up her skirt. I only caught that out of the corner of my eye. "What was that!" I said. "Well, I know what it was, but whta's up with that?" Everyone had a good chuckle about that one.
Of the 6 or so trivia questions I asked, only one was answered correctly the first time. "Name one ingredient in Guiness." Some guy shouted out water. They missed: What was Mr. Guiness's first name (Arthur), what is the name of the gate near which Guiness is brewed (St. James), what is the shape of the widget in the new Guiness bottle (rocket), how tall am I (5' 10". I gave the shirt to the girl who said I was 6' 2"), what year did Blind Al serve in Viet Nam (1968), and what broad family of beer did Guiness fall into (ale). I also asked a true or false question. I think this did get answered right the first time too. Dorothy L. Sayers, a famous British mystery writter (of whom I'm quite fond), worked for a while in an English PR company. She invented the slogan "Guiness is good for you." True or False. (True.) Of course, with new advertising laws, only a very few countries still let Guiness market with that phrase, though it can still be found on t-shirts and posters and such.