Social planning

Be popular at bars: Discuss Wally and new Japanese friend

There’s plenty to talk about at the bars after this crazy week, thanks to a mascot meet-and-greet, our crack-smoking neighbors to the north, and the fact that we can ship several tons of candy to troops overseas … but not enough food and water to victims of Haiyan. Use this crash quiz on current events to dazzle your friends and acquaintances over alcoholic beverages this weekend with tales of Tom Menino and tallest building trivia.

A Wellesley dentist has collected more than 7,340 pounds of leftover Halloween candy this year, and needed shovels and UHauls to cart it all away. Dr. Femina Ali started collecting leftover sweets from her patients eight years ago, in an effort to fight cavities one delicious Tootsie Roll at a time. Now she is sending the offending candy to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan through the non-profit CarePacks. Tremendous gesture of support or nefarious plot to give the troops tooth decay? You decide.

Kumamon, Japan’s most popular mascot, struck adorably triumphant poses as he toured Cambridge and Boston with his wrangler, Ikuo Kabashima, governor of Kumamoto Prefecture. Kumamon even visited Wally the Green Monster at Fenway Park for a furry play date … not to be confused with a Furries play date, which is a different gathering entirely.

The Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah has learned that in spite of what naysaying state officials think, the tribe does have the right to open a casino on its tribal land on Martha’s Vineyard, thanks to the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Tribal leaders promise to “preserv[e] the atmosphere and beauty of the Island,” probably by making all the employees wear pink pants and belts with little whales on them.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is refusing to retire, willfully ignoring the pleas of Toronto City Council and a poll showing that a whopping 76 percent of Toronto voters think he should step down. Ford admitted to recently smoking crack while “in a drunken stupor,” and explained away a video of him cussing and ranting and banging his fists together by saying that he was “extremely inebriated” at the time. But don’t worry, folks: He’s pledged to stop getting “hammered” in public.

Your downer of the week: Despite relief efforts attempting to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, residents are still struggling to get basic supplies and corpses remained unburied in the streets.

Tom Menino might be stepping down from his post as Boston’s mayor, but he won’t be moving to Florida to chill out in his white linen pajamas and eat canned peaches like most old people do. Menino’s idea of retirement is taking a new position as the director of Boston University’s new “Initiative on Cities,” which will offer practical training to municipal officials from all over the world. Get the conversation going at the bar this weekend with a nostalgic look back on the last 20 years by asking which Menino-lead class will become part of the program’s core curriculum? Bike Riding for Bureaucrats? Effective Emails? Typical Boston Herald Questions?

Bar trivia game! Whoever can identify the context of this quote doesn’t have to drink a shot of Fireball: “You are a punk. And you don’t even matter anymore. … Enjoy your retirement.”  No peeking until everyone’s guessed.

One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the United States, measuring 1,776 feet tall, or 326 feet taller than Chicago’s Willis Tower, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Make new friends by inventing names of some other useless councils and trade guilds to back up trivia you make up. “Whales feel more empathy than other sea creatures, according to a new report from the Institute of Marine Compassion Studies.” Or, if the evening goes well: “Did you know I have the most comfortable bed in America, according to the U.S. Firm Mattress and Down Quilt Association?”