Thursday, November 16, 2006

Trivially Speaking

One of the most entertaining annual events in MyFormerTown was the local community Foundation's Trivia Night. Somewhere between 20 and 30 teams of 8 players gathered at the local Elk's Lodge for a night of team-trivia: 100 questions (10 categories x 10 questions each) devised by the local librarians. One of the morning show personalities from the local radio station was the host (a la Alex Trebek). There were cash prizes and raffle prizes and just-because-you-showed-up prizes. And beer! And food!

But mostly it was just hella fun. And a really, really good excuse to talk trash in the weeks leading up to it -- which everyone did. One of MyFormerTown's prominent citizens assembled an annual team of after the first couple of years, the goal became to take them down at all costs. I think it finally happened in the last year that I was there. The local community college did some heavy recruiting (including the seriously brainy MonkeyDad) and managed to squeak out the win. Very exciting stuff.

For my friends and I, it was never about winning...because, let's be honest, we were *never* going to win. Ever. As was our bent, it was all about the socializing. We "practiced" beforehand -- i.e. hung out at someone's house with food and beer reading through Trivial Pursuit cards. We'd strive for the creative answer if we couldn't come up with a real one (might as well amuse the judges if you can't be right!).

But mostly...we spent an inordinate amount of time on our team name. The first year, one of our members was a local high school teacher (I forget the subject...I want to say history -- maybe Gordo or Krek will remember). During practices, we were amazed at his capacity to discuss (ad nauseum) the background on every. single. question. -- and still not come up with a right answer. Our team name that year was, appropriately, "Cliff Claven and the Seven Malones" (and no...I don't think he got it). The next year, we kept with the theme and presented "Mr. Peabody and the Seven Shermans."

The third year was the piece de resistance, though... We'd evolved from our Somebody and the Seven Somebodys schtick. Proudly bearing the team name "Dean Wormer Was Right," we did our trivia with style: linen table cloth...candleabra...nicely appointed finger foods...the whole nine yards. It was one of the most brilliantly subtle jokes I've had the pleasure to be a part of.

Better still was the moment when one of the guys from the "ringer" team came up to me and said "Dean Wormer Was Right? What in the world does that mean??" I looked at him (ok, admittedly a little smugly) and said "I thought you were supposed to be good at trivia!" He harrumphed a little and said "Huh?"

I just grinned and said "You know what? I don't think you guys are going to win this year."


towwas said...

Wow...I don't get *any* of those team names. And I thought *I* was good at trivia. That said, I think it would be totally fun if (as you said a few years ago) Your Choir did this for a fundraiser.

I Blog, You Blog said...

Google is your friend!! (And if you stay stumped, I'll help... Or, you know, I could make it a contest, but I figure that's already been done... ;)

And yeah, it would be awesome if we'd do something like this...but my guess is it's probably being done somewhere... And I'm not sure if anyone would put in the legwork to A) get enough teams together and B) get enough prizes/food donated to make it fun. It's a bit of a labor intensive event compared to, say, the fundraiser on Saturday which just consists of milling around the Norwegian Ambassadors house eating cheese and drinking. Heh...

towwas said...

Yeah, I hear ya. I'd go! Well...yeah, if I could eight people to agree to be in the same place at the same time, which is always a questionable proposition.