Sunday, October 19, 2008

Trivial Pursuit

The game Trivial Pursuit came out maybe 20 years ago, many of you have played it. It joined many a game like that, most notably the TV show Jeopardy, testing participants knowledge of the least of important knowledge, trivia! I hardly ever miss Jeopardy, and if I do, I'm unhappy about it.

In the 90's the idea of having a night where sweeping out the cobwebs of your brains for a couple of hours to dredge up what trivia you remember became popular. It was a fun way of getting like minded people together, those who basically would have been sitting in front of the TV with nothing else to do. Well, maybe I shouldn't make such sweeping judgements of trivia night participants, because these events usually do bring together a very diverse crowd, and the more diverse the group, the better your team has as a chance to come out on top!

I have friends who met and married playing trivia. They met on a chat room on the internet that brought trivia buffs together. Once they got together (in location and through vows), they presented many an awesome trivia night for local residents. They always formed a very formidable trivia team with some friends--they were known all over the local area and feared for their prowess. I was very seldom asked to be on their team--I definitely was a lightweight in contributing to my team, and that was well noted by these friends.

But, I've been a participant on many trivia teams. I'm usually asked as a substitute, because I do have some diverse interests that could be helpful, but my interests are NOT sports, movies, Oscar winning actors or actresses, pop music, or politics, which are usual trivia night categories. I was asked last night because there was an 8th seat at the table that would go empty if I couldn't come, and maybe I could contribute one or two answers.

Well, last night, I hit the trivia jackpot! The first category was Oscar winning movies, I think I guessed one out of 10. I thought, "Here we go again, another night of dozing through the evening!" My "date" for the night, the blogger known as This D*mn House, was awesome! She answered the questions more than once before they were even asked! We howled at her note pad, which contained answers to future questions. The next category was spelling. TDH is a writer, so this was a no-brainer for her! I contributed one English teacher answer--superlative for stellar, which is most stellar! We flubbed up on "septuagenarian", I have 5 more years to master that one before I become one!

Then I hit the trivia mother lode. They asked you to find cities based on their longitude and latitude coordinates! Well, I had spent a great deal of time teaching 5th and 6th graders how to do this many years ago in my life as an elementary school teacher, so we ruled on that one. Got talked into one incorrect answer, and we had no clue on one other vague one, but we did that well and quickly.

We ruled on the category "Denizens of the Deep", where we had to identify pictures of fish. Luckily, I had often studied the Department of Conservation guide book to pick out some local species. Then we all knew the clownfish aka Nemo. The rest of the fishies came from the menu at the local seafood restaurant, and I came up with the name mahi mahi for the ugliest fish on the paper! We scored 10 out of 10 on that one!

Since this event was held in a Catholic High School, and the majority of the participants had gone to the school, the category "Saints" should have been good for us. I'm a former Catholic School principal, and we talked about saints every day! But we stunk up the room big time on that category. How can you keep all those Italian saints straight in your mind? All those Francises and Thomases? Not good for us at all! Guess that table with all the nuns got all those correct!

I think we got a perfect 10 score on a couple of others, though. We had fun with a category that had colors in the names of the answers. I came up with the name of a song--famous violin piece of music--everybody knows it is "Orange Blossom Special". I spit that one out before they even played one note! We got 1 wrong on that category, because TDH identified a famous but obscure mob group as the Lavender Hill Gang, not the Purple Hill Gang. IT WAS THE SAME SHADE OF THAT COLOR, COME ON, GIVE US A BREAK!

For the first time in my life of being a team member of a trivia night team, I walked out with my chest held high, having contributed more than my usual 2 answers to the night's endeavors. We scored 83 points, also my best showing on a team that had a breath of a chance of winning. The winners scored 94, that is awesome 94 out of 100--Whew! They were hard to beat!

Besides the trivia, we had lots to eat, at least 3000-4000 calories of cookies, brownies, chip and dip, popcorn and free drinks! We were all starving once we got there, since the drive-through stop to Jack In the Box hadn't filled all the corners of our tummies (we stopped there ON OUR WAY to the Trivia Event!) We also had lots of fun. Monkeygirl's friends from high school knew me as Mrs. Monkeygirl! They read Monkeygirl's blog, also This D*mn House's blogs. Check them out if you haven't seen them lately. On the way home, we checked out This D*mn House's DIY projects in person, albeit in the dark, but we got to see the finished product in reality. Her work is very nice, very professional and she is doing a great job making her little nest very attractive.

It was a fun night, and maybe my breadth of knowledge can be useful at times. I'll have to give those Trivia night coordinators a little more cash next year, and maybe we'll hit the mother lode of good categories again! And maybe we might even win!


MonkeyGirl said...

I should have know that it was Purple not lavender since our school colors were Purple and gold!

Thanks for your brain power - you rocked and we would have never mastered the geography without you!

NV said...

Monkey Momma -- You SO rocked! And of course you're good to take all of us on, raucous bunch that we are. We loved having you and I was especially proud to have you as my "date."

And you're too kind on my projects. I just do the best I can. It doesn't always work but sometimes persistence pays big.