I love watching Jeopardy, playing Trivial Pursuit, and
coming close to but never quite finishing crossword puzzles. Bar trivia is the best, though. After a long night of waiting tables, I used to love nothing more than taking the tips I had wrestled from my redneck tables and blowing it on tall Miller Lites and fried bar food at the Buffalo Wild Wings across the street, playing round after round of trivia while my co-workers spent all night coming up with screen names like PNIS and URMOMSUX. I’m not a competitive person by nature, but there is something about seeing WINNER: MTHRFDRKR displayed for all to see on the tiny corner TV dedicated to trivia in a smoky sports bar. When I moved Michigan for a year and had no friends, I made my mom go with me to Buffalo Wild Wings on the regular for the single purpose of beating her at NTS Trivia. In your FACE, Mom! Plus, the chili and cheese Buffalo Chips are pretty good.
Lately I’ve been getting into team trivia, which is a whole ‘nother ball game. A local beach bar hosts (in conjunction with a radio station) Wednesday night trivia night, complete with prizes and a raffle. It’s mostly regulars that show up; 2 groups of older, weathered beach locals, a younger, yuppie-ish team, and then my team. My team boasts the youngest mean age of any of the regular teams, and also the loosest roster of players (basically anyone who can show up at 7:00 on a Wednesday night). We have yet to win it all, (none of us were born when the Salvation Army was founded by William and Catherine Booth in London in 1865, as I suspect some members of opposing teams were), but we’ve had a respectable showing. We may not know which European city hosted the first organized autorace in 1887 (Paris–our guess: Stuttgart), but we do know which rock legend Trudie Styler is married to, and what year Nelson Mandela was freed from prison.
Any trivia team has some variation on the following cast of characters:
- The Organizer: Can be counted on to send out a mass text message reminding everyone of the date and time of trivia. The Organizer arrives early, reserves a table, and has a couple of pitchers sweating on the table by the time the rest of the team trickles in. Usually comes prepared with a pen, either behind his ear or in her purse.
- The Scribe: Invariably has the worst handwriting on the team. Not known to contribute much by way of answers, the Scribe faithfully writes down the first answer that comes out of anyone’s mouth. The Scribe isn’t usually a great speller, and will unabashedly inquire as to the number of l’s in “Mandela.”
- The Mouth: Calls out any “funny” answer that pops into his head, to the perceived amusement of the entire bar. Examples may include:
- Q: What is the name for a horse that has yet to win a race?
The Mouth: A LOSER!
The Sports/Music/History Know-it-All: An annoyingly necessary evil.
The Namer: Who wouldn’t want to be a part of Team Turd Ferguson?
The Dumb Girlfriend: Unnecessary. ‘Nuf said.