Thursday, May 04, 2006

Trivia Sucks

So last night was Keith's and my first pub quiz (although Cathy and Amy are old veterans), and I have to say: I wasn't impressed with myself. I mean, our team did okay. We didn't completely embarrass ourselves, but we didn't exactly set the place on fire and inspire all the other contestants to break into spontaneous cheers of admiration, if you know what I mean.

I mean, let's talk about this whole concept of "trivia." The definition of trivia, according to The American Heritage Dictionary, is "insignificant or inessential matters; trifles." So why, when I don't know trivia, do I feel stupid or less educated than the guy that can identify a picture of Dr. Seuss? (true story, we thought it was C. Everett Koop. Whoops!)

I think that, in our modern era where we never have enough time to do anything properly, trivia geeks are our version of a Renaissance Man. A jack of all trades. If you know random factoids in many different categories, you have proven your mastery over life. You can engage in witty repartee and sparkling dinner conversation. Everyone wants you on their team for any game that might somewhat involve intelligence.

People do ask me to be on their teams, falsely assuming that someone with a Masters in English must surely know something. Usually I end up spouting out random facts that actually have no relation to the question at hand. Like, if the question is what conflict is featured in Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls," I'll talk about John Donne and his religious conversion that completely changed his poetry mid-career. Not helpful.


cat said...

I think that I'm going to resign myself to my hott looks to get by ... cuz we know my mad trivia skilz aren't going to get me anywhere.

That picture looks like it was taken by the Christmas tree. Do the Roaming Gnome and Marshmallow Snowman visit the Baby Jesus at the Nativity in your universe? ;)

Amy said...

I shared some of the Q and A with Christine yesterday. She said she wouldn't have known the ones we didn't know anyhow, so theoretically her absence didn't matter.

It's worth noting, however, that Mike D admitted that the questions were too hard. I think you'd already left (in shame!) by that point, though. He was collecting the papers, asked me and C how our team did (sucky!), and said something about how it's hard to tell sometimes when the questions are too tough. I'm like, Here's what you do: Call us the night before. We'll let you know. He's all, Uhm, riiiiight. I'll get right on that.... NOT!

Anyhow, we were tied for sixth or seventh, I think, out of at least 17 or 18 teams. Of course, there were a bunch of three-way ties for fifth, fourth, and third, but whatever. There's always next month.