Didn’t I recently read an article stating that Harrisonburg is one of the smartest cities? It’s no shocker, really, what with two universities and a college right here in town, lots of high-tech jobs, and two highly esteemed school divisions. But I didn’t really give it much thought until Brandy, Ben, Michael, and I attended Team Trivia Night at Clementine for the first time last Tuesday.
Man, Harrisonburg! You’re a bunch of smartypants! And we…. were not.
I learned A LOT that night, including
1. Pretty much everything, and
2. Irony is overrated.
See, we hadn’t done this before. We were Team Trivia virgins. Green. Wet behind the ears. Fresh meat. Thankfully, one of the hosts came over and explained the deal. Here’s the lowdown in case you haven’t tried it yet. You get an answer sheet arranged in quadrants, one for each of four rounds. Each round has four questions. The questions are read aloud in a cluster. Then you and your team (of six or fewer hopefully intelligent people) discuss the questions and (of course) try to come up with the answers. When you fill in your answers on the sheet, you can rank them so that the answer you feel most confident about will get you the most points. You cannot use your phone or similar device. (And believe me, the teacher in me was WATCHING! And I didn’t see anyone cheat.) Then you have a couple minutes to run your answer sheet to the stage so the hosts can grade it and tally the points. They bring the sheet back and it’s on to the next round. Okay.
Well, someone in our group wrote the word “WINNER” at the top of our page prematurely. We THOUGHT maybe that would influence the judges, or at least please the Trivia Gods, or send some karma our way. Unfortunately, that word ended up being our team name. Yes, WINNER was the name of our team. So… round after round, we continued to hear, “In last place — WINNER…” All night. All four rounds. Through to the end.
There’s something to be said for consistency, I guess. But irony? I hate you now.
Sorry if that was a massive spoiler — you know, finding out that we didn’t win. I’m sure you’re as surprised as we were. The actual WINNERs got every single question right, so they racked up the whole 72 available points (and someone should check my math on that because I learned that night that I AM A DINGBAT) plus whatever amount they wagered in the bonus round at the end.
I can’t wait to tell you about the types of questions, but first, I should mention that the place was pretty full! I was pleasantly surprised to see so many folks out on a Tuesday night for a brainy endeavor. And it was fun! People were friendly and funny and personable and relaxed. Really, don’t be intimidated by it. We got SMOKED by every team in the room, and we still left happy and laughing. And other than ours, the team names were pretty clever. Like Quiz in My Pants, Michelle Obama’s Favorite Vegetable Barackoli, Males of Seduction, Snails of Destruction, and SEVERAL that are a little too racy for this blog, designed to make the hosts say something embarrassing when they had to announce the standings.
Round One began. The first question was about Hosni Mubarak and what country he presided over. We said Israel <cringe>. Question 2: what was the name of the girl with “hotty body” in the Outkast song “Roses?” Someone in our group announced proudly, “I know who sings that song!” Sigh. The answer: Caroline. We actually knew the answer to the third question, which was “Care Bears.” The last question dealt with “the increase in quaalude sales due to what movie?” We said The Hangover. Another group said Frozen, lol! The answer: The Wolf of Wall Street. Dang it! Okay, so we got one right. We vowed to do better as a team. While we were waiting for the results, someone in our group said, “The suspension is killing me!” !!! Someone kicked me under the table and then said, “Sorry for playing leggings with you.” Geez! Did we even stand a chance?
Round Two. I’m pretty sure we got the first question right: who was born first, Monet or Van Gogh? Monet, by 13-ish years. But then, what are the three colors on the Venezuelan flag? (yellow, blue, and red) A question about a 2002 Musical that won an Oscar. It was Chicago. We said Moulin Rouge. And the fourth question involved the periodic table. Just forget it.
After Round Two, there’s a Halftime Round. Not for points, but for a round of shots for your team. You’d think that would make us muster all the intellect we had. Nope. Still missed it.
Round Three. We got ’em ALLLLL wrong. We said Tchaikovsky, it was Mozart. We said Santa Barbara, it was Newport Beach. We said the FCC, it was NASA. And we couldn’t even come up with a Swiss watchmaker. It was Omega.
When we reached Round Four, we were all a bit sheepish. Our egos were stinging. We called our cocktail waitress over. She was very helpful.
Okay, so see how many of these you know (i’ll hide the answers at the bottom):
1. Which Virginia college’s athletic teams are known as the Fighting Squirrels?
2. What do the letters in the acronym SWAT stand for?
3. In which city did George Washington deliver the first State of the Union address?
4. Which Jimmy John’s sandwich (by name or number) has the fewest calories? (or maybe it was fat content, I can’t remember…)
And then the final round, in which you can wager up to half of the points you’d earned so far: What did the state of New York require all cars to have, starting in 1901?
Now for this one we had a discussion. Windshield wipers? A rear-view mirror? Someone suggested headlights, because “there’s only two times you’d be driving around — day and night.” God help us. Someone else said “wheels.” What — so we don’t have to drive around on our feet like Fred Flintstone anymore? Lord. Anyway, I think we might have landed on “horn.” I don’t really remember, and our wager amount was a decimal anyway.
So, we totally failed. But it was soooo much fun! We have vowed to each other to go back and try again, all for one and one for all! And before we do, I’m going to load up on salmon and almonds and B12 three times a day for like a month. Then I’ll drive my giant head down to Clementine and mop the floor with all you brainiacs!
You can play, too! Tuesdays at 9pm sharp at Clementine, with overflow seating downstairs in Ruby’s Lounge. See you out and about!
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