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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Having the answer isn't trivial

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

For years I have thought my college education was virtually useless. I never understood the point of taking science and math classes when your field has nothing to do with those subjects. On Saturday, I learned the reason.

It is called trivia night. Groups of six-to-eight people form teams and answer 10 questions in 10 categories with the team answering the most correctly winning.

On a good team, each person has their role. Take our team. My wife might only know the answer to three or four of the 100 questions, but she has a vital role. She is responsible for taking our answer sheet up to the main table to be graded.

And our team is pretty good. The first time we were together we rolled through the competition and answered 90-of-100 questions correctly. Of course over a few months time, we apparently got a lot dumber.

You see, Saturday night we were back to defend our title. My wife had her walking shoes on, we had our "beverages" and our team leader was telling everyone that we were going to dominate again. Then we were asked the first questions.

I don't remember what that first question was, but I do remember thinking there was no way we were getting another 90 if they were all that hard. But as I looked at the categories, I still thought we would have no problem. Sports and movies, both my forte, were up on the board and so was literature, my minor in college. Yes, that's right, contrary to some readers, I have read books so no problem, right? Um no.

One question was: "What English writer had brothers named Gilbert, Richard and Edmund?" The answer was William Shakespeare. Keep in mind while in college I took three Shakespeare classes and I had no clue he had one brother, let alone three. Apparently I skipped the day they talked about his family tree.

Of course, I had a chance to redeem myself with the question "What country did a 'Midsummer's Night Dream' take place?" I immediately answered Greece. I then saw our "writer" put down Greece. After I go to the bathroom and come back our team had already turned in the answer and it was changed to France. Granted, I didn't know he had any brothers so I had lost all credibility but as a lesson, don't go to the bathroom until the answers are turned in. This can be hard when you are drinking "beverages."

But, like I said, one of my minors in college was literature. Another question was

"What sporting event was fixed in 'The Great Gatsby'?" Some literature student I was, I've never even read "The Great Gatsby." Of all the books I've read, and there have been a bunch, I've never read one of the classics. Some literature student huh? Fortunately, we guessed and got that answer correct.

But while a lot of the questions were difficult and took some sort of knowledge there were other questions that just took common sense, like: "What cable company accidentally deleted e-mail accounts of 14,000 customers?" I'm sure most everyone reading this knows that Charter is certainly capable of screwing up that bad. Of course, after much debate we went with Time Warner. We should have gone with the obvious answer.

And that happens a lot. When you have eight people and tough questions, you usually have more than one answer and have to come to a consensus. And just about every time it seemed like we went with the wrong answer, much to our "coach's" dismay. Especially when we went against him on the question "What is the most spoken word in the English language?" Who knew it was "I"? Well, I guess he did.

After all the dust settled we lost our title by one stinking point and I learned I should have actually gone to class in college. But our team will be ready for the next trivia night. I'm going to buy my wife a new pair of shoes and I've already started "The Great Gatsby" cliff notes. We'll be ready.

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