The Best Damn Table Decorations Ever

Last night was our annual trek to the Elks Lodge in O’Fallon for a trivia night event to benefit the Center for Autism Education.

We started doing this years ago as an EC event, then Spaulding — who has always been the rebel of the group — broke off and formed her own team and then Stevie and Melfy wanted in so now we field three 8-man teams each year. There are around 40 teams in the competition but we only really care about beating Spaulding’s team (Melfy’s Friends and Family aren’t really a threat — they’re too busy eating cheese balls and feeding us bad information. Wallace was not The Beaver’s real name. How did I fall for that?).

Who really cares about winning a trivia night anyway? Is it really something to be proud of, knowing that your collective heads are filled with so much worthless knowledge? No, better by far to win the real prize: Best Decorated Table.

We’ve fought long and hard to win the Best Decorated Table prize — to no avail. I place all the blame squarely on Melissa. She’s the one in charge of table decor. I write down the answers, Jeff distracts other players by shouting out wrong answers, Tim knows sports and music, Paul knows airport abbreviations, Yellow and Rachie are usually good for one answer per night, Carrie is there to keep spirits up, Melissa is in charge of table decor. I don’t make the rules, I just live by them.

Game play starts at 7 p.m. As per tradition, my teammates arrive around 6:55. The theme this year is “Pieces of Love.” I have no idea how we’re supposed to decorate around that.

Mel “Pieces”…get it, Sir. Like the Autism Awareness logo is the puzzle…

RRoy yeah, i get that much. i just don’t know how you’re supposed to decorate our table with that theme. good thing you’re in charge of table decoration and not me.

Mel does Lar have any good decorating ideas for this?

RRoy she says the colors for Autism Awareness are red. blue, turquoise and gold if that helps. she suggested decorating with puzzle pieces if you have any lying around.

RRoy why can’t they have a superhero theme? we would totally kick ass at that.

Mel That’s true…and you could be in charge of the decorations! I’ll see what I can come up with…red, blue, turquoise and gold eh?

Mel shows up with red, blue, turquoise and gold helium balloons in heart shapes. Genius. It’s not like three or four other tables don’t have balloons. Why do I let Mel run this every year? Then she pulls out a giant plastic margarita glass that she’s decorated with construction paper puzzle pieces. OK. Different. Still, not going to put us over the top.

Then out of her white trash bag she pulls out a giant heart-shaped box that she’s framed in puzzle pieces and dead center she’s put a giant photograph of my son on one side, my family on the other. She places it inside the margarita glass.

Now that’s Genius. You could feel the air escaping from every other balloon in the building when she finished setting up. Needless to say, we totally won Best Decorated Table and all the glory and prizes that went with it — can cozies, lanyards, plastic rings and armbands, a $5 gift card from Family Video and T-shirts from Blue Wave Martial Arts (no, I don’t get that last one either).

Yes, it was a great moment in trivia night history, and we had a decent night — despite Tim bailing on us to take care of his infant daughter. Mel went on to win the Halloween raffle prize, Rachie won a pineapple picture (I suspect there was not a lot of competition) and some other basket, The Wife won some autism Christmas ornaments, and this year The Son’s artwork went for $150 at auction (not his best showing but then it wasn’t his best work either).

oh, and Spaulding’s team won the trivia contest and the $200 grand prize. 
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