For 12 long years, I have conned some of my friends into taking part in an evening long game of trivial pursuit as part of an effort to raise money for my son’s school, now adult program — The Center for Autism Education.
It’s been fun. And fattening (snacks are a requirement of this business). Many teammates have come and gone over the years. Corralling the right combination of 16 people for 2 tables is always a challenge. Every year. I’m pretty sure I’ve never worked with the same team of 8 more than once.
This year was different. One night I came home from a movie to find that Laurie had started a Facebook message chain with the usual suspects about trivia night. And then she put Stevie and Trent in charge of the two teams. “This probably won’t end well,” I said to myself. But hey, I figured I’d just sit back and watch the mess unfold. Let someone else deal with it for a change.
There was the usual non-committal committals, followed by the committal, followed by the backing out (and that was just Erica). But a few days before showtime Stevie had managed to put it all together. I was impressed, and a little sad that it all didn’t blow up in everyone’s faces without my running things.
I was put on Trent’s team, because God hates me, but I was still determined to do my best. I showed up promptly. No one else on my team did — except Ann, who actually arrived first. Still, everyone managed to show up before the game started — except Yellow, who naturally blamed Tim.
Now for 12 long years, we’ve been playing trivia, and never have we won (Yes, Spaulding’s team won once, but I’m talking about teams that I put together). We do OK — we usually finish in the top half of the 30+ teams that compete, but I don’t believe we ever made it to the final four.
And that’s OK. I’ve never been a terribly competitive guy. We’re not in it to win it, we’re there to raise money and have a good time and eat too much and drink watered-down beer. It’s tradition.
Every trivia night is different. Some years the questions are hard, most years they’re mostly easy. This year the questions were strangely easy. It also helped that most of the categories dealt with music and movies — our strong suit. But even the sports category had questions that I could answer. Not many, but with help from the others we put in a decent show.
By the end of the night (which — as usual — took F O R E V E R, but that’s a rant I’ve made before and will now briefly make again in the hopes that someone in charge reads this: CAE Trivia Night runs way too long. There’s always some thing they come up with to drag out the proceedings. It used to be the live auction. This year it was horse races. At one point I noted that they should stop calling it Trivia Night and call it Game Night with Occasional Pauses for Trivia.) the big winner was – – Team Stevie! And in second place — Team Trent!
Now, I don’t want to sound bitter and petty but we all know I am bitter and petty, so yes, we were cheated. I know of at two questions that we were denied points for (and we lost by two points) because our judge must have been one of those stickler-for-details types.
But of course the biggest betrayal of all was during the “Musicians with Animal Names” category. The song was “I Love a Rainy Night.” The answer, obviously, was Eddie Rabbit. When we finished the round I handed the sheet to Trent to take up to the judging stand. On her way she stopped by Team Stevie for a chat. The next thing I know she’s hopping up and down, making bunny ears with her hands.
I hear Trent also works for the Russians.
At any rate, it was good to finally win — or sort of win — after all these years. Not that I care about winning, mind you.