Let’s Get Quizzical: Life, Love, and Lots of Trivia

Trivia is not a spectator sport. | Photo by Christine DeLuna

As I sit in the dark, musty BU Pub, I realize I’m an idiot. How could I forget the largest landlocked country in the world? Stupid, stupid, stupid! This feeling is a mainstay in my life since starting to participate in trivia nights.

I’ve always wanted to be on a show like Jeopardy or Cash Cab. I watch them religiously and convince myself I get more right answers than wrong. I talk a big game to people about my extensive knowledge of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes and American history. I have become a legend (if only in my own mind) amongst my friends. This girl knows her random facts, is what I assume they think.

This past summer, a local bar started doing trivia nights. Yes! This was my chance to shine. I gathered a troop of the smartest and nerdiest people from work and knew we would dominate. How could we lose?

Well, we did lose, but we came slightly close. The rush I felt as I spewed out the names of ’90s sitcoms and college sports teams is like none I’ve known. The feeling of complete power over those who think Katie Holmes made her TV debut on Party of Five is better than any drug. I was hooked.

I visited more online quiz sites like Sporcle. I watched more TV and movies. I Wikipedia’d more random facts about English monarchs. I was a random fact machine. People on the street would stop and ask me pop culture questions they needed to know. (Okay, this last part is an exaggeration. But if it happened, I would have known the answers). I pestered people each week with, “Trivia tomorrow, guys? Come on, let’s do trivia!”

When I came back to BU this year, the itch didn’t go away. A friend nonchalantly told me that the BU Pub hosts a trivia night each week. She had no idea about my addiction. My first night, I could not stop talking about my past trivia experience. “No guys, I’m really good. You’ll be glad I’m on your team.” Even after a few people told us that a group of School of Law students tended to dominate each week, I still felt good. I felt great. We got this.

Then the questions started. It seemed my skills acquired at a suburban bar trivia night were no match for the collegiate crowd. How could I be so stupid? Of course, the questions would be harder — this is a college bar. People study engineering and medicine and philosophy here. Let’s just say I didn’t do so hot. I may need to brush up on my chemistry.

My total annihilation gave me an epiphany. Maybe I should just forget about the score and have fun…and then I snapped out of it. What is this, tee-ball? I didn’t work my butt off by procrastinating on my schoolwork to further my trivia career to throw it all away on fun and friends. This is the Hunger Games, people – kill or be killed. Okay, that’s a bit strong. Maybe trivia or be trivia’d! Mark my words, team Tequila Mockingbird will one day rule the BU Pub trivia night if it’s the last thing I do before I graduate.

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