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Beer drinking and pursuit of trivia: a winning combination

by Merrie Leininger

I am the queen of Trivial Pursuit. That may seem like an extreme statement to many of you, but I assure you, I have a gift.

I bought a version last year to boost my ego. My boyfriend Andy had been killing me at chess and I’m a pretty sore loser. “I’ll show him,” I thought. And I did. I don’t think he’s ever beat me. But we never played together as a team until last weekend.

His college roommate Gary and his girlfriend Ellen came for a visit from Portland. One night, they decided they wanted to play Trivial Pursuit. Ha, ha, ha. (My most E-VIL laugh.) “Those suckers are going down,” I thought.

Halfway into the game, Ellen said, “I knew we should have played girls against guys.”

Soon after that, however, the Portland team took the lead. A very large lead. I was shaken. What was going on? I must be paying for my evil thoughts. But, I have to say, in my defense, Andy and I were getting some very difficult questions.

“What fabric was used on car seats for the first time in the 1973 Gremlin?” How should I know? Turns out the answer is denim. Of course.

“What European city is served by Keflavik Airport?” WHAT? I took a wild guess and said Oslo, but it was Reykjavik.

Meanwhile, Gary and Ellen were speeding through questions like “What TV cartoon character swills Duff beer?” D’oh! Any Simpsons fan would know it is Homer Simpson.

They also got the head-scratcher “When will your car be ready if a Spanish mechanic tells you manana?” Hello? Why is this question even in a trivia game?

For those of you not familiar with the game, the categories are history, sports and leisure, people and places, arts and entertainment, and science and nature. The holes in my education are pretty clear if you play against me. I miss just about every sports and history question. But boy, if I land on an entertainment square, watch out. I have an ungodly knowledge of the most pointless information ever.

“What did ‘Baywatch’ beauty Pamela Anderson wear to her Cancun wedding?” I knew the answer for some reason.

My beloved has a similar problem. Ask him “What is the common name for a half-barrel of beer?” and he quickly answers “a keg.” Thank God the beer drinker was on my team. I never would have gotten that one. He also correctly answered a “Star Wars” question.

To win, Trivial Pursuit players have to collect a little plastic pie-shaped token for every category before attempting the final part of the game. You must land on the middle section of the board by rolling a die. Then, the other team asks you a question from a category of their choice. Ellen and Gary couldn’t get lucky. They never did land in the middle of the board, giving Andy and me time to catch up, and when we did land in the middle, they decided to “take Merrie out of the game” by asking a sports question.

“What boxer answers to the nickname ‘Sweet Pea?'”

Their plan worked. I had no idea. Then Andy came to the rescue. Gary and Ellen had counted him out by this point, but he nonchalantly (everything Andy does is nonchalant) said “Pernell Whitaker” and won us the game.

I couldn’t keep the evil laugh in at this point (I’m a sore winner, also). Gary pouted. And Andy got a big kiss for his bizarre recollection of boxers’ nicknames and for being the perfect Trivial Pursuit partner for me.