Every week a few friends of mine and I play trivia. It started, for me, in Santa Fe when a handful of friends invited me to join their weekly trivia team at El Farol, Geeks who Drink was the group that organized that weekly trivia event, they’re known nationwide. I decided that it was definitely for me when the MC asked “What sport did David Foster Wallace’s protagonist Hal Incandenza play, in his masterpiece Infinite Jest?” Well I was all over that. “Tennis.” I whispered to a friend of mine that had been chosen to write our answers, and then to turn them in.
I had forgotten about those trivia nights, over time: relationships, business ventures, life. I moved back to Texas and was sitting at this new local taco spot—now recently closed—when I heard something about a weekly trivia night that they were beginning to develop, every Wednesday night I was told, and I immediately went to work putting together a team, in my head. This group was not Geeks who Drink, but a competitor of theirs (Jaocb, the MC, hates it when I mentioned Geeks who Drink), Trivia Live. Of course, I didn’t care, and every Wednesday night I started coming for the cheap alcohol, the inconsistently somewhat decent tacos, and trivia—slowly building my team; of the original four of us only two, including myself, are still involved. The team we since put together has been phenomenal. We have our science (SCIENCE!) guy, our TV, animal(s), food&drink, and geography (one of them is Russian—born and bred) girls, we’re all kind of movie buffs, we don’t really have a consistent sports person, but we’re not too concerned about that, and I’m the literature and history guy.
A couple weeks before the taco place closed down Trivia Live started hosting trivia night, on Monday’s, at our favorite Micro-Brewery: Cibolo Creek Brewing Co., and we couldn’t have been more excited—we were all growing pretty tired of the taco spot. So we started phasing out taco’s for farm-to-table burgers and Micro-Brewed beer (some of the best I have ever had, and I’ve had my good share of Micro-Brewed Beer). We used to recycle trivia team names, I would come up with a new witty, or funny, or annoying names every night just for kicks, and the Jacob came to know us really well so we were able to continuously change our name and keep are point values (it might not be in accordance with all the rules, but eh). Eventually we did agree on a name that we would adopt with: Isaac Asimov’s great quote: “People who think they know everything are an annoyance to those of us that actually do.” I like it, aside from the obvious reasons of it being perfect for trivia going, I liked it because of its length. A number of my names were long only because I enjoyed the fact that Jacob would have to say it over the loud speaker, and whether anyone else laughed or not I didn’t care, because I always did. One of my favorite names to date was, “Sometimes my mother calls me by my brothers’ name.”
I love it when literature questions come up, obviously. I know that I’m going to get it right. I’ve missed two literature questions over the course of the last year, or longer since we’ve been playing, and I can remember both of them. The first only because I’m ashamed at myself for missing it. It was regarding post-modernism political satire books, and the answer was, of course, 1984, but, for whatever reason I just could not think of it. It’s especially aggravating because I was born in 1984 AND aside from having read it multiple times, and enjoying it every time, I’m aware of the history behind almost all of it, and the details of publication, and the fact that thought the book was published in 1949 it was written in 1948, and the title is simple a reversal of the date (1948 – 84). Arrgh, it still bothers me that I missed that one, and that was months ago. The second is less vexing, however, it still gets to me. The question was asking, “What 19th century author whom created Detective C. Auguste Dupin, is considered to have written the first detective mystery novel?” I drew a blank. If I had a little more time (Each question is timed by a song, we have the length of any given song to offer an answer) I would have come up with, of course, Edgar Allan Poe.
At Cibolo Creek Brewing Co. we are 3 for 4, which is to say that of the four times that we’ve played there we’ve gotten first place three times. We have become the team to beat, and everyone there knows it. There has been the creation of at least one time that competes for the sole purpose of beating us. And, to be fair, the one time that we did not win, they were the team that were responsible.
By the end of the night, after a couple pitchers and extensive competition there’s at least one person on each team that becomes Andy Kaufman, during his controversial wrestling years, when putting on a show wasn’t always so apparent. It’s great! We all have fun with it. Throughout the week if something related to literature and trivia comes up I always make mental notes, but, in Boerne, I don’t know that there is a single person that can rival me when it comes to authors, book titles, plot, or general author knowledge, and the cross-over to Hollywood. I like that, it’s a good feeling knowing that you are the best at something. We’ve all seen how a sense of minor personal pride has shifted from a constructive character trait towards another thing to be ashamed of, or another thing to be judged for, but regardless having that to hold on to, even if it’s just a piece of something that I’ll occasionally pick up and acknowledge and the set right back down, it is nice to have on my shelf. And I’m grateful too for the people that I share that table with, and knowing that they too are able to feel a since of pride and acknowledgment. I know books, and I know people, and I enjoy the helloutta both of them, and having the opportunity to express that—other than here—is so much fun.
I am a freelance author, writer, critic, artist, and entrepreneur living in the Heart of the Texas Hill Country.