06 May 2008

If You Don't Know, Now You Know

You know when you're driving along on the freeway and you're a little tired and you think you can get away with a nano-nap because nobody's around and you're going straight for awhile anyway? Ten seconds later, you feel the thump thump of those little lane dividers that signal "Stop swerving and wake up (to avoid killing yourself)!" What are those little things called?

If you knew that the answer was [highlight and/or click for the answer] Botts' dots, I applaud you with my mouth agape.

I attended a trivia night in North Park tonight and came away a loser -- tied for tenth actually. But I learned so much in the process. After all, I already knew I was a loser, right? The main thing I learned was that there are people out there with a freaky ability to know lots of random facts. What was advertised as a pop culture night was sort of that but oh so much more. The four lead off categories were: TV Sketch Comedies, Movie Quotes (as spoken by Stephen Hawking aka computerized voice), Disgusting Foods, and Misconceptions.

Now I know I may not be particularly great at trivia but I don't suck either right? Guess again. Let's talk about how many vaginas a kangaroo has. A kangaroo has three vaginas. THREE. Oh that crazy intelligent designer. Sneaky bastard. Here's a question that should be more up my alley. What's the name of Master Chief's AI robot buddy? No clue. My video game guild badge is going to be revoked. Her name's Cortana. Duh.

Yeah, I thought we had a chance to maybe sneak in a few genius answers but in reality we got pummelled. There was one guy, an army of one, who managed to place third all by himself. The other teams were surprising too. A whole bunch of people I'd never suspect of harboring intense trivia knowledge seemed to know things I've never even heard of. Never judge a book by its cover, just don't do it.

Even pure reason failed us. For example, what do you think is the most widely eaten fish in the world? Maybe tuna, maybe salmon, perhaps cod, or tilapia. Or whatever they mash together to get those delicious Filet-O-Fishes. How about herring?!

There may not be many serious life applications for knowing trivia but goddam it's impressive. I didn't feel stupid -- okay, a little -- so much as just wonder at the awesomeness of my fellow human beings. Now I must plot to form an All-Star team of trivia and hope to get out of the double digits.

Here's what I can bring to the table (with specialties in parentheses):
Sports (Basketball, Football)
Movies (Titles, Actors)
Comics (Marvel, X-Men)
Television (1990s, Reality TV)
Geeky Stuff (Nothing too esoteric unless it's Magic related)
Foods beginning with the letter "Q"
So yeah, basically, I'm nigh useless at trivia contests. What I'm looking for is someone who specializes in entertainment and celebrities, someone with great musical repertoire, a history and geography buff, and a guys' guy who knows about cars, fishing, and things that are manly. Whatcha got? Feel free to list your five specialty areas in the comments because yes, I am recruiting.

To add insult to injury, the final round was three minutes to list the top forty best selling books of all time. Each correct answer was worth one point. We got five. And that's with the Bible as an obvious answer and Harry Potter as an even more obvious answer. Five out of forty. And I call myself a reader. I disgust myself.

But damn it was fun.