Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This Will Sound Trivial...

Last spring, one of my friends posted on Facebook that she and her husband had just gotten their kids in bed and were about to challenge each other in Trivial Pursuit.  That's the kind of post that immediately snags my attention...What?  Trivial Pursuit, you say?  I love that game!  I haven't played in years.  (I'm not saying the posts of cats saying funny things don't get my attention, they do.  I mean, who doesn't like a sarcastic feline?)

The next time I saw them (my friends not the witty kitties) at church, I pleaded with them to come over for a couples Trivial Pursuit challenge versus me and The Voice of Reason.  It took about six months to make that happen, thanks to my perpetually busy schedule and chronically forgetful mind.  But we finally got together this past Sunday night.

Let me just say that I expected to win.  Unless I'm competing against my brother in something, I always expect to win.  It took me the better part of a decade to finally walk away with a Trivial Pursuit victory over my big brother, ditto the nightly Jeopardy match-ups we held in our living room.  But that's just the point, I grew up playing these games relentlessly.  We didn't have a lot of other things to waste our time on.  We had a TV with two channels, but unless sports, Jeopardy or The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, or Night Court was on, the TV was useless.  (And okay, I'm not gonna lie; I watched ALF.)

And we didn't have video games until pretty late in our childhood, and, to continue in a spirit of honesty, Duck Hunt and Mario Bros. were my brother's, not mine, so I technically never had video games.  And I think I'm the smarter for it.  I've been playing Jeopardy against my son this year and he knows next to nothing about Russian literature, world capitals, or potpourri, and I can only assume it's because he plays too much Madden on the Xbox.  (Though my husband thinks it's because Brainy is only nine.)

Back to Sunday night, when I lost Trivial Pursuit!  Well, actually my husband and I both lost.  But I feel my loss the most.  We were playing against a well-educated couple, so I knew it would be a tough fight.  And I'm not sure if we lost because we're intellectually inferior or because we make bad joint decisions (see also the comforter we had on our bed from 1999-2003).

More than once my husband and I would have the answer narrowed down to two choices, the right one and its doppelganger.  But every time, we went with the doppelganger and it was wrong.  The other couple beat us with six pies to our five.  Ultimately, I've decided that The Voice of Reason and I don't know enough about Fran Tarkenton or mixed drinks.

I do, however, know way too much about the cast of Cheers and can usually match an author to a book title with both hands tied behind my back.  But alas it wasn't enough.  Even though, and here is the victory within the loss, I got the science question right!  (I know, it surprised me too.)  I mean, that's the whole reason I married my husband, I needed someone to answer the science and technology related questions.  But on Sunday, the science question was, "Anthracite and lignite are forms of what fossil fuel?"

The first thing I said was, "I don't know what a fossil fuel is, honey, so you'll have to answer this one."  He was thinking silently and I piped up again, "This might sound stupid, but is coal a fossil fuel, because those two words make me think of coal."  Which makes me think of that great movie, October Sky, from when Jake Gyllenhaal was younger, he's one of my favorite actors, oh wait, doesn't he have a movie out right now, I need to see that.  My husband interrupted my derailed train of thought with, "Coal is a fossil fuel, and that actually sounds like a really good answer."  So, I looked at the other couple across the table and said, "Coal."

"That is correct."  Woo-hoo!!  Both of my fists shot up in the air victoriously.  Of course the game wasn't over, so that was silly.  Meanwhile, I'm gonna have to find another use for my husband now that I don't need him to answer the science questions for me.  I guess I can just let him continue to pay all of the bills and provide for our family.  That's better than nothing.


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