What is the size of the Connect Four board? What was the name of Norah Jones’ Grammy winning album? What is the most populated city that ends in the word “Falls”? What, huh? Who asks these kinds of questions?? Who DOES THIS??
The answer, my friends, is the folks who play Great Lakes Trivia at the Corner Brewery on Wednesday evenings. There is trivia at a lot of places around town, but this is the one that I go to, and therefore I am in a position to tell you all about it!
First though, a time to pontificate. I have this theory that the reason that trivia (especially bar trivia) has become so popular as of late is because we are swamped with the easy acquisition of knowledge. Let me tell you a story. Back in college (the early-to-mid 90s for me), my friend and I heard the song “Life In a Northern Town” on the radio. We became obsessed trying to remember the name of the band who sang it. We both worked at the campus radio station and so we asked around, but no one remembered. We even paid a visit to a Harmony House but couldn’t find the cassette or CD. Finally, about six months after the initial conversation, one of us heard it on the radio again or had an epiphany or something and remembered that it was, in fact, the Dream Academy who performed that most masterful song. Today, you would need only to type in “Life In a Northern Town” into any search engine and your question would be answered almost immediately. (Hell, you could probably just type in “Life In a Nor”…and it would fill it in for you). You would have your answer, but you would not have a story some 20 years later about the quest to learn the name of a one hit wonder band.
Bar trivia does not allow such easy answers; you have to work (i.e. think) about your response. And there is the fun! Sure, I could have Googled “Norah Jones Grammy” on my Android, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, my team and I talked about it and tried to recall songs from the album and even tried to sing one…but couldn’t come up with the answer. Later, when we had to write down the name of Brett Butler’s sitcom, I immediately remembered “Grace Under Fire” and jotted it down. And still later, when we had to come up with the answer of which sitcom said farewell to a character when he left the show to teach English in Africa, it was fun to watch my two teammates talk it out until they both came up with the answer at almost the same time.
You don’t have to be a genius or savant or trivia geek to have fun at this. Our team (the Corn Fritters, if you were wondering) loses plenty of times (although, ahem, we did come in second during both games this week) but we always have lots of fun. The awesomeness happens on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. in the lounge area of the bar. A friendly, cool DJ reads the questions, gives you 2 ½ minutes to answer the questions and then reads the answer! Meantime, you think and think and think and drink and drink and drink! (I just made that up; masterful!)
So come on out! Who knows, maybe in 2032 you will be writing for this blog and telling everyone about the time it took you six months to remember the name of the group that wrote a song about life in a northern town….