I’ve often thought if I hadn’t filled my brain with useless facts and song lyrics, I’d probably made a pretty decent brain surgeon.
As it is, my greatest contribution to the greater good is a head full of trivial knowledge.
Seriously, some are faster than a speeding bullet, some are millionaire playboys who solve crimes and some talk to fish, but my superpower is the factoid.
I started honing that skill as a kid with the original Trivial Pursuit game. None of those newfangled editions — they made it too easy — only the original, wrong answers and all.
I poured over the Guinness Book of World Records, the Baseball Encyclopedia and that set of Funk & Wagnalls my mom diligently picked up week by week at the Acme. These were the dark times, kids, before the Wikipedias and the Internet. You had to crack the spine on a book, releasing that delicious “published” smell, just to gain a little knowledge.
Working for newspapers only helped to build that repertoire. Briefly becoming an expert on myriad topics, reading constantly, you can’t help but to have pick up a million bits of information over a nearly 30-year career. Hours whiled away playing electronic trivia in bars helped a little, too.
I can rattle off answers left and right on Jeopardy! like Holzhauer. In fact, I’ve taken the test multiple times. I’m a Jeopardy! fiend (Now, I have a friend who would interject here that she has beaten me in the Jeopardy! video game on multiple occasions, but full disclosure: she cheats.)
I’m convinced the reason they won’t have me on the show is they don’t want me to embarrass Alex Trebek. It can’t be that I haven’t performed well enough on the test, because, when it comes to trivia, I’ve got the skillz. With a “Z.” When the “Trivia Crack” app became popular, many wouldn’t play me because I was just that darn good. How’s that for G.O.A.T.?
Hopefully, you realize all this boasting is tongue in cheek, but I do like the trivia. Yet, ironically, I never got around to doing a trivia night until last week. Newspaper hours aren’t always conducive to evening entertainment. Newly freed on Monday nights — trivia night — my significant and I joined up with a friend’s team at a local pub.
If you have never done a trivia night, it’s pretty simple. A DJ reads questions, you/your team writes down answers. Things get progressively harder each round and highest score wins in the end.
I found I brought several pluses to the table. A good 15 years older than most of the team, my pointless knowledge of the 70s and 80s were a huge benefit. Cagney and Lacey? Nailed it. My being a car guy also worked in my favor. Chevy Cobalt? Nailed it.
As a former sportswriter, everyone was excited to know they had someone on the team who knew “sportsball.” Fittingly, I blew all the sports questions that evening.
But, by far, the biggest asset I brought to the table was my significant. Doesn’t it figure? Here you are, trying to show off your mad trivia skillz, and again I say, with a “Z,” and who is getting all the answers?
Which in the end only proves I may be smarter I give myself credit for. I came with the smartest girl in the room.