Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Embracing Your Inner Nerd

If you know me pretty well, you know that I love me some trivia. And to appease that love, I created a group on for other trivia lovers. Our first Trivia Night came and I walked away with one of those "only Melissa" stories that will live my blog.

I was unsure how my first meetup event was going to go since 1) I had never hosted one and 2) I was attending my very first Pub Quiz nights. After failing to get some friends to join me for moral support, I faced it alone. I get there and introduced myself to the Quizmaster. He tells me that he had heard my group was coming and that as far as he knew, they hadn't shown because most people were regulars. Now, do you remember that feeling of being the new kid in school (or work) and for as much as you tried to be friendly the others well, weren't? Thats how it was for me for the first 30 minutes of being there. I walked over to people's tables to ask if the seat was taken and they would grab it and say "TAKEN!" or "Expecting someone!" I seriously have never seen people so wound up over trivia, and let me also say that it was just the beginning of that.

I walk to an open area of the bar and the Quizmaster graciously gets another table to be set up for me and my group, if anyone would show up. As the table is getting set up, this guy taps me on the arm and asks if I'm Melissa - I say yes and its my first group member Jack! I'm so happy to see someone show up! And all of a sudden, the Quizmaster and Jack are chatting it up like old college buddies. I soo love trying to figure out conversations that I'm not a part of. Jack is talking about meeting Brad and the Quizmaster is saying that he might be there and so might someone else. And Jack is talking about how he hadn't seen him since Millionaire....wait - what? Millionaire? Now I was putting the pieces together....apparently Jack had tried out for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and some people from the quiz show rounds show up to this pub quiz. Then the Quizmaster looks at me and says "Do you know who this guy is?" And I say, "Well no actually, we are just meeting tonight but I'm assuming its Jack, right?" And the Quizmaster says, "Not just any Jack - but Jack!" Yeah, apparently, Jack is a 5 time Jeopardy Champion. WOOHOO!!! So we grab our table and all of a sudden Jack is talking it up with some guy. He introduces me to Bob. Bob makes a little joke asking if Jack and I are on a date. Then I ask Bob how he knows Jack. Apprently, Bob met Jack at the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. Then Bob asks me if he can join my trivia team. Pull up a fucking chair Bob! I gots me 2 Jeopardy champions! By this time, 3 of my other meetup members have shown up and the games have begun!

Some of the questions that were asked, I kind of knew but most of this time a question was posed and I sat there sort of going "Ummm, uhhhhh - yes, I agree with that." But then, my moment finally came when the question was asked:

Quizmaster: "What primetime soap opera is narrated by Sean Astin and features characters named Flower, Zaphod, Hannibal, and Daisy?"
Me (jumping up and down in my seat) "MEERKAT MANOR! MEERKAT MANOR!"

I was proud of myself for that one. Sure, those Jeopardy champions could name the exact calendar year that the United States didn't have a Vice President in office but they didn't know Meerkat Manor. I needed my moment of glory, albeit a small one.

We ended up in a three way tie for 1st place and had to go through 3 tie breaker questions before coming in 2nd place. We wouldn't have been able to win anyways because we had 9 people on our team and the maximum allowed is 6, a fact that someone on another team kept reminding us of constantly.

We have our next meetup for trivia night in Pasadena next week and I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be happy to learn new things and get to know my new gang of fellow trivia lovers. In addition, I am a competitive person, I have no shame in admitting this. I have been mocked for it many many times. Its good to take the brain out and exercise it every now and then and see what your limits are. However, this night proved that 1) I need to commit even more useles knowledge to memory and 2) I will NEVER be good enough to be on Jeopardy. That dream has died, I will now concentrate on getting on Wheel of Fortune.

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