Okay, this post is about trivia. However, unlike most of my posts on that topic, there is no controversy contained herein. Sorry. However, this is also an open and public invitation to any of my friends to join the table on Monday nights. There’s always room for more.
Anyway, one of the major discoveries you make playing bar trivia is the difference between having actual knowledge about events, geography, history, literature and such and what’s going to turn up getting asked in a bar. I’ve lost count of the times when we’ve lost points because we’ve agonized over coming up with the most logical answer to a question, only to find the answer was much, much simpler.
While there are hard questions on occasion, it’s rarely going to get down to a question asking you to explain what Adam Smith was trying to say in “The Wealth of Nations” and why it’s still screwing up our economy. You know, “the role of self-interest, the division of labor, the function of markets, and the international implications of a laissez-faire economy,” that stuff. That big ol’ invisible hand that guides how self-interest and use of resources collide. Actually, a question about the hand part could come up in a trivia tournament. The questions get a little harder at that level.
A slight digression. Interesting that something written 1776 could still have such an impact on our daily lives. Oh yeah, you say, what about that Declaration of Independence? I’ll grant you that. Let me rephrase. Interesting that something that most people don’t know the first thing about written in 1776 could have such an impact.
Anyway, you don’t have to be the smartest guy (or girl) in the room to do well at trivia. A lot of TV watching can usually suffice. Most of life’s simple information gets covered on TV. I think we got a mythology answer last week, not because of an academic study of mythology, but because the information was used to create characters on a cartoon.
If the questions are too hard, no body comes to play, and where’s the fun in that. I have heard people beat themselves up over not being able to come up with too many answers during a trivia game. It’s certain not an indication of general intelligence. Different minds work in different ways. For some folks, the retention of arcana holds no importance to everyday life, so they don’t do it.
Still, it’s not like having basically useless information in your noggin is going to crowd out more important stuff. If I can eat for free because I used to sit transfixed in front of the TV to the point where I happen to remember the name of the submarine in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was named “Seaview,” that’s a good thing. I’m helping to bring business into bar, generating sales among the teams there to play, plus, I’m able to save my own money and pay down debts and put a little in the bank. Why, I think Mr. Smith would see that as me taking quite the macroeconomic view.