Friday the 13th

Walking back into Trivia at the Glass Nickel last night was a little like the penultimate scene in Full Metal Jacket. Imagine sneaking in after a week away. A once glorious building now dark except for the fires burning throughout, which somethow offer so little light. Smoke clouds one’s vision. That might be smell of death in the air. You feel a cold sweat. Jake the bartender is posted up, sniping with a different kind of shot.  

I don’t know if trivia can live any longer survive in a place like this. I don’t know if humanity can. My thoughts drift to fever dreams of Werner Herzog and his documentary about the St. Louis-rapper Nelly. Was it too called Country Grammar? But I am brought back to now when I hear chanting in the distance.

I know this sound. It’s familiar even if I cannot place it yet. Three sharp syllables. The rhythmic, “Ta ta da. Ta ta da.” over and over until the synesthesia of my ears focusing reduces the clink of ice in glasses and the sizzle of newly melted cheese on the pizzas and all I care to hear is the sound of hope.


Of course there were other teams that returned last night. And of course TV Dogs, finished in fourth place with 58 points. Clearly, fourth place is where they are most comfortable. But the key takeaway here is Trivia lives on. Trivia survives. I’m pretty sure that’s what Full Metal Jacket was about.

Now, let’s discuss the corpse of Wisconspoon’s Bardest Trivia, I wasn’t even having drinks last night and I still couldn’t say that team’s name. Whatever, they finished dead last with 31 points. Where they belong. Good Enough proved they we good enough to not get last place by putting up 51 points. Neal of Fortune, still shook from their hosting responsibilities, could only scrape together 53 points. Clever Girl topped them with 55.  

Third place went to Guess Harder, a team that seems to think 63 points and third place earns you the right to request another Fugazi or Foghat round. C’mon, Guess Harder, that was too easy–all the Foghat lyrics were rhyming couplets and all the Fugazi lyrics were emotionally intense and isolating free verse not so much set on a soundbed as huddled on a cot at a sonic squat infested with irregular start-stop song structures, heavy riffs and elements of funk and reggae told with a hardcore punk backstory.

Second place went to Kirstie’s Rejects, who proved they can score 71 points without drink tickets. Then there was Hannah and Laura Dern and the Smash Cut Segues who nabbed first place with 82 points and reminded all of us that Happy trivias are all alike; every unhappy trivia is unhappy in its own way and usually includes Hannah.

Finally, I should mention that we’ll start all of this again next Monday night at Company Brewing. See you there.   


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