Trivia as Literature

If American literature in the latter half of the last century has taught us one thing, it’s that we all have a role to fill. Regardless of our actions or our team names, our true selves will be revealed and by the end of the story will be right back to where we began. Sometimes in an even worse place. Everything is preordained and it is only through dramatic action that things change.

Take the kickoff the summer league at Glass Nickel Pizza last night for example. The Leftovers showed up for the first time in like a decade. This team is like Ursula LeGuin, their game is equal parts out there and on point. Most people in the room are getting lost on the minutiae of their incorrect answers and hopelessness, but step back and realize they are the glimmer of hope in an otherwise horrifying world of trivia. As proof, I learned last night that LeftoverXY is purchasing a house, like it even matters in today’s world. They ended the night with 33 points.

Clever Girl and Good Enough both put 62 points on the scoreboard. This must make these teams Jeffrey Eugenides, or Jonathan Franzen, or Dave Eggers or Jonathan Safran Foer or any other white dude who had a couple pieces in The New Yorker but a bunch of pieces in McSweeney’s, because that’s where real lit is happening.

Charles Entertainment Cheese put up a strong 69 and since I really have no shared history with this squad I’m going to consider them the Haruki Murakami of trivia. They were sizable team, I felt better having them there, but much like Kafka on the Shore, or 1Q84 I’m not 100% sure I know what really happened. Feel free to mention in the comments how it’s about Shintoism. But hear me out, I have a very hard time relating to Catholics, who I grew up amongst, so when someone comes at me with Kami and turning over a stone and heavy use of a chrysalis, I’m going to love the journey, but it’s going to take me a couple rounds to get down. They also seemed like the kind of people who would want to talk way too much about The Beatles.

Sixty-six points were put up by The Spoony Bards, trivia’s version of Hubert Selby, Jr’s Last Exit to Brooklyn. Stylistically they are great, their criticism is poignant, they exude a grit and bleakness I like, but honestly no team makes that walk to the back of the room as long. I don’t know how they live in such desolation.

Dern and their 71 points are basically an AP Stylebook.

Son of Sam’s Club is Steven King given they will always entertain, never be the most critically accepted and you know each time they will try to elevate the uncomfortableness. Also, no one that team remembers writing their early works because of wild drug use.

Finally we have Neal of Fortune – a team that has stacked championship tee on championship tee on championship tee. They’re like the John Updike of trivia–hyper-educated and pretty likely to wear corduroy blazers within a decade. I imagine they have have dinner parties where it is revealed that someone on the team reads Buzzfeed articles and then they get ostracized and eventually everyone takes Ubers home except one person who takes a Lyft and that means something. Also there is paragraph that captures the raw insubordination of a dock on the lake at sunset.

Anyway, Neal of Fortune won last night with 83 points. Enjoy the weekend. We’ll start it all over again Monday night at Company Brewing.



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  1. pfausto

    What is the (metal?) song you play most weeks with a music box in the intro? My Google-fu is weak.

    1. greg

      If you’re talking about the Madison show, I suspect you’re looking for Sacrilegium II into Blood in the River from the Zeal & Ardor album Devil is Fine

      1. pfausto

        Hmm, listening to that album I think Children’s Summon is the song I’m remembering. Thanks! Great music picks.

        1. greg


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