For those of you not particularly in the know when it comes to my family dynamics, I have two cousins with whom I have shared a lot of time and adventures over the past 29ish years. We’re all roughly the same age (born within 5 months of each other) and are very similar in many ways, not the least of which is the fact that we all have very powerful memories for things that are not in any way important. Trish tends to remember song lyrics and facts about random movies, Kate knows everything ever about obscure historical facts and all things equine, and my brain is just generally speaking a repository for the sort of random tidbits that cause people to say “HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?!” in a way that makes it clear they’re a little envious (obviously) and also more than a little weirded out and also a little sad for me that I don’t have better things to do with my life.
Given this particular trait the three of us have in common, it would be easy to assume that we would be an unstoppable force in trivia-related games. We discovered last year sometime that this is simply not true. There is a tiny, adorable British-style pub just outside of Ottawa (where Kate lives) owned by a man who hosts his own trivia contests on Sunday afternoons, wherein he makes up trivia questions and awards the winning team with random crap from the bar. The first time Trish and I went to visit Kate in Ottawa, we pretty much planned the whole weekend around attending this trivia game, rolled up to the bar all cocky, and promptly had our butts handed to us by all the other teams. When it comes to academic competitions of any kind, I turn into a joyless pain in the ass, so being so thoroughly trounced at trivia of all things was … unexpected. And also devastating.
In February, Trish and I once again made our way to Ottawa to visit Kate. The three of us were determined to redeem ourselves at the trivia, and on the drive out to the booming metropolis of Carp, Ontario, we figured maybe we should study a bit. Figuring some of the categories might have to do with the Olympics or with Valentine’s Day, I pulled out my phone, googled a bit, and we spent a few brief moments reading facts aloud to each other, never once seriously thinking this was going to do us any good. Upon arriving at the pub, we were pleased to discover that Valentine’s Day and the Olympics were indeed two of the categories, paired with a category on romantic comedies, the usual Name That Tune, and a couple of other fairly random topics, all of which were more or less up one or more of our alleys. We were even more pleased to discover that the bar owner had taken the questions for the first two categories from the exact same sites we’d briefly reviewed on the way to the bar. Even MORE pleasing was the realization that collectively we somehow remembered 100% of the content from those websites, and the annoyed look on the barman’s face as we repeatedly cackled to ourselves as we noted our (correct) answers on the sheet.
It was, I’m pleased to announce, a rather resounding victory for our team. We won some roasted nuts. It was a very good day.