Pub trivial pursuits |

Pub trivial pursuits

April Clark
Staff Photo |

Much of my knowledge regarding pop culture may seem trivial.

Every now and again, knowing the meaning of Renaissance or the name of Taylor Swift’s newest album can come in handy. The answer to the latter is “1989” — the year T-Swizzle was born — in case that question ever comes up in conversation or at trivia night.

Sometimes it pays to know random information.

This week, date night turned trivial as a watering hole in my neighborhood hosted trivia night. The bar was packed as teams competed for gift certificates and the glory of being the week’s trivia champions.

Queen’s “We Will Rock You” was a B-side to “We Are the Champions,” in case that trivia question is ever posed.

Trivia has been around for as long as I can remember, reaching popular heights during my childhood with the board game Trivial Pursuit and the TV game show “Jeopardy.” In the ’80s, Alex Trebek became the face of trivia and changed the way we all provide answers — with questions. Here’s a good one: The Guinness World Record for the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter and same program.

Who is Alex Trebek?

Wikipedia says trivia started to gain popularity in the U.S. nearly 50 years ago when a couple of college kids wrote a column in the Columbia Daily Spectator on a parlor game that has today reached monumental heights. They launched the country’s first organized trivia contests, which are now played in living rooms, bar rooms, roadhouses, road trips and anywhere else people can share their random knowledge with others.

That Queen “We Are the Champions” factoid is an example.

Last year, I wrote about the Geeks Who Drink craze of bar trivia that filled the Grind hamburger restaurant with game enthusiasts each week in downtown Glenwood Springs, expanding to Grove’s Black Dog Saloon in New Castle. Grind’s Geeks Who Drink team names, including Trout Farm, 1.21 Gigawatts, Awfully Awesome, Danger Zone!, Throat Punch, and Whatcha Talkin’ Bout Willis, were a big part of the fun and revelry. When I live in Carbondale, I often participated in Beer Works’ monthly trivia nights hosted to support flood relief and renewable energy education and valley nonprofits including KDNK Community Radio and AspenOUT.

Having fun for a good cause is always something I can get behind.

This week, I played trivia in my hometown with my boyfriend and another couple who we happened to run into, calling our team Comin’ In Hot. We started hot, answering the first six or so questions correctly. For some reason, I remembered that actor Matt Damon first informed the world that he and “Good Will Hunting” co-star Minnie Driver were breaking up on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” I had that one buried in my subconscious.

Trivia has a way of helping random data surface.

We all remembered that Texas Instruments made the talking educational toy Speak and Spell in the ’80s. We lucked out on the guess of which Ohio city is known for its manufacturing and sword production.

The answer, in true Jeopardy form, is “What is Toledo?”

I confused the meaning of Renaissance, which translates as “re-birth,” for “arts” and took complete responsibility for the silly blunder. I took art history in college, so I would think that little nugget of information would have successfully resurfaced.

I’ll never live that one down with the Comin’ In Hot team.

We struggled a bit with the question, “Who was the character, not the actor, who coined the phrase, ‘Show me the money!’ in the blockbuster film ‘Jerry Maguire’ in 1996?” We all knew the actor was Cuba Gooding, Jr. — he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role.

The answer was Rod Tidwell, for those interested.

Although we lived up to our team name and came in hot by answering many of the first questions correctly, our momentum was slowed toward the end, and we came in somewhere around fourth or sixth place. The experience inspired us to return to the scene of the trivia and try it again soon. Maybe even next week.

This will give me time for brain-strength training.

April E. Clark dreams of one day appearing on “Jeopardy.” She really just wants to meet Alex Trebek. She can be reached at

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