I love playing trivia games. When I was young I remember Mom and Dad playing Trivial Pursuit at the church every once in a while. My Dad seemed particularly keen on the game. At the time it seemed like a weird game with a wagon wheel shaped board to me. I was more interested in games with colorful creative boards like Chutes and Ladders.
Later in life Trivial Pursuit would become my favorite board game. A high school history teacher helped fan the flames of my love for trivia. She was a difficult teacher with not too many fans among the students. She gave tons of notes but if you finished early there was a reward. With any time left in class we were allowed to play trivial pursuit. If we took notes at warp speed sometimes we were even allowed full class periods to play. That was worth all the note taking in the world to me. The same teacher was the sponsor for the high school cheerleaders. She and the cheerleaders rode the bus to every basketball game with the team. They were required to sit in the front to make sure there was no funny business. Our senior year a friend of mine and myself sat up front with them and played tension filled games of Trivial Pursuit on the way to every ballgame. We always won (the trivia not the ballgames). For that matter I almost never lost at this game to anyone. I guess that is why I like it so much. It is easy to like something when you are good at it.
I also love Jeopardy. I still watch it a few times a week via the magic of the DVR. Remember I love the DVR. When I was a kid my Dad, my brother, and I played Jeopardy on the original Nintendo. It was a fun game but you had to spell out all the answers. This led to a little problem for my Dad. While he is a math and history whiz among other things, he had trouble spelling some of the answers. Of course my brother and I would never help him. Looking back that was terrible of us and I am sorry we did that. At this age Dad was still able to beat us at trivia, but somewhere along the way he passed the crown on to his kids. It's not easy to pinpoint when it happens, but one day you realize that you are consistently beating your Dad or Mom or other formerly superior trivia buff.
As I watch Jeopardy in the evenings with Braden on my lap I find myself wondering when it will happen to me. Children have a way of making you face scary things such as growing old and your own mortality. I am not currently having any grown up issues like that. I am more concerned about the impending death of my trivia reign. Braden will no doubt be a smart little fellow. He will play these games with me much as I did with my Dad. He will think that his Dad is so smart and be in awe of my skills. Then one day it will be different. He will pass me by like a thief in the night. Memory like athletic skill always fades with age. I am now finding that sometimes it's difficult to think of the answers fast enough on Jeopardy. It is very frustrating when you know the answer but your brain is holding you hostage for a few extra seconds. Athletic prowess has largely left me behind already, so I am particularly fond of my remaining abilities. That is why I am not crazy about relinquishing my trivia crown. In the end I will certainly take joy in all Braden's accomplishments even if they come at my expense. Furthermore, I hope I am a good enough father to raise Braden in a such a way that he overtakes me in a lot of areas much more important that trivia.