Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I love Trivia

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.


WeaselMomma said...

TADA! I'm in!
Someday you will become terrified of words that were never scary before, ie puberty, homecoming, drivers license. And if you are ever blessed with a daughter they become 10x more horrifying! Good luck!

Daddy Files said...

Dude, you and I need to hang out.

I'm a trivia fanatic and I'm not allowed to watch Jeopardy at home because I shout out the answer (well really, the question) before my wife finishes reading.

And call me a terrible father if you must, but I've already taken my son to pub trivia night with co-workers a few times now. There's no smoking at the bar, we're not drinking and it's not past his bedtime so why not. I want to instill a love of trivia and knowing as much random crap as possible.

My brother and I have only taken the crown from my dad in the last few years, but I'm going to hold off passing the torch to Will for as long as possible. But inevitably it'll happen.

Great post!

New-Dad-blog said...

I think you, me and Dad Flies need to hang out. I am a Jeopardy junky (thank you DVR) and love Trival Pursuit. My inlaws won't play it with me anymore after 2 sessions of utter destruction!

I was raised in a family that played those games too. When I was 15 my girl friend's home was so impressed by my Jeoprdy knowledge she took me to the local bar to tell her the trivia answers so her team would win. I was fed all the bar food I could hold for my trouble!

My wife is decent at jeopardy compared to me, which means she's probably pretty good : ) But I know what you mean; sometimes I'm having a bad day and have like 10 answers on the tip of my tongue and then the contestant gets them. . .I think all that beer and other party favors in high school / college are finally catching up to me!

Bee said...

I have never been good at trivia. I know useless info but never anything that would be a question on Jeopardy.

My game of chose is connect 4 or tic tac toe. ;o)