These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

dark horse

some of the night crew and myself gathered at birdman's house last night for a round of...Trivial Pursuit. yep, we duked it out intellectually for hours after work. it was the first time we'd all got together since sometime in early spring at dan's house. so we had the original gang of mark, dan, krista, alan and jason back.

we threw a die to see who would go first. i was fifth to go. so it was slow going. i sipped a lot of coke while i waited my turn. such slow going as dan and mark sped off
ahead of the pack, answering left and right. (both should apply for mensa membership in the coming year.).

so it was finally my turn to answer a question. nothing. up and out. and it was similar for the next three or four turns. nothing. i'd get a real difficult question. suddenly it felt as if i was sitting among geniuses and i started trailing -- even though both jason and krista also had no pie wedges, too.

then, i made my move. i pulled off the the side and started speeding up, leaving the some of the pack behind and catching up to those two mentally stimulated mark and dan. that's when alan said, " here comes the dark horse."

then the game leveled off, i went up to about three pieces, tying mark and dan. alan got a few. krista got one. maybe jason had one. there was a lull in the action. so we joked about various things, including questions, how certain questions were asked, mark's affinity and likeness to andy in "40 year old virgin" (a nonstop source of fun) and of course that excellent movie out in theaters "brokeback mountain."

i sipped my coke. the taquito pile in front of me started diminishing until there were a few left, then none. the chips dish disappeared, as did the spicy nacho dip. mark had to finally bring out his nuts (a can that is) and started chomping o them.

and the game raged on and on. it was a battle of wills, screw-ups and questions like "which emmy winning sit-com star came outageout as spokesman for irritable bowel syndrome in 2000?" which mark answered incorrectly. correct answer: kelsey grammar.

krista dazzled the group by answering a question correctly about a man sword-swallowing eight swords for a world's record. that brought on some laughter when dan started imitating sean connery in a SNL spoof on jeoprdy!. alan's vast knowledge of sports kept in going when we were stumped.

then i made my move.

i got a string of questions correct and suddenly i was up to five pie wedges, astounding the group with my knowledge of world events, people, history, entertainment. all sat mouth agape as i swept the board. (alan even claimed i had x-ray vision, since i looked at the question while the card lay flat on the table and then answered the question correctly.).

then it happened. i needed my last pie wedge. sports. it came up twice for a chance. if only my vast vault of knowledge inside my liquid-filled cranium would also include volumes of reams of sports information. alas, it does not.

which founding father's statue is in the national swimming museum? i chose jefferson. my second chose (the correct answer) was franklin. lost it.

second question: what suit is the one-eyed king? one in four chance. i thought it over. i answered spades. correct answer: diamonds.

so i never got my final wedge. mark (after eating a lot of nuts) suddenly gained super human mental strength and quickly grabbed the sixth piece. upon finally reaching the center, he got the final question correctly. i don't even know the question. at that point, nearing 3:30, i was mush.

we left it open for another go at it some other time. i think we will. now, instead of going to dan's (who now lives in grandville), we go to casa de birdman for the fun.


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