What did you do this weekend? Me? Oh, well, I tested my brain power along with a pretty blonde, my long-time friend and his wife.
I love trivia. My favorite game of all time is Trivial Pursuit, and I find a certain pleasure in knowing things that do me absolutely no good in life. Go figure. So, when the Van Alstyne Library announced its Battle of the Brains trivia challenge I knew a good thing when I saw it, or read it in this case. I quickly plunked down the $20 for registration (which goes to Friends of the Library) told head librarian Tracy Luscombe that she could go ahead and hand over first place to my team (it was all bravado; I was hoping not to embarrass myself) and looked forward to two Saturdays down the line.
I’ve never been in any sort of trivia contest. I don’t frequent bars, clubs or pubs so I’ve not been in an environment that offers those things. That’s why this appealed to me so much, maybe. The other part was getting to spend time with my lovely wife (the pretty blonde) and my best friend and his wife. The latter two people I rarely get to see anymore as I built a new house, he built a new house, I work constantly, he works constantly…well, you get the picture. What life tore asunder let the Van Alstyne Public Library bring together they say. They do say that, right?
The challenge was well run and very organized. Each team had a table set up for them and there were three rounds of questions. One person wrote down the answers to the questions as called out by Luscombe, and answer sheets were collected and tabulated after each round.
We faced some stiff competition. The Witcher family at the table next to us was on the ball, as was the Teen Council team from Van Alstyne and the team at the end of the row, the Band Geeks. The questions weren’t exactly what I was expecting, if I was truly expecting anything. There were questions about Harry Potter, Patricia Cornwell novels, the periodic table of elements, Grayson County, music and more.
Here’s a small sampling of some of the questions with the answers at the end of the column:
— Who is the Van Alstyne Police Chief?
— What was the name of the President in The Hunger Games?
— What year was Van Alstyne incorporated?
— What is the periodic symbol for Krypton, the element named as Superman’s weakness?
— Who is considered the founder of the Girl Scouts of America?
How would you have fared with those? Well, as for the Newsies (yes, that was my idea for a team name) we trailed Teen Council and were tied with the Witchers after the first round. The remaining two rounds, however, belonged to us. It was a group effort — we all had a little something to contribute and some fairly educated guesses thrown in for good measure. How did we fare? Well, the trivia gods were looking down on us because we won! And thanks to that win we’ll be having lunch at the Durning House courtesy of the good folks there. Two other teams – Team Teen and the Witcher family – got their choice of Italian gelato at the Flying Dutchman and movie tickets from Cinemark.
All in all, it was great fun. I hope Tracy and the Friends of the Library decide to host this next year as the Newsies have a title to defend.
— Tim Barnes
— President Snow
— Juliette Low a.k.a. Daisy Low