Long story short, it’s 50 straight hours trivia. Our team is Enjoy the Man Explosion! This was our 9th year.
This year’s theme was “33 1/3: Trivia Long Play” and had to do with vinyl records, album covers, etc. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of questions about albums, but a theme doesn’t mean EVERY question is about them. ETME! took the theme to the next level, and put a hipster spin on it.
Compared to last year’s TW, this year ran pretty smooth. Last year we had the internet go down, and had to haul ass to Kell’s parents’ place only to have the radio signal not work. This year, at our fearless leaders’ beautiful new pad, we had smooth streaming radio via the internet. Although I can’t prove it, I believe this house was specifically purchased with TW in mind. From the Escher-like levels to the perfect sleeping quarters, it was a Trivia Weekender’s dream HQ.
It wasn’t completely drama-free. It never is with me there. Twenty minutes before the kick-off, my freshly-purchased, hours-old laptop was booted off the network. It’s okay. I handled it with poise and grace.
Or booze and whining. You decide.
Kell made this image 'in my honor.' I guess you could call it 'Exhibit A.'
I got by with a USB wireless adapter for the weekend. [Thanks is due to the collective team of tech gurus that set aside Trivia time just to work on my laptop.]
The standards were all there: cheeseballs, meatballs, other foods in ball form. It was a hell of a conflict of interest with my new diet, but I think I found a happy medium. I bought natural and “healthy” snacks in place of my usual Doritos and Monster.
During TW, there’s a fine line between tradition and habit. Kell and I always find ourselves running last-minute errands together. Or maybe it’s an excuse to buy our good luck action figures. This year, we returned to Star Wars figures. Last year, I made us get Transformers. If you can believe that.
I’d call that a tradition.
All in all, we had a great turnout. Returning team favorites like Black Sarah and Thud (not pregnant this year), my main man DJ Dunkel on the phone lines getting us those precious points, and Drew, who’s always the wild card. Even my longtime buddy Jon stayed a good chunk of time–and he hadn’t attended in years!
AND I LOVE TECHNOLOGY! My old roomie Geoffrey was able to play along with us live via a Google+ Hangout! What a treat! I hadn’t talked to him in years and years (he’s pretty off the grid) but that’s the power of Trivia: reuniting friendships.
My girlfriend, Kate, joined the pack too. Watching a first-timer is always fascinating. She was nervous, at first, not sure if she would even attend.
(To be fair, I talk a lot of big game about TW. I’m like one of those college professors that try to scare half the class into dropping out the first day.)
But, as a courtesy to me, she showed. And she was hooked. A few hours in, she grabbed my arm and whispered “We are doing this again next year.”
Say what you will about Trivia Weekend–that it’s nerdy, insane, and a little freaky–but the first time you get an answer for the team, you’ve caught the bug. Trust me. It’s addicting.
A few years ago, I had a couple of friends show up for TW thinking they were going to be the too-cool-for-school types and not answer any questions. In fact, Justin’s plan was too hit on Meagan all weekend. Then Meagan landed a tough Visual Trivia answer for us. Her eyes never left a computer screen the rest of the competition. And Justin, I don’t know, played with a paddleball the rest of the weekend.
But back to the present: Kate did great. She got so many answers right I almost had to kick her out. (After all, First-timers can’t bebetter than me. Obviously.)
Between all the questions about recipes for lemonade in the Taz-Mania cartoon and what album was underneath the speakers in that scene of High Fidelity, were the things that Trivia Weekend is really about.
It’s not about what place you get–at least not for us. We came in 38th and loved it. We thought we’d get 40th! Small victory! Sure there’s the giant teams that duke it out for the top 3 slots, but ETME! is honestly just happy to compete. I never really understood the meaning of that little cliche until TW.
Best weekend of the year. Hands down.
These Trivia Weekend updates aren’t easy to do. The unconventional setting and the surreal passage of time are things that can only be described as dreamlike. And I can’t tell you which facet makes it the best. (Personally, I enjoy getting roped into lame, low-budget sci-fi shows and movies. I’m in between episodes of Birds of Prey right now!) But I do know this: you have to experience it. There’s something about the clash of retro and future technologies, the one-time-only social acceptance of two-fisting beers and energy drinks at 5 AM, and only having 10 mins of free time every hour for 2 straight days that makes Trivia Weekend what it is. There’s nothing like it.
Watch out, TW. Enjoy the Man Explosion! is coming back next year with a decade under our belts. Bring it.