Navigating the competitive world of pub trivia is not that much different from the adventures of Frodo and the “Fellowship” in “The Lord of the Rings.” First of all, there’s a quest involved – and that quest is to make it to a regional trivia tournament at the very end of your adventures. And there are lots of fights and pitfalls along the way – instead of orcs, goblins, trolls and dragons, you have other trivia teams (and possibly Internet trolls) – who are also may be trying to do the same thing you are! You are likely to have some real trials and tribulations along the way, as you answer questions about reality TV, sports awards, country borders, Beatles songs, presidents and any other topic that might be hurled your way in a trivia game not unlike a cone of coldness or magic missile being cast against you by an evil wizard! Or in this case, a very hot male elf…or is this a woman? Who can tell! Is that a purse? Hmm….
And even other adventurers you meet on the way to the trivia tournament may not necessarily have the loftiest goals in mind. They may try to undermine you in your quest and wind up besting you in a deciding trivia battle, which means no trivia tournament for you! While you are on your adventure to trivia finals – or to get rid of that pesky magic ring – you may find yourself on a different path than the one meticulously laid out for you on that AAA Triptik Elrond gave you in Rivendell. If you have a GPS guiding you, the GPS lady may start to groan and say “recalibrating…” as you change course in your adventure. I really, really wish I could go into a studio and record my own voice for GPS units, but that’s another blog topic altogether!
If you don’t have your very own wizard to guide you through your trivial quest, sometimes you just have to be mindful of your surroundings. Get to know the other trivia adventurers, try to figure out what their next moves will be – and hedge your bets, if necessary. They may be nice enough to tell you how they plan to execute their adventures, but more than likely they may not be that nice. If what you thought was a orc-free path to Mordor (or your path to trivia finals) is actually being inhabited by a giant spider lying in wait? Well, it might be best to find a different path. Shelob the spider isn’t going to be polite enough to tell you she’s on the path you plan to take. And the trolls Bert, Tom and William aren’t going to be polite enough to tell you that either. So the next best thing is to keep your head on a swivel, as Ron Burgundy would say. And keep your friends close…and your enemies closer! Now who said THAT? Oh yeah, THAT guy!