When Things Go Bad in Pub Trivia…Chalk It Up To Being A “Sacrifice To The Trivia Gods”

Editor’s note: Some of what you are about to read might get a little…dark and graphic. I’m going to advise readers whom are easily offended, impressionable or resembling snowflakes in any way, shape or form NOT to read this blog! Topics that will get touched upon include blood sacrifices, necromancy and other things pertaining to black majicks. None of this is intended to be taken seriously! But if you are easily disturbed and prefer to stay in your safe space – maybe watch some videos featuring super cute baby animals on YouTube, then by all means DO NOT CONTINUE READING THIS BLOG! 


That poor fawn has no idea what’s in store for it! A scene from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I’ve listened to my husband blather on about Dungeons & Dragons enough to know a thing or two about magic. I’ve also watched the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer in its entirety several times, and when I was a kid, I read lots of books by John Bellairs (who wrote some young adult fiction books about magic). That said, I do not profess to be an expert in magic or any “dark arts” in any way, shape or form!  The main thing I’ve learned about magic, is that if you take something from the universe, you eventually have to give something back. If you summon the dark forces in order to (for example) resurrect the dead, you have to repay that favor. It might involve slitting the throat of a fawn or a newborn rabbit and offering its blood as a sacrifice.  Ancient Incans used to regularly sacrifice young female virgins on mountain tops in the Andes. Lots, and lots of hallucinogenic substances and booze was involved to get these doomed girls to willingly go to their icy  fates. The ones whose bodies did not get too ravaged by animals or the elements might become mummified and they would one day be on display in a museum. To read more about this, click hereWait…don’t read this! It’s kind of intense stuff!

I like to apply the principles of magic to my own life, which brings me to pub trivia, which has been my hobby/obsession for the past few years now. It’s nice when things go well for my team, and we win lots of prizes to cover bar tabs, or even some of the bigger prizes in regional tournaments. I’d like to think of these good things as being things that eventually have to… get paid back. Win enough prize money in tournaments, and one day, you might find yourself not playing in that tournament (for whatever reason, the trivia “gods” can be tricksy – and fickle). If my team is on a hot streak, I know we have to also endure a bit of a slump! And vice versa. I’ll let this Zen dude from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle do the talking here!


Has your team won prize money in several consecutive tournaments? Yes? That’s great! But it might also be high time to…pay things back. Think of it as hitting the “reset” button, if you will. Suffer the indignity of a shitty game, or even a few shitty, prizeless games or even being shut out of a tournament entirely – knowing that eventually, you will fall into the trivia gods’ favor again. You don’t have to lead a coked-up/drunk 13-year-old Incan girl to a mountain top! Just endure some awful trivia games!  They don’t even have to be awful games in terms of scores. It could be some “other” type of awful game. You know the ones….those games that go on past three hours featuring hosts who LOVE the mic (or the booze) too much. Hearing a host have a tantrum on the mic and threaten to take points away from players. Hosts who can never, ever seem to tally scores correctly. Maybe it’s the other players in a bar who are obnoxious f—s. There’s more than one way to endure an awful trivia game. Maybe you have a drunken “clinger” at the bar who decides to boast about his breakfast making skills and tell you that his “sausage is the best.”  It all counts as “sacrifice” in the long run! For the record, when I had “that” guy sitting by me at the bar, I wound up winning first place – by myself – on a tiebreaker!

Also remember that when one door closes, another one opens. There was a new trivia team that began playing in 2016 at the YpsiAlehouse. Things were going well for them, they were winning lots of prizes, and even though they only began playing mid-season, they were proving themselves to be very, very good! Then the season’s semifinals rolled around, and they wound up getting shut out of a tournament spot. Enter me and my offer of having them play in my own team’s tournament spot because of being double booked the same day. See? A door for them closed – and immediately opened! You just never know what might happen.

I have a couple of trivia tournaments coming up the next couple of weekends and obviously I want them to go well! My team hasn’t won any cash prizes from this league in more than a year now, and we don’t always make it to finals. I’d like to think that is a worthy sacrifice to the “trivia gods,” but what the hell do I know? All I know is what when we DID win first place in July, 2017 it just didn’t feel right. I don’t feel that my team didn’t deserve to win, but I couldn’t help wondering at the back of my mind how that “favor” would have to be paid back! Well, it DID have to be paid back  in some rather painful ways, but I’d rather not get into any details about that here!

So how do you pay back the trivia gods after they’ve been really, really good to you? Well, not by doing anything “on purpose!” You can’t just purposely have a bad game in hopes of that being a worthy sacrifice! You really have to let it happen.  When it’s your time to “pay the piper,” you’ll know it  – just go with it. It will most likely happen in a way you least expect. The key is to get it over with and move on!

My advice for any players/teams who didn’t make the cut for the tournaments? Bide your time, take your lumps, suck it up.  See what other opportunities there might be (teams always need players, people always back out last second). Above all else, keep your sights firmly fixed on “next time!” Shake your fist at the clouds and yell if that makes you feel better! I know that makes me feel better sometimes.

Additional editor’s note: I did have a player from my own team bail out on playing in our semifinal game Saturday after I’d posted this blog! Go figure…I am currently seeking a player not only for that game, but for finals the following weekend, too! Sigh…my work is never done!

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