Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bonding over trivial matters

I think it's important for a family to have a 'thing' that they do together. Whether it be supporting an AFL team, world-class backyard cricket competitions, patrolling with the Surf Lifesavers, or running the Little Athletics club.

In my family, it's Trivia. That's right, an entire family of know-alls. Admittedly, Mum prefers Scrabble and is a demon in that area, but the rest of us love nothing more than a beer and 100 questions. Interestingly, we don't play Trivial Pursuit at home. We only play when we're on the same team. Possibly because the only area in which any of us can beat Dad is the 'Pink' questions - he tends to struggle with any musical questions beyond the folk tunes of the 1960s.

We used to all play in a cool pub in the Big Smoke, rolling up every Thursday night to be part of an ever-changing array of people known as The Crazy Dates. Dad travelled up by train on his Seniors Card for the night. We were always happy to see him - we had endless experts in Pink and Orange questions at hand, but he's the only one with any breadth of Geography/History/Serious stuff knowledge.

These days, we are spread more thinly on the ground, so our appearances are more sporadic. The school that Sister C's kids go to will never be the same after The Crazy Dates staged a reunion at the annual trivia night. There was much muttering among the Dates, however, about the rule that other teams could buy answers. Admittedly, it was a fundraiser, but still... hardly in the spirit of the game. Competitive? Us? Much?

Tonight, Sister C, Dad and I joined his regular team - this week named the Pies Reheated - at the local club for a whirl. He is known to his team as Brains Trust. They had high hopes for us, being offspring of Brains Trust. The fact that we thought that a Shannon Noll song was sung by a girl (the voice, not the name) dissuaded them a little of our potential.

We had some highlights: rock star born in Zanzibar? Freddie Mercury. Inventor of the Telegraph? Samuel Morse. And some low-lights. Would you have remembered that The Dream Academy sang 'Life in a Northern Town'? Thought not.

We lost the jackpot round because no-one on the team knew the identity of the movie star whose name meant Moorish Knight. We decided that if it wasn't Omar Sharif, it should have been. In fact, it was Maurice Chevalier - which everyone knew the moment it was announced. We're all experts in hindsight. (And we'll all remember it should it ever come up again.)

However, we pulled off a victory. One delicious point. Whether this was because Dad knew the source of the Tigress River, or because Sister C and I knew that Cookie Monster's fur was blue is a contentious issue.

The family that plays together...


This post is part of 'Flog Yo Blog Friday' - visit Lori at RRSAHM for your weekend reading list.


  1. This so very awesome and so very Tait.

    I did actually know that The Dream Academy sang 'Life in a Northern Town' but maybe I only remember now that I see it written there. That would be a threat to internal validity right someone (yes im bogged down in research crap).

    My family dont do anything together but sadly we are no longer anyway. Maybe i should get trivial pursuit for the kids. Niamh will know everything, Michael anything to do with a war, military or history. Liam anything to do with criminals and Tom anything to do with computer games. Me, Id just run and hide :)

  2. Allison, you and your Crazy Dates are very entertaining.

    My family, past and present, are Scrabblers. Lovely husband and his family are too.

    (We make eyes, he and I, over seven letter bingo challenges. Quizzify?)

  3. Can you adopt me? I am well known at local sporting club's annual trivia night for my trivia-winning abilities

    Although I know the song, didn't know it was Dream Academy

    And a contentious Cookie, surely the only dead cert answer there!

  4. You Taits and your Crazy Dates!

    I can only do the pink, green and brown. Give me blue or orange and I'm toast. My son can beat me hands down at the Star Wars Trivial Pursuit.

    The only thing we ever play en famille (I mean with all generations) is Articulate. And sometimes Pictionary at Christmas.

    I think your triv nights sound cool.

  5. Al, I have to admit to a childhood spent shaking maracas in conga lines and mucking about on boats. Yes, my parents lived the Don's Party (iconic 70s Australian party/politics movie) lifestyle and in fact, still do. My middle sister and I moved to the south coast to lead a quieter life and these days have to book in with parents so they can fit us in between yacht club do's and happy hours.

  6. Victory! I'm so proud. I am very surprised that LOML didn't feature in your post, seeing as we imported him in to try to outst carry-over champ Dad. One day I would like to see them in a Christmas quiz-off... x

  7. This might sound funny but our family bonds over Chinese food. We used to go to the same Chinese restaurant once a week for probably most of my life. Eventually that Chinese restaurant closed down and we found a new one. (Amusingly the waitress who worked at that first restaurant ended up working at the new one too. She literally fed my older brother sweet and sour sauce as a baby, and she only retired last year. She saw my siblings and I grow up.)

    Because we are clearly habitual people we would invariably start the meal with "six short soups" to the extent to which we became known as "the six short soup people." These soups would sometimes appear on our table as we sat down because the woman who owns the restaurant would see us park out front... It's very funny. But lots of happy memories.

  8. aw! i want to be part of your family!! that's such a great thing to do together, i always have to be a knowitall all by my seeeelf!
    now,I would have actually been able to scream out M Chevalier (because i'm foreign) but would have been completely useless on most of easier common knowledge questions (because i'm foreign). lovely post!
    (and now I'll go and figure out what a pink fibro is..)

  9. This is one of the things I miss most about living on the other side of the country from my sisters.
    We're KILLERS at Pictionary but we never get to play anymore :(

  10. This post made me laugh out loud

    Our family are all big fans of musical quizzes...We all sit around watching Spicks and Specks, yelling at Adam Hills and trying to get the answer before Myf....

    And, yes, we have the board game and play it whenever possible!

  11. Love your post! My family and I played cards together a lot when I was younger, my father attempted to teach me chess, but I've no head for strategy.

    Upon moving to Australia I discovered Scrabble and discovered that I was very good at it. With uni came Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly.

    I can't wait for my kids to be old enough to start playing these games. Or maybe old enough not to understand that games have rules and not throw a tanty when they can't play their way...

  12. I want to be in your family! Board games were heated and highly competitive affairs in my family growing up. Think kill or be killed and you kind of get the picture...

  13. When is membership to your family open. A self confessed trivia geek. We actually didn't have to buy a drink at our local Pub Trivia Night for a good 12 months thanks to our wins.

    Sometimes it pays to be a know it all

  14. Our family bond over $10 champagne bottles & our mutual dislike of the MIL.

    But I would LOVE to be in a Trivia team. I would be best at irrelevant pop-culture and all things E-News.


  15. I loved your post, what great family bonding. I am useless at trivia, I have already forgotten the answers you described! Board games are huge in our house though and Scrabble and Monopoly are always packed for annual holidays. I hope it carries on when our kids leave home, as with your family

  16. Oooh! I suck at those things. My mind is a bottomless pit from which Trivia shall NEVER be retrieved.
    Ask me anything. My standard answer is I Dunno.

  17. my fam, big board game players. hubs fam, so very not. our fam, big board game players... now you know who has the mose persuasion! hehe enjoyed this post!

  18. Well, I think your family are the coolest ever! I love all things trivia. If it's a useless piece of information, I'll probably know it! My favourites are the green ones. :)

  19. I think it was the ring-in bar tender's contribution that gave us the winning point, in fact! This old Crazy Date learnt a thing or two at that school trivia night - cheating isn't just for losers :)


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