Game Night: Trivial Pursuit, Genus V

Board games are big around here. And by “here” I mean my house. Will and I collectively own well over a hundred board games. Here they are, displayed oh so merrily in their very own closet:

board gamesThe unblinking eye of Ubi is our one true God.

The Choosing

When we get sick of TV or movies or internet or looking at each other, the only option left is to play a board game. On Sunday I posited this possibility to Will, who promptly got up from the couch and locked himself in The Closet.

He returned five minutes later, gasping and sputtering, with three options for me to choose from (for the board-game-illiterate, I will translate): Agricola (farming), Flashpoint (firefighters), or Trivial Pursuit (Gina wins). My jaw dropped.

I do not want to give the impression that Will is an idiot. He is a very smart and capable person who can solve computer problems that I believe can only be fixed with high-grade explosives. He does not, however, have a brain for a certain kind of trivia, namely the kind that involves naming celebrities or movies or anything having to do with pop culture. Oh, he partakes in pop culture, he just doesn’t devote any brain space to remembering it. This is somewhat counteracted by my complete and utter ignorance when it comes to anything sports-related, but that never seems to be as much of a handicap. Which is why, when he suggested Trivial Pursuit, I had an aneurysm.

“Really?” I asked, agog. “Why? Why would you be willing to why?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m in a fun mood.”

Another thing you need to know about Will: “Fun mood” is a phrase I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say.

And so, as I’d already gotten my fill of farming and firefighting in my regular daily life, I jumped on this rare opportunity and gleefully chose the path to certain victory. After some discussion of which version we should play (we own six), we settled on Genus V, © 2000, as Will objected to all of the more recent editions we own because of their emphasis on pop culture. We should probably get with the times. (Though I’m not sure we’re missing out on much; a brief trip to the Trivial Pursuit Wikipedia page reveals the existence of a 2013 Trivial Pursuit: Power Rangers 20th Anniversary Edition.)

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The Drink

We’d received a couple bottles of champagne when we moved into our new house and hadn’t consumed them yet. As they were taking up valuable cupcake space in our fridge, the choice was clear–though it did lend an incongruously celebratory vibe to the evening. We clinked glasses and said, in snooty voices, “To the pursuit of trivia!”

The Game

I chose the green token. Will chose yellow because:
“It’s as far away from green as you can get.”
“Green is made with yellow.”
“Shut your face.”

Will got a barrage of spelling questions right out of the gate. I guess the ability to spell is such an arcane and lost art, it is now considered trivia. (He missed them all.)

I missed a question about my least favorite musical, The Sound of Music, further cementing my hatred. In a hint of things to come, Will missed a question about the star of American Beauty:
“Alicia Silverstone.”
“Are you just naming the last celebrity you saw?” (Before playing, we’d watched a few minutes of Clueless.)
“No. I’m pretty sure it’s Alicia Silverstone.”
“Kevin Spacey. Close, though.”

After a small celebration around the fact that I got to give “hotpants” as an answer–and that it was correct!–we came to the inevitable breakdown. Will was posed the question: What Tom Cruise movie inspired thousands to send saccharine valentines reading, “You complete me”? I can tell you that Will has seen Jerry Maguire. He knows much about this movie, as you’ll see. But his face went pale, his eyes went hopeless, and he proceeded to lose his mind in the futile attempt to recall the name of this film, spouting answer after increasingly desperate answer.
-Show Me The Movie Title
-The Human Head Weighs Eight Pounds
-The Blind Side
-For The Love Of Money
-You Had Me At Hello
-Is Maggie Gyllenhaal1 In That Movie?
-Snow Dogs

I won, but it was close: 6 pie pieces to Will’s 5.


1Maggie Gyllenhaal seems to be the one exception to Will’s celebrity-name-amnesia, and he pulls it out at the oddest junctures. One time we went to a movie and afterwards, when I asked him what he thought, he said he thought Maggie Gyllenhaal was very good. Maggie Gyllenhaal was not in the movie.

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One comment

  1. How Will is with trivia? That’s me. That’s how I am. I am terrible at recalling facts about the world, pretty much, especially pop culture. Now give me some multiple choice options and my luck gene will correctly guess them all!!

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