Congratulations are in order! Yesterday, I became the grand trivia wizard of Centennial, Wyoming. I was playing one of those interactive video games at the Century Bar and Grill (adjacent to the Friendly Store) in Centennial, Wyoming, when I realized that there was a true master in town; he had answered all 15 questions correctly and quickly to gain an excellent score of 65,000,000. Try as I might, I could not defeat this master of useless knowledge. That is, I could not defeat him until he introduced himself at the bar and I saw what I was up against. Craig-- not the stereotypical trivia guru-- had just informed me of his involvement in a time-share money-making scheme. This did not bode well for his intelligence. But as I watched him play, he slowly gained my confidence.
I took over the machine after he failed to identify Sofia as the capital of Bulgaria. His knowledge of eastern European and Soviet bloc republic capitals was clearly not up to snuff! I failed my first attempt, as I did not know that Americans have not only the highest divorce rate in the world but also the highest marriage rate. America, F yeah! My second round started easily as I identified Enya as the Welsh new age artist of Only Time fame (although my personal favorite Enya tune is Flora's Secret). I went on to identify 25% of the world's population as communist and Kiev as the captial of Ukraine; as said earlier, capitals figure heavily into the game. Ten questions later, it was me vs. machine with only two questions left.
The fourteenth and toughest question was to identify Stephen King's thriller horror book about a posessed automobile; after eliminating "Posessed Car" (that was really a choice) and "Carrie," I luckily guessed "Christine" and was rewarded with 23 million points, putting me at 45 million and in position to wipe out Craig's two-month-old record. The final question? A gimme: "What game did Charles Darrow invent?" As if I hadn't taken enough people for their money in my youth to know the answer was Monopoly. I answered quickly for 46 million points, putting my total score in the stratospheric 91 million range. (Darrow later sold the game to Parker Bros. after many failed attempts to sell it to other game makers failed-- ed.)
I celebrated with a glass of champagne and some peanuts, the remains of which I tossed on the floor as per custom. The former record holder cried into his beer over a game of cribbage with a hippie. I could hardly sleep last night as I strained to contain my excitement; it also did not help that I had napped for four hours during the day. The life of a trivia player is thus fraught with danger and excitement.