I picked the wrong night to take in my first University of King’s College trivia night.
The first two rounds go smoothly, but things are quickly unraveling as the topic moves to Inferno, the first part of Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic poem the Divine Comedy.
Suffice to say, my journo buds and I were not prepared for what was coming.
Completely outmatched by our opponents, the only answer we managed to scrawl on the answer sheet was '93 Jays.
That trivia night still burns a little bit. After a strong pair of opening rounds, the team is feeling good about the prospect of claiming trivia supremacy this night. Then Dante effectively ended our run at the title.
With that cringe-inducing trivia round in mind, I’ve been told the ideal trivia night falls somewhere in the middle of too hard and too easy.
Rounds are hard enough to challenge the players, but not hard enough to discourage them from coming back.
They’re also easy enough that players get answers right, but not easy enough that players get all right.
It’s the strategy being employed by Grenfell trivia hosts, Margarette Leandre and Quinn Anderson.
Over the smooth groove of Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain” at Brewed Awakening’s Mount Bernard Avenue location, the pair detail how they go about preparing and executing trivia at the school’s local watering hole, The Backlot.
They alternate their hosting duties week-by-week on Tuesday nights.
With that in mind, both bring different backgrounds to their respective nights.
Anderson is a history major, while Leandre is taking the general science program.
As such, depending on what night you sign up, chances are you’re going to have to play a different game.
“You can definitely tell who is doing trivia because we have different interests,” said Anderson, motioning to an "Adventure Time" notebook on the table. “I take some of what I used from my classes.”
Flipping through the book’s pages, they are filled with questions, answers and notes.
“It has to do with the feel or any suggestions that I get and adding a twist to it,” said Leandre. The twist in one instance was having a "Netflix and chill" night with the chill representing winter sports. “It is really up to what we have available at the time.”
The sharing of hosting duties brings a welcome reprieve from having to focus on questions, answers and making sure players aren’t trying to sneak a couple of Google searches on their smart phones.
The week break also gives the pair time to focus on their studies, especially as the semester winds down.
In an interesting twist, the Grenfell group use pictures and audio clips instead of the traditional question rounds. As well, there are beer ticket bonus questions that, well, give a beer ticket to a right answer.
The Backlot hosts trivia every Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m. if you want to try your luck.
Just pray there isn’t a round where the Epic of Gilgamesh comes up.
Unless you’re into that sort of thing.