We are all born with certain gifts and talents. Some have a knack for music. Some are blessed with exceptional physical prowess. Others, a mathematical mind. Some are born leaders, some are born helpers, some are born thinkers. Whether we have discovered and honed our talents or not, we’ve all got something. One of my gifts is quite trivial. That is to say, I’m good at trivia.
For whatever reason my mind is able to absorb and retain copious amounts of useless minutiae. I can recall at will all sorts of mindless gobbledygook from things ranging as wide as the original name of the Brooklyn Dodgers (the Superbas) to what I was wearing the first day of sixth grade (a lime green t-shirt and green, white, and silver shorts [hey, it was the early 90’s]) to the name of Hitler’s dog (a German Sheppard named Blondi). Half the stuff I have floating inside this skull of mine I don’t even realize I know until some outside player requests the information. I’m like some sort of twisted factoid database. I can name at least two actors from almost any movie, having seen it or not. I can tell you the causes of World War II have roots all the way back to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. I can remember events from the third grade as if they happened last night (And yet I can’t remember that Jen asked me to take out the garbage ten minutes ago). Want to try me at the Kevin Bacon game? Dont’ even go there.
Every New Year’s Eve we go to our friends Brad and Melissa’s house to ring in the new year, and every year we have a guys versus girls Trivial Pursuit game, and every year (with the exception of the Great Cheat of ’04) the guys win. Now, I don’t want to say that it’s all me in these games, because I’m really bad at the science category, but I’d say its about 70-30. Or at least 60-40. That’s not me being arrogant, that’s just a fact.
My uncle, who shares this gift in many ways, has always implored me to use my powers for good. Personally, I see my talent as being morally neutral, but I have often wished I could find a way to make some money with it. People pay big bucks to watch an accomplished musician or skilled athlete ply their trades, so there has to be some money to be made for those with a more (I hesitate to use the word) cerebral talent, right? I think the best we can do is the quiz show.
I’m an avid Jeopardy watcher and a couple months ago I took the online contestant test. It consisted of 50 questions and I was given 15 seconds to answer each one. You never see the answers or your final score so now I have to wait for them to call. I think I did OK. If I passed I’ll be in their pool for a year then I can take the test again. Who knows, maybe I’ll be the next Ken Jennings.
Got a weird trivia question you need the answer to? Go ahead, try me. I promise not to google. Of course now I’ll get stumped and really look silly.