Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. The screen over the fireplace depicted an orange cut in half, stuffed with gears and numbers. It was easy for most of the players to know that the picture was a visual concept of the book titled, “A Clockwork Orange,” by Anthony Burgess, published in 1971 about Britain in the future, and a delinquent who becomes part of a government experiment.
This was a fairly easy bit of trivia for the 30 plus trivia players that gathered at Salto on Friday night to compete with their friends and neighbors. It was the second Trivia night, an event organized by Nederland Community Library director Jay Mann. Loosely based on the popular pub quiz games held in bars, or the Geeks Who Drink, a Denver based company that hosts Bar Trivia in 600 pubs in 36 states. The games are competitive and involve a glass of wine, a mug of beer or the dinner special of the night.
The second event attracted nine tables of up to four people on a team, eager to see the trivia questions. The last Trivia quiz was one by Nancy Waldron, and her daughter Sarah, who knows a lot about the mountains of the world, and a friend. “It was so much fun to get together with the group. The only mountain I knew was the Matterhorn at Disneyland.”
On Friday, Marylou, Dan and Luke Harrison joined up with Waldron, who has recently decided to build a home in Nederland. They figured Dan knows science stuff, Luke is the music guy, and Marylou and Waldron were the pop culture experts.
Mann says public libraries have always been about education and entertainment. Trivia combines both. It is a library program that takes place outside the library in the community. I learned about quiz nights when I lived in San Diego and Seattle. They are pretty common in large cities.
The teams consist of two to four people who complement each other’s k knowledge. There is a set amount of categories, on Friday it was nine. There were 10 questions per category. The categories could be on just about anything. Each team has an answer sheet where they write their answers.
There are no buzzers or shouting out of answers.
Friday night’s quiz categories included: visual book titles, science, National Park Trails, Nederland history, movies, song lyrics and what is it? There are prizes for the top teams.
As the conversation wound down and the list of categories were handed out, the tone of the conversation became more intense. At first Dan Harrison said he was there for the wine and might answer some questions but then he got serious as the science guy. Team Harris was confident that they had their trivia bases covered.
Nederland Town Administrator Alisha Reis said she has played bar trivia before and would probably be pretty well versed in government and maybe obscure trivia and strange knowledge. Her team was named the Movers and Shakers.
Louise Fordyce and Bruce Trudgill said they played Pub Trivia in Britain in 2001 for a preschool fundraiser and were pretty good at the game. They called themselves the Pizza Brits.
Mann told everyone to turn off their cell phones and calm down as he began to read the questions. Some contestants scribbled down the answers while others gazed towards the ceiling, waiting for a jolt of information to strike them. Everyone was engaged in the challenge.
“This is a work in progress,” says Mann. “It is challenging to create questions that aren’t too hard or too easy. In the future I hope to have the questions in each category start off easy and then become more difficult.”
Mann is creating most of the questions himself and does the majority of the organizing on his own time. Some people have volunteered to help create questions based on their knowledge. Nederland Historical Society’s expert on Ned history, Dan Martin, created a list of questions for Friday night’s event.
It is Mann’s intent to hold a trivia quiz on the fourth Friday of each month, partnering with a Nederland nonprofit each month. They will contribute some questions and can share information and news about their organization.
The winners of last week’s contest were the Mary Joyce team players.