Participants arrive around 7:00 pm at Café 6 three 4 for the inaugural Trivia Night event. Many are dressed for Halloween. I see witches, ghouls, a cat, and a handmaiden mixed with mere mortals in their typical it’s-almost-winter McCall garb. One toddler, also in costume, is entertained by her parents while awaiting the start of the game. Everyone’s laughing and chatting, enjoying themselves before the game even starts. The night’s menu includes chili and cornbread, and most put in their orders before gathering with teammates at tables to await the start of play.
There are seven teams of four (a full house), many with Halloween-themed names: Monster Mash, The Lovin’ Covin’, Spook-tacular Spectres and Ghoul Friends.
Café owners Katie and Jeremy Welborn are hard at work making sure everyone is fed and has a good time. Katie is in the kitchen preparing food with her mother’s assistance while Jeremy is taking orders and payment up front. An employee is helping wait tables, and they have an MC to announce the trivia game. This is the first time the Welborns have hosted a trivia night at their restaurant, but judging from the turnout and enthusiasm, it’s a good decision.
“I knew that previously Alpine Pantry held trivia nights that were popular, so when that ended, I decided to jump on it,” says Katie. “It’s something to do midweek, bringing friends and people together. Seeing how well this is going tonight, we’ll definitely do more, probably monthly through April.” A fun way to get through the long McCall winter.
Friends Sharing a Trivia Addiction Three friends sit together at a table eating dinner, waiting for their fourth teammate as other players fill the remaining restaurant tables. Irene Saphra tells me they’re all regular trivia players, often as a team. “We played at Alpine Pantry when they hosted trivia nights, and now at Brundage and the Intersection. At Alpine Pantry, we were so good they forced us to separate,” Irene laughs, friends Rebecca Havens and Tricia Gambria nodding in agreement and joining in the laughter before all three chime in together, “They broke us up!”
In keeping with the holiday, this night’s game will be focusing on horror movie trivia. It seems like a fairly obscure topic, so I ask if they think they’ll have any trouble. Rebecca smiles broadly, saying, “I love all things scary. Halloween is my favorite holiday.” She’s confident.
Irene notes that this sort of trivia night, hosted locally, is the most fun because the questions are original. “I’ve attended some trivia nights franchised for bars where the questions seem standard and routine. It’s not as much fun. These events, with original questions making the experience unique, are more fun.” Rebecca agrees, saying “I love the interaction of trivia nights in McCall. They’re the best.” Tricia isn’t as seasoned a trivia player as Irene and Rebecca – she started attending at their urging – but she’s now a big fan.
I ask what skill set makes one a good trivia player. Is speed in answering required, as in some games? “Speed isn’t an element,” says Rebecca. “Don’t overthink it,” adds Irene. “Your first answer is usually the best,” Rebecca and Tricia answer together. “Your breadth of life experience makes it easier,” says Rebecca. “If you’ve traveled, have diverse interests, it’s easier.” Tricia adds, “It helps to have an age range in your team,” a pointer that gets enthusiastic head nods from her teammates. “Especially when the questions are about video games, music…I usually have no idea,” says Irene, who is retired and slightly older than Rebecca and Tricia. “But when there was a question about the opening and closing acts at Woodstock, I knew the answer!” Soon teammate Kristin Williams arrives, the the crowd eagerly awaits the start of Trivia Night.
Play Time Once the game starts, the questions are truly…trivial. An example: What sound did protagonist Chris’s girlfriend’s mother use to hypnotize him in the movie Get Out? Teams have one minute to write their answer on a card before tackling two more questions in this first of three rounds of questions. At the conclusion of each round, team captains take their answers up to the MC, and points are awarded for correct answers. No phones or other devices on which a player could look up answers is allowed. Highest points at end of the evening wins.
The team consisting of Irene, Rebecca, Tricia and Kristin (the Spook-tacular Spectres) is in first place until about half way through the night when there are more questions about Zombies and recent TV shows. “We ended up losing to a much younger, much hipper team (the Lovin’ Coven),” says Irene, “but it was still a fun evening!”
Oh. That first question’s answer: A spoon stirring in a teacup. Only two teams got it right. Challenging!