This weekend, I’ll participate in The World’s Largest Trivia ContestTM. I’m a little preoccupied with preparations for that, including some significant travel. To provide some sense of the madness of minutiae that dominates my mind this week, I’ll share some of the most personally memorable answers from my many, many years of involvement with the contest. Every one of my teammates has stories like this. These are mine.
When I first started exploring the wondrous world of music available on the World Wide Web–through both official and illicit means–I had an odd goal. I wanted to download music that might just come in handy for Trivia. Three times during the weekend, teams are presented with a Music Question comprised of eight song snippets edited together. The clips are often very short and commonly pulled from songs that are quite obscure but can make some claim on notoriety–a brief stint in the Billboard Top 40 way back when, for example. I started acquiring songs that I thought just might show up in the Music Question someday. I downloaded the stock list from a robustly filled used record store and started tracking through it, figuring out which artists, many of whom I’d never even heard of, might merit inclusion in the question. Consequently, a small chunk of my iTunes library is comprised of music I have not out of affection or appreciation, but because it might come in handy one weekend per year. One of the first songs I sought out as part of this plan–the order of the alphabet helps me place it–was “Third Rate Romance” by the Amazing Rhythm Aces. It has been part of my digital collection for years, popping up every now and again as I typed away at my computer or drove around town. I never gave it much thought, but I surely knew the song. Then last year, there it was. The portion of the song heard from approximately the 1:01 mark to the 1:03 mark. It took me many, many, many listens to realize that’s what it was, but when it came to me the realization arrived with joyful certainty. As opposed to tale of woe recounted yesterday, this was proof that this the work I put in for the ludicrous pastime sometimes pays off, not because of the points we earned–although they were significant–but the crazy thrill of earning those points. It may be silly and insignificant, but so are sporting events and awards shows and nearly every other thing people bind their happiness to. This is simply my version of that. Luckily, I have a whole battalion of great friends with whom I share that joy.
More information can be found at the official Trivia site or try to get your hands (and eyes) on a certain documentary. You can also listen in to the radio station that hosts the contest. In order to see how things are going with the team I play on, Twitter is your best bet.