This perpetually trying year has scrambled a lot of traditions for everyone. Usually, my beloved college radio alma mater stages its biggest fundraiser — which happens to also be one of the biggest community events of the year — every April. For obvious reasons, plans changed. The event was rescheduled for October and, when the public health emergency showed no sign of abating, was significantly reconfigured. And so, this coming weekend, I’ll participate in The World’s Largest Trivia ContestTM. As we do around these here digital parts, this week is filled with idle reminiscing about memorable answers in past years.
The last time we went through this Trivia Answer of the Day exercise, dear reader, I recounted the celebratory occasion of my team nabbing our first 500-point answer. The scoring system for WWSP-90FM’s contest justly rewards scarcity. The fewer of the roughly three hundred and fifty participating team that manage to answer a question, the more points that question is worth. 500 points is the golden prize, awarded if only one team answers correctly. Since most questions are closer to 20 or 30 points, alighting on a correct answer that no one else can manage in quite the windfall. It took my team nearly thirty years to record out first 500-pointer. Our second came one year later. As with our first, the question centered on an album cover.
As is typically the case during Trivia, the question described the album cover, noting it shows an individual standing with a clipboard in one hand and a pen in the other. In the photo, he wears a hardhat, sunglasses, and a white jumpsuit. We were told to provide the first and last name of the lead singer who appears on the album cover in question. It would be satisfying to report that one member of our very music-savvy team simply knew the answer, presumably out of an affinity for California blues rock of the late nineteen-sixties and early nineteen-seventies or maybe an even more arcane predilection for bands named after utility companies. Instead, we had previously done the work needed to have this answer at the ready. In a relatively short amount of time, we determined the album in question was the final studio effort by Pacific Gas & Electric, when they briefly changed their billing to highlight the presence of lead singer Charlie Allen.
Later, when the point values were read over the air, we learned our unexpected triumph: 500 points. I guess we’ve got to find a way to make that happen a third year in a row.
More info about 90FM’s Trivia can be found at its official website or at the radio station’s online home. There’s also a feature documentary about the contest, but it’s fairly hard to come by these days. To see how my team is faring over the weekend, Twitter is probably the best bet.