Various friends and I returned to the TeddyJ United Way trivia match this year. This is the match where we placed third last year. It’s the biggest in Saint Louis. It was a bit smaller this year: only 72 tables of ten.
There’s always a theme. This year it was “Seasons." Initially we were going with Allergy Season (though I pushed hard to make The Verb "Seasons" our theme, mainly so I could be a Spice Girl and Hot Mom’s husband could be, as he requested, Herb Tarlik from WKRP). Then at the last minute we veered instead into Hurricane Season. This required a special tablecloth I made in my basement:
This was augmented by flashlights and distress flags. Mr. Friend #4 wore his Weather Channel shirt and went as Jim Cantore, while the rest of us were Hurricane Kris, Hurricane Anne, and so on.
There was also a special hurricane hairstyle that only I was able to pull off (though Friend #4 tried hard and was partially successful).
I bet we would have won the Theme award, but another table interpreted 'Seasons' as TV seasons and each person came as the standout SNL character from a season of that show. You just can't compete with a person wearing a full-on Mr. Bill head.
We moved from 14th place to 9th place (top ten!) after the seventh round. That was the round in which we had cropped movie posters and had to identify the movie. Mr. Friend #2 rattled off "Amadeus. Swingers. The Graduate." followed by seven more in rapid fire. Before that, Anne had done the same thing with pasta shapes. My only chance to contribute was blown in the Cliffhangers round when I said the show with the cliffhanger "Jesse shoots Gale" was, "Oh! I know this! Full House." I was so busy going for the joke that I forgot all about (spoilers) the two times I watched Breaking Bad.
So we felt pretty good about being in the top ten. Five of us stayed on for the official tally. There was a three way tie for first - and we were tied for first. We were gobsmacked. "Wait. He just said Table 36. We're Table 36. I am confused." And then the realization, and the screaming. The rules dictated that the judges break the tie by comparing scores of the final, hardest round, and we got a perfect score on that one. See? See where this is going? How cool am I, so blase about officially winning first place at the largest trivia match in Saint Louis. I didn't even put that in all caps.
I did that when I texted the three tablemates who left early and missed the priceless "first runner up" moment when you realize first runner up is Not You and you won first place at something.
FIRST PLACE. EEEeeeeee I will spend you today, my fifty dollar gift card prize.