You're just not sure why you know the answer. So you ponder that conundrum as host John Friesner repeats the question, which is essentially "What is the name of the album released by Led Zeppelin in 1971?"
There's some more information in the question: that it was certified platinum
23 times and reached No. 2 on the U.S. charts. But those facts aren't important. You know the answer to this is "IV."
Somehow, this trivia got stored in your subconscious. You don't know why you know it; you don't own the album. You know the category for the question was "The Stairway was laid here," which means it's the album with "Stairway to Heaven." Somewhere along the line, you heard or read that the song is on "IV."
You look at your partner, who stairs blankly back at you. "I don't know," she says. "I don't listen to Led Zeppelin. Just go with it."
This is when you overthink. You don't want to be wrong. Could Led Zeppelin have really released three albums before 1971? You're not sure. Time is running and you scribble "II" onto your sheet, walk up to Friesner and hand in your answer.
You walk back to your table as your date sips her drink and smiles.
The music stops and Friesner picks the mike back up. He tells you and the others playing Showtime Trivia at The Holy Hound Taproom in York the answer is "IV."
"You knew it," your partner says. "Why did you doubt yourself?"
Because that's what
happens at trivia. And, at times, that's what makes the game fun.
Showtime Trivia runs leagues at restaurants and bars throughout Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. You can attend games at four area venues, Bill Bateman's Bistro in Penn Township, Bay City Restaurant in Hanover, the Altland House in Abbottstown and the Holy Hound in York.
* * * I have no idea, you think to yourself as you look up at your partner.
Friesner just asked, "What country band scored hits with harmony-filled singles such as 'Elvira,' 'Bobbie Sue' and 'American Made?'" Your partner begins racking her brain. She might know it.
You can only hope she can pull the answer out of somewhere. You watch as other teams take their answers bring their answers to Friesner. Some walk away confident they got it right. Some shrug as they hand in their slips.
Friesner has a good poker face. Some of the hosts have tells, they immediately enter your score if you're right but look at you if you're wrong. Some will outright tell you if you ask.
My wife and I play trivia at Bateman's in Penn Township. We've been doing it for about five years. Last Wednesday, we broke off from our group to try The Holy Hound's game so I could tell you about it.
We enjoyed the game, the venue and the competition. The other teams were friendly and Holy Hound provides a good atmosphere and fare.
You've got plenty of beers options, selections from all over the country, from California to New York. The venue's menu might be limited, but each selection is good.
My wife enjoyed the macaroni and cheese and my spicy pulled pork sandwich was fantastic.
While eating, we talked about how Friesner runs a great game. He doesn't dally between questions. His pronunciation is clear. He's friendly and courteous.
And he knows the game.
He's played in the league for several years, also spending time competing at places around the county, before the league moved on to the Holy Hound.
So he enjoys hosting on Wednesday nights.
"It's a great time," he said. "How often can you come out to a place and hang out and get paid for it."
* * * An easy one, you think. You look across at your partner and see her smile. She agrees.
The question, essentially, "Which actress has Justin Timberlake recently married," is a breeze.
You're partner scribbles "Jessica Biel" onto a piece of paper and you walk it up to Friesner.
Moments later, Friesner confirms your answer is correct.
Then, you and your partner share a high-five and await the next question.
- Patrick Abdalla,
Test your mind
Some sample questions from trivia:
1. What is the name of the hacker organization with a secretive sounding name known for exposing criminals and bringing down internet servers for big businesses?
2. Within two years either way, in what year did Major League Baseball introduce interleague play? Bonus: Name the American League West and National League West teams that played in the first interleague game.
3 Within five either way, how many first-release books are there in the initial Hardy Boys series, which ran from 1927 to 1979?
4. What scientist is credited with discovering a method of determining volume, rumored to cry "Eureka" as he leapt from the bath tub after his relevation?
5. Name the top 10 grossing films released domestically in 1999.
6. Abe Lincoln was the first U.S. President to be assassinated. Which U.S. president survived an assassination attempt when two guns missfired?
2. 1997. Bonus: The Texas Rangers hosted the San Francisco Giants
4. Archimedes5. "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace," "The Sixth Sense," "Toy Story 2," "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," "The Matrix," "Tarzan," "The Mummy," "The Runaway Bride," and "The Blair Witch Project"
6. Andrew Jackson
About Showtime Trivia
What: Showtime Trivia is a weekly team trivia contest at several area venues.
Win: Each game offers teams chances to win gift certificates to the restaurant/bar that hosts the contest. If you do well enough during the season, you can earn a trip to the playoffs, compete against teams from other venues and win even bigger amounts of cash.
When: The game is played on Wednesdays at Holy Hound Taproom in York, but is played at other area venues and on other nights as well.
Other Showtime locationsThe Altland House, 10 W. King St., Abbottstown
Bay City Restaurant, 110 Eisenhower Ave., Hanover
Bill Bateman's Bistro, 1432 Baltimore St., Penn Township
What's in a name?
One of the most fun aspects of team trivia is coming up with a name. Here are some of the more ingenious - and printable - names in the Showtime Trivia league:
Battle Royale With Cheese
Great Minds Drink Alike
I Went to Dartmouth for This?
Oedipus and the Mamma's Boys
Whitney Houston, We Have a problem
I'm Ashamed of What I did for a Klondike Bar
Win or Lose We Still Booze