(I have a cupboard full of mugs, each of which represent…something. In this space, until I run out of mugs, I’ll try to explain what that “something” is….)
Today’s mug is tied to a board game that became incredibly popular in the 1980s.
Trivial Pursuit is a board game from Canada in which winning is determined by a player’s ability to answer general knowledge and popular culture questions. Players move their pieces around a board, the squares they land on determining the subject of a question they are asked from a card (from six categories including “history” and “science and nature”). Each correct answer earns a plastic wedge which is slotted into the answerer’s playing piece.
Trivial Pursuit was the game of the 80s because it made the knowledge of useless information useful, at least in the sense one could prove to family and friends that you had acquired/retained more of it than they had.
The game became so popular that tournaments were set up. I was working as a radio reporter in Springfield in the mid-80s when one such event was held on a Saturday morning in a local bar. I partnered with a friend and colleague, John Hawkins (@jhawkins54), who was as obsessed with Trivial Pursuit as I.
Honestly, we were pretty cocky about our chances. Being in the news business means knowing a little about a lot of things. At the tournament, we dominated our competition.
Until we didn’t.
We were pitted, for the championship, against a couple of
jamokes jerks guys who, apparently, did nothing all day and night except memorize the questions and answers in Trivial Pursuit.
Every time a question was read, they would answer before the sentence was completed. Sometimes answering after just two words were read.
It was highly annoying. We took a beating.
I’m almost over it.
But, at least I got this great mug.
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By the 90s, Trivial pursuit was declining in popularity. As an indication of that, The Family Channel aired a version with classic game show host Wink Martindale. Apologies for the video quality.