I used to peel labels. I used to love getting a beer bottle, removing the label first as one giant layer, and then slowly, bit by bit would rip it up or fold it over, depending on my mood. According to popular folklore, it’s a sign of sexual frustration. Well maybe it is. Who am I to argue? There’s probably more than a hint of truth in that, as far as I’m concerned. I wonder, though, what it means to create little pyramid villages from TAB tickets? That’s exactly what I found myself doing in the minutes before closing at our local pub tonight, at the end of their trivia night.
I haven’t been to a trivia night in ages, which is interesting because I used to go regularly. Many years ago, Damien and I (and a group of others) used to regularly spend our Wednesday nights at the nearby Trinity Hotel playing pub trivia. It was a great way to catch up, have a few drinks, dinner, and have fun in the middle of the week. We were usually in the top two or three winning teams most weeks, and actually won the competition on quite a few occasions. But life changes, and I haven’t been to pub trivia much since then.
Until today, when a friend rang and asked if I knew of any good pub trivia nights. On an otherwise boring, wet night in Sydney, we was looking for one to entertain our friend Liesbeth visiting from the United States. A bit of a check on Time Out and I found the following three which were closeby…
The Local Taphouse 122 Flinders St, Darlinghurst 2010.
(02 9360 0088). Mon 7pm. $100 bar credit
The Shakespeare Hotel 200 Devonshire St, Surry Hills 2010.
(02 9319 6883). Mon 7.30pm. $80 in prizes plus cash jackpot to $1,000
Technology Park Hotel 1 Wyndham St, Alexandria 2015.
(02 9698 8999). Queer trivia with drag queen Summer Salt and topless male bartender. Mon 7pm. $100 bar credit
Although “tempted” by the idea of trivia with a drag queen, we agreed on the suburban familiarity of The Shakespeare. It’s an old fashioned Surry Hills pub that hasn’t been refurbished with chrome and floor-boards, and whose only concession to modern “pubbery” (if such a word exists) is the ten dollar bargain meal.
For a Monday night, we couldn’t believe how full it was. We had a great night together, sitting around, chatting, arguing the toss over questions, and generally enjoying each others company.
As for the trivia? In round one we did quite well. We’re pretty sure we were the only people in the entire bar who got to the answer “Lonely Nights (Angel Face)” by The Captain and Tennille to a music question, doubly impressive since it starts with a quiet atmospheric sound effect which I picked it in under 2 seconds. We didn’t do so well in round two, as the questions became a little more focussed on younger people and as we argued (not really) and changed answers. Famously, we chose “Michael Crawford” as the answer to another musical clue, changed it to “Rick Astley”, and of course “Michael Crawford” was the correct answer. I think generally speaking, with trivia nights, go with your first answer, it’s probably right.