Monday, May 23, 2011

Trivial Pursuits

I come from a family of trivia buffs.  My dad has a library of books about film, music, history and just about everything  from the 50's & 60's. If you go into the downstairs bathroom of the house I grew up in, you are sure to find several editions of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader.  When nature called, we made good use of the time to brush up on little known facts about James Bond, The Wizard of Oz & little known tidbits about any of the 50 states.

My mom is also a music lover - especially when it comes to show tunes. She can name that tune (and the show it came from) in 6 notes. Ask her to sing something from Carousel, Camelot or Chicago and she will not disappoint you.  She can also remember movie stars, quotes and details about musicals and films that she has watched over her lifetime.

Of course, the apple does not fall far from the tree.  My sister and I are Generation X'ers who can name all the members of the Brat Pack and tell you which movies they starred in. We can quote "Airplane" and our favorite movie, "The Sure Thing."  We know who shot J.R. We can identify a Brady Bunch episode in less than 2 minutes and we know all the words to the theme song from "The Facts of Life."

So needless to say, a love of trivia games run deep in our family. On any given night at 7 pm, you could find us in front of the TV watching Jeopardy.  It was the only tv show that we could watch instead of doing the dishes.  Dad would get so many questions correct and we would just sit there in amazement.  On rare occasions, we would beat him to the punch and run a category or two.  I'll take "80's movies" for 200, Alex.

It is no surprise that our family went wild when Trivial Pursuit came out in 1981.  My sister and I had no chance of ever beating our parents in a game, but we sure did try.  We had lots of laughs around the kitchen table skipping the Canadian questions and demanding that the answer given was exactly what was written on the card.  It wasn't until 1984 - when Parker Brothers came out with a Young Player's Edition - that we had a chance at winning a game or two.  On long car rides, we would bring the cards with us to quiz each other.

When one of the teachers at our school became a contestant on Jeopardy, he called my dad. He brought the Jeopardy board game and we got out the Trivial Pursuit cards.  Thanks in part to us, he went on the show, won 5 games in a row and came in second place in the Tournament of Champions.  He even thanked our family on the mecca of trivia game shows of national tv. We were thrilled.

Today, I watch Jeopardy with my kids. They look at me and wonder how I got so smart.  I have "Scene It" and "Twenty Questions" in my game closet and a few trivia books of my own on the bookshelf.  In my opinion, these trivial games and books are just the ticket to some old-fashioned family fun, laughs and memories to last a lifetime.

This post is written for a prompt given by The Red Dress Club. This week, we were asked to recall the games we played when we were young. I enjoyed writing this one When I asked my sister to remember the games we played, this was her first memory too. Concrit is welcome.


  1. My husband and I are serious trivia buffs and love Trivial Pursuit too. Thanks for visiting My 3 Little Birds! I'll look forward to following you!

  2. I love trivia games but for some reason we don't own any... I really need to go out and get one!

    I think it's great that you guys were acknowledged on Jeopardy! Although from the sounds of it your dad should have been on there!

  3. This brought back memories of playing Trivial Pursuit with my family. I remember that my dad's answer for every single question in the literature category was "Doestevsky", and a couple of times he was right!!!

    Great post!

  4. I was thrilled when they released the Young Player's Edition of Trivial Pursuit. I'd grown up watching my parents play the big people version with their friends. They bought every new edition. We're a Jeopardy family, too. The kids do pretty well and they're always so proud when they get one right.

  5. *Sigh* I'm jealous of your trivia knowledge- so not my strength! I also love that you're sharing this passion with your children. Three generations of memories made!


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