Trivial Pursuit

In which Blue and White Editors lose it all
by Sommer Omar

Paul Ellerin has been hosting trivia night at 1020 every Tuesday for roughly 10 years. Each week he sends an email reminder with random ideas, pictures of his dog Tazer (presumably a Kēnjī), and sometimes a bonus tip that can earn you extra points during the game.

 

Paul is something of an acquired taste. He always shows up in a t-shirt with faded logos, classic well worn dad jeans, and sneakers. He reads the number of the question in play with a consistency that some could find charming. Whenever we get to question number eight he unfailingly bellows “numeroooo ochoooo”; it adds some spice to the night (granted it’s the same kind of spice every Tuesday night).

 

While he may be a fixture of Tuesday night trivia with familiar patterns and mannerisms, not much is actually known about Paul. He sends his email reminders from an account labeled triviapaul@ gmail.com. This raises the question of what other kinds of Paul exist, what does Paul do when he’s not hosting trivia night?

 

I went to Tuesday night trivia with B&W’s EIC in tow to find out. Our team name was direct to the point of being Spartan: S + C, for Sommer and Channing. The trivia night going crowd is certainly at odds with what otherwise might be expected of 1020. Most teams consisted of 4 or more people varying from several middle aged chums out for a fun night to a large group of cackling young women, one with a tiara, celebrating the anointed one’s birthday.

 

Before the first round of trivia began, the host announced that all you needed to compete was “an answer sheet, a few brain cells and a beer.” Once the game got started, however, S + C faltered. One category involved naming the character or show that was known for a certain saying. For instance, “How you doin’?” was flirty Joey from Friends and “Pretty pretty pretty good,” was Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm and probably real life. Another category involved listing animals according to their speed and their broader species group (did you know that gazelles qualify as bovine?).

 

S + C came in last for both rounds. Paul announced that the losing teams would win Blow Pops because “they suck.” After looking at S + C his face lit up at the realization of an all too convenient witticism: “in last place is S+C which stands for ‘suck’!”

 

The team name of the first round winners was “Feel The Bern in My Pants.” I approached our defeaters, all three looked homely and friendly enough. One of the women said that she has been coming to Paul’s trivia nights for about 10 years and preferred his trivia to other bars that resort to computer generated questions.

 

At the end of the night, I approached Paul to find out more about his life, tribulations and past experiences. I went in with a strong opener: “Do you come here often?” He does not. I probed him to see what he does during the other six days of the week, even resorting to the suggestion that I already knew and he might as well just admit it, but he demurred. “That’s a secret […] I have to keep an aura of mystery.”